Art and Glamor: Rockefeller Center and Fifth Ave.

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This tour focuses on Rockefeller Center, and its surrounding building located in heart of Midtown Manhattan.  We will walk up Fifth Avenue to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral and window shop on Fifth Avenue at Tiffany’s, Gucci, Cartier, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman’s, and many other glamorous shops.  The tour can also be extended to conclude in the bustle and lights of Times Square.

Rockefeller Center consists of 21 buildings; the first date from between 1931 and 1940, others were added to the complex in successive building phases.  The buildings are steel core faced in Indiana limestone, with an emphasis on verticality, and setbacks are used to create open spaces and to subtly articulate the buildings.  The lower buildings had roof gardens to provide private areas for rest and recreation within the office complex, as well as giving those on higher floors a pleasant view.

Rockefeller Center is also filled with large public works of art, including sculpture (including Paul Manship, Prometheus Bringing Fire to Mankind, 1934), murals, and painted reliefs .  Other works include reliefs by Lee Lawrie expressing the idea that wisdom and knowledge of the universe will bring security and fulfillment. The interior lobby of the GE Building has murals by José Maria Sert of man’s search for immortality through his conquest of space and time.  A tour with us will show you how Rockefeller, his architects, and artists created one of the most important urban complexes in the world.

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