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Rockefeller Center The Highlights
Conceived over 100 years ago by John D. Rockefeller Jr. as a "city within a city," Rockefeller Center has long been a hub of remarkable art, style, and entertainment and his inspiring vision continue to this day. Although John D. Rockefeller Jr. spent most of his life engaged in philanthropy, his single, defining business venture was the creation of this “city within a city”. Constructed during the Great Depression’s worst years, the project gainfully employed over 40,000 people and officially opened in May 1933.
Rockefeller Plaza boasted a grand lobby decorated by accomplished European artists. During its first decade, the complex bustled with exciting tenants like the brand-new publication News-Week (as it was originally called). Throughout the 1930s, Rockefeller Center steadily improved, including some accidental innovations like the Christmas Tree tradition in 1931 and the skating rink in 1936. By 1939, more than 125,000 people were visiting Rockefeller Center daily; on its own, it would have been the 51st largest city in the U.S.! Recognizing that an estimated million people walk through Rockefeller Center every year, the current owners continue to strive to revive John D. Rockefeller’s original visions for the complex as much as possible and Rockefeller Center’s annual art unveiling is a highly-anticipated New York City tradition. There’s so much to see and do at Rockefeller Center, from the incredible view from Top of the Rock to a tour of the NBC studios, from world-class shopping to sumptuous dining—there is something for everyone.
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