One of the most impressive things I’ve seen when I visited New York was the famous Rockfeller Centre, which is located in Midtown Manhattan, between the 5th and the 6th Avenue. It is really huge, at least from a European point of view, and it struck me for the glamour of the beautiful buildings and the mixing of private companies and business with leisure and tourism.
The Rockfeller Center is composed of 19 buildings and it’s the biggest private complex in the world. It includes some television studios (ex: NBC), head-offices of important companies (ex: Deloitte&Touche), shops (ex: a big Lego store with a reproduction of the whole Rockfeller Center made with the famous bricks) and restaurants&bars (ex: Magnolia Bakery…don’t miss their cupcakes!!!), but also art objects and architectural works.
John Rockfeller Junior started the construction works in 1930 and by 1939 the main 14 buildings were completed. During the 60s and the 70s other buildings were built along the Avenue of the Americas. The Rockfeller Centre was declared National Historic Landmark in 1987 and, since then, almost every tourist in New York comes here, because it has become one of the most iconic places in Manhattan.
I was especially impressed by two elements of the complex: the Channel Gardens in the Plaza and the stunning “Top of the Rock”, which is the observation deck on the top of the Comcast Building (30, Rockfeller Plaza).
The Plaza is a really strange place and it has a sunken part which is dominated by an imposing golden statue representing Titan Prometheus. The part of the Plaza at street level has beautiful gardens with plenty of coloured flowers and water effects, which create a fresh atmosphere in summer. Flags from all over the world surround the Plaza, but on Memorial Day (the last Monday of May) the square is decorated by plenty of US flags in honour of the American soldiers who died while serving their Country.
Another remarkable thing in the Plaza is the Rockfeller plaque, listing the principles that were inspiring to the founder. For example you can read:
“I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might”