Plans for a rooftop park on top of the Radio City Music Hall with a connecting sky bridge at Rockefeller Center were approved by the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission at a hearing this morning.
The park plan, presented by Rockefeller Plaza owners Tishman Speyer and G3 Architecture, will create half-an-acre of landscaped rooftop garden, in keeping with architect Raymond Hood’s original vision for the center — which included unrealized plans for connecting sky bridges. The bridge in the new plan will connect the roof of the music hall with 1270 Avenue of the Americas and will not be visible from street level.
Over the years, the rooftop space has been used by staff at Radio City Music Hall for everything from tennis to shuffleboard, but since the early 1960s it had reverted to an unused area.
“I wish I could say that this was an idea of our creation. This project really has its roots in the original vision for the center and the notion that Rockefeller Center was conceived as a campus of interconnected green rooftops and terraces,” shared EB Kelly, Managing Director of Tishman Speyer’s Rockefeller Center. “COVID has shown us that outdoor spaces are even more important than we had ever realized. As we look to bring our office tenants back, the idea of being able to deliver great outdoor amenities feels like the right moment to be moving that ahead. We are committed to making sure that Rockefeller Center is a dynamic part of the New York recovery.”
Commissioner Michael Devonshire said: “The proposed sky bridge is in keeping with the center’s original goals of a network of rooftop gardens. And the work will not detract from the special architectural or historic character of the Rockefeller Center landmark complex.”
“It’s a wonderful project. I really do think that this ensemble of buildings is really gonna play a significant part in this idea of the recovery of the city,” said Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron. “We’re using roof gardens at a scale of intention that I think is so powerful for the future of how we’ll live in the city.”
The NYCLPC approved the work unanimously. The rooftop will be available to workers and their guests — but there are no plans to make it a public space.