Rockefeller Center in 1939 Tourist Booklet

rockefeller center in 1939

This is a collection of all the pages from a 1939 booklet, “The Story of Rockefeller Center”. It’s a tourist guide coinciding with the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and it covers the development, design and attractions of the building. In 1939, Rockefeller Center was only about nine years old, but it had gained a reputation as a cultural hot spot in New York City. The source of many of NBC’s radio broadcasts and home of the Radio City Music Hall, the building was known to millions of Americans. This booklet is an interesting time capsule.

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Souvenir of Rockefeller Center Guided Tour. Copyright 1939 by Rockefeller Center, Inc.

 

The Buildings of Rockefeller Center

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Excerpt: “VISITORS to New York, whether from overseas or from inland America, usually find Rockefeller Center the most interesting place in this amazing metropolis.  Recognized as the business and entertainment center of America, it is a city-within a-city, unique in the world, a gleaming monument to American foresight and architectural genius.”

What Visitors See In Rockefeller Center

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Excerpt: “THE GUIDED TOUR of Rockefeller Center offers the quickest and simplest way of gaining a comprehensive conception of the most notable private building enterprise in the world. Trained guides conduct visitors to the many wonders of this city-within-a-city. The tour begins with a brief history of the territory from pre-Revolutionary days up to the present time, covers the development of Rockefeller Center, and describes the symmetrical planning of its fourteen buildings. The guides point out and explain the many extraordinary features of the construction, art, and architecture in this mammoth development and regale visitors with entertaining anecdotes.”

Theaters

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Excerpt: “THE THREE THEATERS in Rockefeller Center are a highly important part of this city-within-a-city. The Radio City Music Hall, fittingly termed the “show place of the nation,” seats 6, 200 persons, while the Center Theater, seating 3,350, is distinguished by the warmth and charm of its interior design and furnishings. The imposing Grand Foyer of the Radio City Music Hall is 140 feet long, 45 feet wide, and 60 feet high. Thence one passes into the auditorium featured by its immense proscenium arch, sixty feet in height. The graceful curve of this arch represents a stylization of a sunrise and forms an effective frame for magnificent stage settings. The stage of the Music Hall is, in the opinion of technical experts, the most perfectly equipped in the world. It is 144 feet wide and 62 feet deep. The screen on which pictures are projected is the largest ever built and measures 70 feet by 40 feet. A contour curtain of shimmering fabric masks the proscenium opening.”

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Exhibits

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Rainbow Room and Restaurants

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Broadcasting Studios

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Sky Gardens

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Art Program

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Additional Links

Rockefeller Center Homepage

Top of the Rock – History – Some interesting history of the building in video form.

Author: jetpackjason

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