In the 1930s, there was a plan to build a park on Radio City Music Hall's rooftop, but it was never realized—until now.
The iconic music venue's leaders have just gotten approval from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to build a rooftop park and 10th story sky bridge that would add more outdoor space to the Rockefeller Center area.
The park would include an asymmetrically designed landscape with open views to the south, tall plantings on its perimeter, walking paths and views of Rockefeller Plaza. The sky bridge would connect the park to 1270 Avenue of the Americas specifically and would have glass railings and be clad in bronze, according to the plans.
The rooftop park will be accessible from neighboring Rockefeller Plaza, 50 Rockefeller Plaza and 1175 Avenue of the Americas.
"This project has its roots in the original vision for the center—it was meant to be a campus of interconnected greens and terraces," EB Kelly, the Managing Director of Rockefeller Center said during the LPC meeting. "Covid has shown us that outdoor space is even more important than we ever realized. Now is the right moment to be moving that ahead."
When Radio City Music Hall was built in the 1930s, there had been a plan for a formal garden on its rooftop that would have been connected to other rooftop parks and landscapes. Unfortunately, that never happened. Instead, a "sports garden" with badminton courts, ping pong, and flexible card tables with chess and checkers and shuffleboard was put there, and then, until the 1960s or 70s, tennis courts were installed there for the use of employees at Radio City, Kelly said.
For decades, it's been a barren half-acre of unused space.
The LPC commissioners approved the new plans, saying they are "totally appropriate." You can see the plans for yourself here.
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