Tunde Folawiyo | A History of Rockefeller Center

New York City has long held a place as one of earth’s most treasured cities. Not only is the city home to a thriving cultural scene boasting a wide scope of races and nationalities, but the dozens of famed attractions scattered throughout the city consistently provide a thrilling experience for those visiting the bustling metropolis. Rockefeller Center stands amongst these hot spots, drawing in thousands of visitors each year with its rich history and integral role in the economic success of the city. Those with a love for the city of New York, such as Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others may regard Rockefeller Center as one of the most fascinating areas in the great city.

Tunde FolawiyoLocated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, Rockefeller Center spans between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. Built by the famed Rockefeller family, it holds 19 commercial buildings, accounting for a total area of 22 acres. It was declared a National Historic Landmark during 1987.

Named for John D. Rockfeller Jr, Rockefeller Center was once among the largest private buildings projects in modern times. Rockefeller leased the area from Columbia University during 1928. His initial plans were to construct a new opera house for the city’s Metropolitan Opera, though plans were changed upon the crash of the stock market in 1929. As the sole financier of the project, Rockefeller embarked on a 27-year lease that would result in one of the greatest developments in New York City history. The total cost of acquiring space and paving the way for the project would total upwards of $250 million.

Rockfeller Center is comprised of a pair of building complexes with 14 original Art Deco buildings built in the 1930s. Four International-style towers were constructed along the Avenue of the Americas’ west side during the 1960s and 1970s. Other buildings followed, with the Center becoming an enormous part of the famed New York City skyline. International visitors like Tunde Folawiyo may behold the attraction with awe.

Sold to the Rockefeller Group for $400 million in 1985, the entire Rockfeller Center complex and Rockfeller Group were acquired by Mitsubishi Estate in 1989. In 2000, a close friend of David Rockfeller, Jerry Speyere – along with other partners — purchased the older 14 buildings from earlier syndicated owners including Goldman Sachs, Stavros Niarchos, Gianni Agnelli and David Rockfeller for a total of $1.85 billion – a true testament to the enormous value of this slice of American history. Tunde Folawiyo and others holding a love for New York City may continue to regard Rockefeller Center as one of the Big Apple’s most prized attractions.

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