LPC approves sky bridge to new Radio City rooftop park

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved plans to construct a sky bridge between 1270 Avenue of the Americas to a new park on the roof of Radio City Music Hall (rendering top).

Tishman Speyer presented the proposal to construct the pedestrian
bridge to bring to life a plan for a park on the theater’s roof that was
included in the original blueprints of Rockefeller Center but never built.

 “As we continue to
reimagine our physical spaces and the experiences we can offer at Rockefeller
Center, we are thrilled that the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved our
proposal, which dates back to the earliest days of Rockefeller Center’s
conception,” said Tishman Speyer in a statement.

“During this time when outdoor access is important, it is
especially meaningful to be able to provide an additional 24,000 s/f of green
space at the Center.” 

The LPC unanimously approved the plan from G3 Architecture,
which Commissioner Michael Devonshire called “one of the most admirable
applications I have seen in a long time.”

The Commission said the plan was in line with the original
vision of architects Ralph Hancock and Raymond Hood, a man considered a pioneer
in the treatment of building roofs back in the 1930s when the Rockefeller
Center was built with multiple roof gardens and spaces.

Radio City Music Hall was designed by Donald Deskey as part of the Rockefeller Center and its roof was originally an open space with badminton courts, shuffle board and card tables.

The Rockettes play shuffle board on the original Music Hall roof space.

Historic preservation advisor, Cas Stachelberg, a partner at
Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, told the LPC that original concrete roof
will be landscaped to a 24,000 s/f green space called Radio Park. It will have paved
and landscaped areas, pathways, pavilions, and seating and lounging areas.

Rockefeller tenants and their guests will be able to get to
the park via the skybridge between 50 Rockefeller Center and the 10th
floor of 1270 Avenue of the Americas that was featured in the original plans for
the complex. Those working at Radio City Music Hall would be able to gain
entrance to the park from inside the building.

None the work, according to Stachelberg, will be visible from street level and the park should be open by the fall of this year.

The sky bridge was part of the original Rockefeller Center blueprint in the 1930s, but was never built.

EB Kelly, Tishman Speyer’s managing director for the Rockefeller
Center, told the Commission the park was an affirmation of the company’s belief
in the Rockefeller Center and Midtown as the city works to reignite the economy
following the COVID pandemic.

“As we look to bring our office tenants back on the idea of
serving as a great outdoor space for our tenants and their guests, we are committed
to making sure the Rockefeller Center is a dynamic part of New York’s recovery,”
added Kelly.

The sky bridge to Radio Park comes after a year of work by
Tishman Speyer to maintain the Rockefeller Center’s status as a premier New
York office campus.

Last summer, the company turned the famous ice rink into an
outdoor dining and shopping arena to attract wary New Yorkers socially distancing
to avoid the virus.

The landlord also installed public art and customized
vending machines as it worked to build a beacon in a city starved of visitors
and office workers.

“Even while adapting to these changing times in our city, Rockefeller Center can continue to be a favorite destination for culture, commerce, and community,” said Kelly.

Rendering of Radio Park

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