The GE Building at Rockefeller Center
|Type||Offices and television studios (NBC)|
|Location||30 Rockefeller Center
New York, New York 10112
|Roof||850 ft (260 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Owner||NBCUniversal (floors 1-30 and 50-59)
Tishman Speyer (floors 31-49)
The GE Building is an Art Deco skyscraper that forms the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, USA. Known as the RCA Building until 1988, it is most famous for housing the headquarters of the television network NBC. At 850 feet (259 m) tall, the 70-story building is the 10th tallest building in New York City and the 33rd tallest in the United States. Some of the building's nicknames include The Slab and 30 Rock. The latter is derived from its address which is at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
The building was completed in 1933 as part of the Rockefeller Center. The noted Art Deco architect Raymond Hood led a team of Rockefeller architects. It was named the RCA Building for its main tenant, the Radio Corporation of America, formed in 1919 by General Electric. It was the first building constructed with the elevators grouped in the central core. During construction, photographer Charles Clyde Ebbets took the famous photograph Lunch atop a Skyscraper on the 69th floor. National Broadcasting Company, also owned by General Electric, leased space in the building.
The office of the Rockefeller family occupied Room 5600 on the 56th floor. This space is now occupied by Rockefeller Family & Associates, spanning between the 54th floor and the 56th floor of the building. In 1985, the building acquired official landmark status. The RCA Building was renamed as the GE Building in 1988, two years after General Electric re-acquired the RCA Corporation.
The GE Building is one of the most famous and recognized skyscrapers in New York. The frieze located above the main entrance was produced by Lee Lawrie and depicts "Wisdom", along with a slogan that reads "Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times", from Isaiah 33:6 (KJV). The vertical detailing of the building's austere Art Deco facade is integrated with a slim, functionally expressive form. The present exterior is recognized for the large GE letters at the building's top. The famous marquee above the building's entrance is seen on numerous television shows, such as 30 Rock and Seinfeld. Unlike most other tall Art Deco buildings constructed in the 1930s, the GE Building has no spire on its roof.
The building's nickname has become the title of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, which follows the cast and crew of a fictional television show filmed inside the building. The television show uses the building for exterior shots while interior shots are filmed at Silvercup Studios in Queens.
Below the building is a shopping concourse, connected to the lobby via an escalator. The open lobby's rich materials and reduced black and beige ornamental scheme is enhanced by dramatic lighting. Granite covers the building base to a height of 4 feet (1.2 m), and the shaft has a refined facade of Indiana Limestone with aluminum spandrel panels.
The 65th floor of the GE Building was an event room and restaurant named the Rainbow Room. It was revamped and reopened to the public with new operators until it closed in 2009 due to the economic downturn.
The building is well known for housing the headquarters of NBC and the New York facilities of NBC Studios. In 1996, NBC bought the 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2) of space it had leased since 1933. The purchase allowed the company to introduce new technologies and renovate the space; it also gave them options to renew the lease on the Today Show studios, broadcast from a nearby building, 10 Rockefeller Plaza. NBC owns floors 1-30 & 50-59. The office of Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, is located on the 51st floor of the GE Building.
The building's studios include Studio 8H, the home of Saturday Night Live. Studio 8H was once the largest radio studio in the world, originally home to the NBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. It was converted into a television studio in 1950. The Tonight Show was also taped at the GE Building in Studio 6-B from the early Jack Paar years until 1972, when the show moved to Burbank, California. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon now occupies the former Tonight Show space. During its run, Rosie O'Donnell broadcast her syndicated talk show from the building. Studio 3C is the original home of NBC Nightly News back in 1999 and later became the home of News 4 New York on WNBC in April 2012.
