Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What a view!

But leave it to Agence France-Presse to get a principal detail wrong. The skyscraper is actually the GE Building, which is only part of Rockefeller Center.
Image borrowed from Yahoo! AFP news. Original alt txt: "New York's renowned Rockefeller Center, which houses the 'Top of the Rock' observation deck, stands tall next to neighboring buildings. The owners of Rockefeller Center plan to re-open the 67th-70th floor observatory to the public, challenging the Empire State Building's lock on the best bird's eye view of the city(AFP/Don Emmert)"Rockefeller takes on Empire State for eagle's view of New York

NEW YORK (AFP) - After 20 years, New York's renowned Rockefeller Center skyscraper will reopen its observation deck next month, challenging the Empire State Building's lock on the best bird's eye view of the city.

Organisers are expecting around two million people a year to visit the renovated "Top of The Rock," which offers a panoramic view of Manhattan and beyond from a height of 850 feet (260 meters).

First opened in 1933, the observation deck was orginally designed to evoke the upper decks of a 1930s grand ocean liner, complete with deck chairs on the 70th and top floor, as well as large vents intended to look like the stacks on a ship's deck.

The attraction closed in 1986, after the celebrated Rainbow Room bar on the 65th floor expanded, cutting off direct access to the upper floors.

The renovated version includes eight-foot (2.5 meter) high transparent safety glass panels, which allow an unimpeded view of the Manhattan skyline, while thwarting potential suicides.

For Peter Dillon, director of marketing for the Rockefeller Center, the new observation deck enjoys a built-in advantage over its long-established rival.

"The Empire State Building is an amazing building ... a landmark," Dillon said. "The problem is that you can't see the building when you're standing on it. From here you get it in all its glory."

The deck opens to the public on November 1, with 14 dollars the price of the view that boasts a visibility of around 80 miles (130 kilometers) on a clear day.
I, for one, can't wait. Rockefeller Center is one of my favorite places anywhere, and I love working close enough (only a few streets up from Radio City Music Hall) that I can walk around it during lunch.


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