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30 Facts About Rockefeller Center
Originally envisioned as the site for a new Metropolitan Opera building, the current Rockefeller Center came about after the Met could not afford to move to the proposed new building.
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Construction of Rockefeller Center started in 1931, and the first buildings opened in 1933.
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Rockefeller Center hired Todd, Robertson and Todd as design consultants to determine its viability.
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The Rockefeller Center family started occupying the 56th floor of the RCA Building, though the offices would later expand to the 54th and 55th floors as well.
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Rockefeller Center only became profitable after the last building in the original complex was completed.
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Rockefeller Center eventually became the family's "single largest repository" of wealth.
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In 1950, Rockefeller Center Inc paid the last installment of the $65 million mortgage owed to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
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Rockefeller Center Inc had started working on plans to expand the complex during World War II, even though the outbreak of the war had stopped almost all civilian construction projects.
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Rockefeller Center unveiled plans for expansion to the southwest and north in 1944.
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New York Times report in 1982 stated that Rockefeller Center had been popular among tenants from its inception, being almost fully rented for much of the first half-century of its existence.
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However, Rockefeller Center was not popular as an entertainment complex, having been used for mainly commercial purposes through its history.
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Rockefeller Center Group filed for bankruptcy protection in May 1995 after missing several mortgage payments.
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The Rockefeller Center family moved out of their offices in the GE Building in 2014 due to rising rents.
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The only building in the Rockefeller Center built to the outer limits of its lot line, the 15-story building took its shape from Associated Press's need for a single, undivided, loft-like newsroom as large as the lot could accommodate—namely, a 200-by-187-foot blocky structure with no setbacks.
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Rockefeller Center's beliefs include "the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and "truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order" .
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Rockefeller Center Plaza is a pedestrian street running through the complex, parallel to Fifth and Sixth avenues.
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Since Rockefeller Center Plaza is technically a purely private property to which the public is welcome, the plaza is closed for part of one day every year.
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Gardens atop Rockefeller Center's roofs were designed by Ralph Hancock and Raymond Hood.
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Isamu Noguchi's gleaming stainless steel bas-relief, News, over the main entrance to 50 Rockefeller Center Plaza was, at the time of commissioning, the largest metal bas-relief in the world.
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Rockefeller Center called the plan for Rockefeller Center "an apotheosis of megalomania, a defiant egotism" arising from an ostentatious display of wealth, and said that "the sooner we accomplish the destiny it so perfectly foreshadows, the sooner we shall be able to clear the ground and begin again".
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The writer Frederick Lewis Allen took a more moderate viewpoint, saying that negative critics had "hoped for too much" precisely because Rockefeller Center had been planned during an economically prosperous time, but was constructed during the Depression.
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Haskell wrote in 1966 that Rockefeller Center's designers "seemed to have regarded urban life as an enhanceable romance".
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