Landmarks Approves Rooftop Addition to 75 Rockefeller Plaza

75 Rockefeller Plaza - existing conditions, previous proposal, and revised proposal75 Rockefeller Plaza - existing conditions, previous proposal, and revised proposal

A former piece of Rockefeller Center is set to grow a bit. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a rooftop addition to 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

Archival photo of 75 Rockefeller Plaza. Credit: LPC

Archival photo of 75 Rockefeller Plaza. Credit: LPC

The building, located at the north end of Rockefeller Plaza, between West 51st Street and West 52nd Street, was designed by Robert Carson and Earl Lundin, partners since 1941, with Wallace Harrison consulting. Completed in 1947, the 33-story, 424-foot structure was one of the later buildings constructed as part of Rockefeller Center. Originally known as the ESSO Building (Esso as in Exxon as in Standard Oil as in the Rockefellers, yes that Esso), it was later known as the Warner Communications Building and the Time Warner Building. Then Time-Life moved into its own building on Sixth Avenue –the Time-Life Building (a.k.a. the Time & Life Building) at 1271 Avenue of the Americas. It became an individual landmark when Rockefeller Center was designated in 1985.

It is now owned by Mohamed Al-Fayed, the international businessman who used to own Harrods of London, currently owns the Hôtel Ritz Paris, and whose son Dodi was killed in 1997 in the car crash with Princess Diana. 75 Rock is currently operated and leased by RXR Realty.

Last Month, RXR, with the architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox and preservation consultant Jørgen Cleemann of Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, proposed expanding an original extension on the 10th floor. That would give the building more interior square footage and allow better use of the ninth floor roof. Also proposed was a smaller extension on the 11th floor, which would create a terrace on the 12th floor.

Existing condition of 10th floor extension at 75 Rockefeller Plaza

Existing condition of 10th floor extension at 75 Rockefeller Plaza

In the revised proposal, presented by Cleemann, the 11th floor extension was completely removed, but the 10th floor extension actually grew on the western side. It would still be partially visible from several vantage points, including the plaza.

Proposal for 10th floor terrace, running along 52nd Street, at 75 Rockefeller Plaza

Proposal for 10th floor terrace, running along 52nd Street, at 75 Rockefeller Plaza

“Does the addition interfere with my appreciation of the original?” was the standard for Commissioner Frederick Bland. He said it didn’t in this case.

For Commissioner John Gustafsson, the standard was a higher, for he would tolerate no visibility. “If you can see it, I can’t vote for it,” he proclaimed.

LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan was receptive to the changes, but wanted less visibility and recommended that the applicant work with LPC staff to achieve that.

In the end, the proposal was approved with the chair’s recommendation. However, Commissioner Gustafsson voted against it.

View the presentation slides below:

75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_01 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_02 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_03 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_04 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_05 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_06 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_07 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_08 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_09 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_10 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_11 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_12 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_13 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_14 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_15 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_16 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_17 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_18 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_19 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_20 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_21 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_22 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_23 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_24 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_25 75RockefellerPlaza_20160614_26

Subscribe to YIMBY’s daily e-mail

Follow YIMBYgram for real-time photo updates
Like YIMBY on Facebook
Follow YIMBY’s Twitter for the latest in YIMBYnews

TFC Horizon
.