Rockefeller Center is a huge commercial complex that consists of 19 high-rise buildings that span 22 acres between 48th and 41st street in Manhattan. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and is a must-see for anyone visiting the Big Apple. What better way to explore this iconic plaza than to enjoy a guided tour that will give you special insights into a series of buildings created and made famous by one of New York’s most famous families?
Rockefeller leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and began developing it in 1930, taking on the huge project as the sole financier. The initial cost of acquiring the space, demolishing some of the old buildings and building new ones was estimated to cost around $250 million, making it the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern history.
The guided tour of Rockefeller Center will give you an in-depth look at the rich history and stunning artistry of this extraordinary landmark. You will start your journey nearly a century ago, where you will be introduced to John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s ambitious vision for a center that touches all types of art and culture, from architecture to theatre. A licensed guide with historical expertise will talk you through the most significant buildings in the center, allowing you take in the sights of the astounding spaces and gardens. You will be able to follow along on your own headset and get a continuous account of the details of Rockefeller Center’s history through a closed circuit connection. This beautiful landmark will never look the same again.
Best Known For:
Unparalleled architecture, enthralling history.
See the beauty of the buildings themselves, and learn all about them on this exciting tour. You will see fame sculpture Prometheus by Paul Manship, which overlooks New York’s most famous skating rink (in the winter at least -- in the summer, it’s an outdoor bar.) You’ll see the fresco-style mural in the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza called “American Progress” by Josep Maria Sert. And you will see extraordinary bas relief sculptures on the exterior of many of the buildings. This tour is jam-packed full of some of the most beautiful art and architecture that the city provides. Make sure to bring your camera!
ROCKEFELLER CENTER TOUR DURATION
1 hour and 15 minutes
Tour groups are kept small so there are plenty of opportunities to ask your guide questions. Closed circuit headsets mean you won’t miss a word of your expert guide’s commentary.
Rockefeller Center is made up of 19 buildings, and depending on the time of day, you will visit many of them — so expect to walk a lot on this tour.
There are plenty of great places to eat and shop after your tour on the concourse level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing as you’ll be walking a lot, and indoors and outdoors. Umbrellas will be provided if it rains.
While you don’t have to go through the same security check required for Top of the Rock, remember you will have to carry your belongings for the duration of the tour, so it may be best to leave any big bags at home or in your hotel.
Hourly tours begin at 10:00 a.m.
Approximately one hour and 15 minutes. The tours run daily every 30 minutes from 10am to 7:30pm (excluding 6pm and 6:30pm).
Tour is not recommended for children under the age of 6.