Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 buildings in MidtownManhattan. Named for John D. Rockefeller, whose family built the location from 1930 to 1939, it is one of the most popular spots in New York. It contains landmarks like Radio City Music Hall, the ComcastBuilding, and, in the winter, an ice-skating rink and the famous Christmas tree. Rockefeller Center also has an underground concourse with a variety of stores and restaurants, multitudes of artwork, and subway accessIn 1928, the site's then-owner, Columbia University, leased the land to John D. Rockefeller Jr., who was the main person behind the complex's construction. Originally envisioned as the site for a new Metropolitan Opera building, the current Rockefeller Center came about after the Met could not afford to move to the proposed new building. Various plans were discussed before the current one was approved in 1932. Construction of Rockefeller Center started in 1931, and the first buildings opened in 1933. The core of the complex was completed by 1939.
Rockefeller Center has two parts: the original center and the later International-style buildings. The original center has several sections: Radio City, for RCA's radio-related enterprises such as the Music Hall and 30 Rockefeller Plaza; the International Complex, for foreign tenants; and the remainder of the original complex, which originally hosted printed media as well as Eastern Air Lines. While 600 Fifth Avenue is located at the southeast corner of the complex and contains architecture similar to the original complex, it was built by private interests in the 1950s and was only acquired by the center in 1963.
Described as one of the greatest projects of the Great Depression era, Rockefeller Center was declared a New York City landmark in 1985 and a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It is noted for the large quantities of art present in almost all of its Art Deco buildings, as well as its Radio City section and its ice-skating rink. The complex is also famous for its annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree..