NBCUniversal plans to reconstruct 30 Rock rotunda

Project to cost "something in the tens of millions of dollars": report
June 25, 2014 06:25PM

NBCUniversal announced plans to renovate the iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza. But while the company prepares for the building’s posterity, the design plans signal a backwards glance.

The media company hopes to recreate the mezzanine in the style of the building’s original 1933 design, which featured a rotunda that connected directly to the ground-floor lobby. The building’s revamped mezzanine will feature a rotunda that connects to the ground floor by way of a 16-foot-wide staircase, as well as a waiting lounge for visitors at the mezzanine level, The New York Times reported.

While the plans are a nod to the building’s past, Gabellini Sheppard Associates, the architecture firm tasked with the renovation, insist the rotunda is not meant to replicate the original. Michael Gabellini told the New York Times that the point is “not to embalm history, but to unveil it.”

Whereas the original rotunda featured a photomural by Margaret Bourke-White, the new version will feature two LED screens — each 5 feet high and 60 feet long — that will project images of shows broadcast by the media company.

NBCUniversal declined to comment on the cost of the renovation, but the Times suggested that the project would cost “something in the tens of millions of dollars.” The project is slated for completion in spring 2015. [NYT] Sasha von Oldershausen