By Devin Gannon, Mon, November 16, 2020
Photo by Michael Vadon via Wikimedia
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has taken its rightful place in Midtown. This year, a 75-foot tall, 11-ton Norway Spruce from Oneonta, N.Y. will serve as the centerpiece for the famous event. Donated by Daddy Al’s General Store, the approximately 80-year-old tree last week was cut down, hoisted by a crane, and delivered by flatbed truck to Manhattan on Saturday. The public cannot attend the tree lighting ceremony this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the live event will be broadcast nationally on December 2.
By Dana Schulz, Mon, November 9, 2020
Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr cc
As was first reported by the New York Times, the famous ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center will be be open for the holidays this year, but it will be a much abbreviated season. The rink will open a month later to give more time to restaurants currently using the plaza for outdoor dining, and it will close several months early on January 17 to begin work on a major revamp that was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in April.
By Devin Gannon, Wed, September 2, 2020
Illusory Progression, True to Myth, and Rhizogenic Rhythms by artist Thaddeus Mosley; Photo courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer
Another free public art installation has opened at Rockefeller Center. In its second year, the Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center opened on Tuesday as an outdoor sculpture garden with works from six major international artists. Originally scheduled to open this past spring as part of art programs offered by Frieze New York, the installation was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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By Devin Gannon, Mon, August 3, 2020
Courtesy of Tishman Speyer
The iconic flags that surround the Rink at Rockefeller Center got a makeover over the weekend. Public art initiative “The Flag Project” opened on Saturday with 193 new flags designed by the public, as well as a number of well-known artists and designers. Led by Tishman Speyer, the installation aims to celebrate New York City as the city continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
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By Devin Gannon, Wed, July 22, 2020
Since Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out the open restaurants program last month, allowing eateries to serve diners on sidewalks and in adjacent parking spots, over 9,000 eateries have reopened for outdoor dining. Offering another lifeline to the struggling industry, especially now that indoor dining has been postponed indefinitely, the city has also closed more than 40 blocks to traffic for its weekend-only open streets dining program, overseen by community organizations and neighborhood Business Improvement Districts. With so many al fresco dining options available, we’re rounding up the most iconic New York City streets and establishments now open for outdoor dining, from the most photographed block in Brooklyn and New York’s oldest bar in Queens to open-air plazas with views of city landmarks.
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By Devin Gannon, Mon, May 18, 2020
Photo by Sharon Mollerus on Flickr
A public art competition launched last week that asks New Yorkers to submit designs for the iconic flags that surround the Rink at Rockefeller Center. Led by the site’s developer Tishman Speyer, “The Flag Project” is looking for artwork that celebrates New York City, whether it be through graphic design, a drawing, or collage. Winning designs will be made into flags and flown from Rockefeller Center’s 192 flagpoles this August as part of a temporary exhibit.
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By Devin Gannon, Tue, April 28, 2020
Rendering by Gabellini Sheppard Associates courtesy of Tishman Speyer; via Landmarks Preservation Commission
A proposal to renovate Rockefeller Center’s public realm was approved on Tuesday by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Led by Tishman Speyer and designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates, the project aims to restore the connection between the concourse and the sunken plaza, an element included in the original plans for the historic Midtown site. The design, which was revised following a public hearing in January, focuses on the pools of the channel gardens, the sunken plaza, and new seating and planting to maintain the plaza’s well-defined edges.
By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, January 15, 2020
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.
By Michelle Cohen, Tue, January 7, 2020
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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By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, December 4, 2019
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!).