Rockefeller Center

Iconic Rockefeller Center Gets Major Makeover in New Proposal

The changes would restore much of the plaza to its 1930s layout

The Rockefeller Center ice rink isn't going away, but the plaza could see major changes in a proposal filed with New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The centerpiece of the proposal, presented Tuesday, would be an overhaul of the sunken area of the plaza, where the ice rink sits in winter and where the former Rock Center Cafe had bar space in the summer.

In renderings prepared by architects Gabellini Sheppard Associates, the sunken plaza would become something akin to a garden space, with substantially more plants and trees, some seating areas and a grand staircase for summertime access. See the full proposal here.

The plaza's Channel Gardens would get a renovation, the Rockefeller Credo monument would be relocated and some of the former indoor restaurant space bordering the garden would be opened up.

Rockefeller Plaza, as seen in 1934. (Rockefeller Group Inc / Rockefeller Center Archives)

The new design bears a striking resemblance to the plaza's original look, as seen in images from 1934 included in the architect's proposal.

A spokesman for Rockefeller Center had no additional comment beyond the proposal.

(Disclosure: NBC Universal is a long-term tenant of 30 Rockefeller Center.)

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