The centerpiece of the Center, the GE Building is one of the world’s most famous and most honored office buildings. Designed by the great skyscraper architect Raymond Hood, it takes its shape from his belief in the virtues of natural light. To guarantee all office space was no more than 27 feet from a window, Hood chose not to build any enclosed space above each elevator bank. This gives the façade its dramatic sculptural effect, narrowing and drawing back as it climbs. One critic called it “the largest frozen fountain ever built.”
Since the building opened in 1933 (it was called the RCA Building then, after its lead tenant), it has been home to some of the most important and well-known companies in America. The fifty-sixth floor is the private offices of the Rockefeller family itself. The “father” of Rockefeller Center, John D. Rockefeller Jr., was not a particular fan of modern architecture, and his personal office was decorated in 16th century wood paneling and leaded-glass bookcases with an ancient fireplace was vented into the Manhattan sky.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111
Daily 24 hours