NBC Studio productions
|1A||The Today Show||The network's daily morning program is produced at a ground-level windowed studio across 49th Street from the GE Building since the mid-1990s, at 10 Rockefeller Plaza; it was previously broadcast from inside the skyscraper. Studio 1A is a multilevel studio. The studio was also used by WNBC's Live at Five "DATELINE" and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann. WNBC, which used temporarily in October 1996 due to a fire and NBC Nightly News for a short period during decontamination of the broadcast's facilities and offices in October 2001 due to the 2001 anthrax attacks.||Ground floor|
|2K||MSNBC Secondary HD Control Room||Debuted October 22, 2007, and is the home to MSNBC programs. An MSNBC/NBC News Newsroom connects control room 2K and studio floor 3A.||2nd floor|
|3A||MSNBC main studios and headquarters||Debuted October 22, 2007, and is the home to many MSNBC programs including the main news desk where MSNBC Live and other MSNBC programs are shot. An MSNBC/NBC News Newsroom connects Studio 3A and Studio 3C. Former home of NBC Nightly News.||3rd floor|
|3B||Rock Center with Brian Williams
NBC Nightly News
|Former home of the Huntley-Brinkley Report, The Doctors, the Today Show, Dateline NBC, NBC Nightly News, and coverage of the 2008 presidential election||3rd floor|
|3C||WNBC||Formerly home of NBC Nightly News from 1999-October 23, 2011, however the studio's size was decreased significantly during a 2007 renovation. Became the home for News 4 New York on April 21, 2012.||3rd floor|
|Experimental Television||The first studio in the building to be converted for Television production, being converted in 1935 and served as NBC Television's lone studio until the conversion of Studio 8G in 1948. 3H was adjacent to Studio 3C. This studio has been decommissioned since the early 1960s and served as scenery storage for a number of decades. Small portions of Studio 3C have been expanded into this area..||3rd floor|
|3K||Early Today/All In with Chris Hayes/The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell'/"DATELINE"||Former home of NBC Nightly News, NBC Sports, The Today Show, The Ed Show, and The Howdy Doody Show, green screen room for coverage of 2008 presidential election result program for NBC News/MSNBC.||3rd floor|
|NBC News "Instant News" Studio||A small studio used for breaking news bulletins during the Huntley-Brinkley Era . Cameras in this studio were kept "hot" (on) 24 hours a day in case of an emergency. Most notably, network coverage regarding the John F. Kennedy assassination originated from this studio. It was also used for cut-ins regarding the Gemini 5 spaceflight.||5th floor|
|6A||The Dr. Oz Show||A former home of Twenty One, The Tomorrow Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and NBC Radio Network programs from 1933 to the 1950s. 6A was the first 30 Rock studio to be converted for high definition television.||6th floor|
|6B||Late Night with Jimmy Fallon||Also the original home of the Broadway Open House, Bob Hope's radio program, television version of Texaco Star Theater, Tonight Starring Jack Paar, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and NBC Nightly News. Former home for the news studio for flagship station WNBC.||6th floor|
|6C||NBC Digital Studios||The current home of such web based shows as "The Untitled News Comedy Show", "Starstruck", and "A Big Life with Sissy Biggers". Was previously home to a small set for WNBC as well as WNBC's Master control.||6th floor|
|6E||Global Media Insert Studios ||Former home of Early Today and MSNBC secondly studio (Ed Show home and Breaking News coverage), called as "Newsnooks". This space was previously a portion of WNBC's Master Control.||6th floor|
|7E||New York Nonstop||Home of WNBC's newscasts from 2008 to 2012. This studio is the newest studio in the building, being constructed inside an old conference room. The studio still has the Channel 4 newsroom, but is currently used for New York Nonstop.||7th Floor|
|8A||(Unknown)||A "Studio 8A" is marked on an official drawing of the 8th floor of the building. Judging by the surrounding area, this studio was likely used for audio recording. It's possible this studio was converted to television studio 8B.||8th floor|
|8B||Decision 2010 Coverage||This studio was used for coverage of the 2010 midterm elections.||8th floor|
|8G||Football Night in America/NBC SportsDesk||A former radio studio converted for Television use in 1948 and went on air April 22 of that year. Former home of The Phil Donahue Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Caroline Rhea Show, and The Jane Pauley Show, as well as the original "Concentration" and Jeopardy! which recorded their color episodes on alternating days/weeks from 1964 to 1975. NBC Nightly News used this studio during the 2007 renovations of NBC News headquarters, except on some Sunday evenings where, due to football programming, the news was broadcast from Studio 1A. This studio has also been used for Decision 2008 and Decision 2010 election night coverage.||8th floor|
|8H||Saturday Night Live||Former home of Last Call with Carson Daly
Former home of Later with Bob Costas
Former home of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini
Used for offsite coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics
Used for the "Live Show" and "Live from Studio 6H" episodes of 30 Rock
The building is also the headquarters for the NBCUniversal Archives, Bravo, Chiller, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Cloo, Universal HD and USA Network. CNBC and CNBC World are headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
The observation deck atop the skyscraper, dubbed "Top of the Rock", reopened to the public on November 1, 2005, after undergoing a $75 million renovation. It had been closed since 1986 to accommodate the renovation of the Rainbow Room (although this has also recently closed due economic difficulties). The deck, which is built to resemble the deck of an ocean liner, offers sightseers a bird's eye view of the city, competing with the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building. It is often considered the best panoramic city view, if only because it offers a view of the aforementioned Empire State Building, which cannot be seen from its own observation deck. The timed entry system and larger observation deck also results in shorter waiting times compared to the Empire State.
The "Top of the Rock" had also been co-opted for NBC's Sunday Night Football during the 2006–07 season, with the top player/MVP in that night's game according to John Madden and Al Michaels receiving the honor of being that night's "Rock Star" in the form of a glass trophy display on the observation deck; this was a replacement for the Horse Trailer Award formerly awarded on ABC's Monday Night Football. The Horse Trailer honor was restored for the 2007–08 season.
A composite of the GE Building as seen from Fifth Avenue at three different times
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- Original General Electric Building (1931, built as the RCA Victor Building)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: GE Building|
- Top Of The Rock – Official "Top Of The Rock" page
- in-Arch.net: The RCA/GE Building
- Top Of The Rock Photo Gallery – About.com
- NYC Insider Guide – Insider tips and secrets about Top of the Rock
- Top of the Rock Panorama
- Companies located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza - List of Tenants at 30 Rock