Rockefeller Center

Architecture, Midtown, Urban Design

See the proposed revamp for Rockefeller Center

By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, January 15, 2020

Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer, Gabellini Sheppard Associates, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Renderings by Gabellini Sheppard Associates courtesy Tishman Speyer; via NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

Tishman Speyer proposed a plan to revamp certain aspects of Rockefeller Center during a hearing at the Landmark Preservation Commission on Tuesday, as CityRealty reported. With Gabellini Sheppard Associates at the helm, the design proposal makes tweaks to the gardens and outdoor plaza spaces at the 22-acre site. The upgrades—which mostly seek to improve circulation—come as city officials have been discussing the permanent restriction of traffic around Rockefeller Center following the successful pedestrianization of the area during the recent holiday season.

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Midtown, Transportation

Photo by Javier Guiterrez Acedo on Flickr

After having been closed to car and truck traffic during the busiest times of day since November 29th, West 49th and West 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues–the two streets on either side of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree–may become permanently car-free if some city officials have their way. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he believes the vehicle-free streets were safer for the estimated 750,000 pedestrians who were expected to traverse the plaza each day during the crowded holiday season, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Events, holidays

Image by Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons

The 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been in place for nearly a month, and it’s almost ready to get lit. The 87th annual tree lighting ceremony will take place later tonight, with tens of thousands of spectators expected for the festivities and millions more tuning in on television. The event is free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, so read on for everything you need to know if you plan on getting a spot (or if you’d rather watch from your couch!).

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holidays, Transportation

Photo by Javier Guiterrez Acedo on Flickr

The city will expand pedestrian space around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Musical Hall during the holiday season, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. Starting Nov. 29, 49th and 50th Streets, as well as Fifth and Sixth Avenues, will be partially closed to cars to alleviate congestion caused by the roughly 800,000 people who visit the Christmas Tree every day during the season. The expansion marks the first time the city has created a defined pedestrian space for the area.

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holidays, Midtown, Policy

Photo by Shinya Suzuki / Flickr

For years, residents and community leaders have called on the city to add pedestrian space near Rockefeller Center to make conditions safer for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the area during the holiday season to see the tree and store windows. This week, the Department of Transportation privately issued a pilot plan to address the major crowds by increasing pedestrian space on Fifth Avenue between East 48th and East 51st Streets. But Mayor Bill de Blasio quashed the plan before it was officially released, claiming “it was not signed off on by City Hall.”

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Art

Jenny Holzer, VIGIL, Creative Time, Rockefeller Center, Public art

Projection at Rockefeller Center. For The City © 2005 Jenny Holzer, courtesy of Artists Rights Society (ARS)

Artist Jenny Holzer—known for her practice of displaying text in the public sphere—is partnering with Creative Time for the third time on a new public art project at Rockefeller Center. VIGIL is a series of light projections addressing gun violence in America through first-hand accounts, poems, and responses by Americans who have had to reckon with the everyday reality of gun violence. The words will be beamed across the iconic Midtown destination each night from October 10 to 12 beginning at 8 p.m.

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Events, holidays, Midtown

Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr

Before it’s even truly felt like fall, winter is coming to New York City. Ice skating rinks and holiday markets will open this month, giving an early taste of cold-weather activities. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, which includes holiday vendors and 17,000-square-foot ice rink, officially opens on Oct. 31, letting you trade trick-or-treating for shopping and skating. The iconic skating rink at Rockefeller Center will open on Oct. 12 for the fall and winter season and Lasker Rink in Central Park will open sometime later this month.

Who’s ready?

Midtown, Restaurants

city winery, wine, rockefeller center

Photo via City Winery

City Winery’s SoHo location may officially be closed, but that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to the food and wine for which it’s known. The restaurant and music venue has opened an outdoor garden pop-up at Rockefeller Center, serving up Mediterranean bites and locally-made wine on tap. As 6sqft previously reported, the restaurant and music venue will soon move from its long-time home on Varick Street to a new spot at Pier 57, after the Walt Disney Corporation purchased the property last year. The new Hudson River Park location isn’t expected to open until 2020. In the meantime, the seasonal pop-up in Midtown will meet your wine needs through the fall.

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Events, Midtown

smorgasburg, flea markets, brooklyn flea, food markets, popups,ARTISTS AND FLEAS, BROOKLYN FLEA, CHELSEA FLEA MARKET, CRAFT NEW YORK, EGG ROLLS EGG CREAMS AND EMPANADAS, FAD MARKET, FLEA MARKETS, HESTER STREET FAIR, LIC FLEA & FOOD, NOLITA OUTDOOR MARKET, QUEENS INTERNATIONAL NIGHT MARKET, RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR, SMORGASBURG, STOOP SALE

Queens Night Market, Photo by Storm Garner

Since launching in 2015, the Queens Night Market has become a favorite in the food market scene for its international offerings. But for those who can’t make it out to Flushing Meadows, the Market will be opening a new daytime outpost at Rockefeller Center starting July 29th. Founder John Wang said The OUTPOST by Queens Night Market is “a chance to test out the area’s appetite for unique global offerings, and also a chance
for some of our dedicated vendors to profit from all the passion and hard work they bring to the Queens Night Market.”

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Hotels, Midtown, real estate trends

75 Rockefeller Plaza via Google Street View

Ten floors of an office tower in Rockefeller Center will be converted into short-term rentals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. RXR Realty, which has leased the tower at 75 Rockefeller Plaza since 2012, has partnered with Airbnb to transform a portion of the 87-year-old building into roughly 200 units of high-end lodging. In a press release, RXR CEO Scott Rechler described the new venture as a “travel experience that immerses guests in a dynamic, thriving community in the heart of Rockefeller Center that’s vastly different than anything else in the market today.”

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