Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rewind NYC: Top of the Rock @ Rockefeller Center

View South: Empire State Building, center.
View North: Central Park
(all photos except where noted: TheHopefulTraveler)
Ever since I took a three year break between blogging, there are so many attractions that I've visited that I did not have an chance to write about. These 'rewind' posts allow opportunities to revisit these attractions of cities past visited that may be of interest to other hopeful travelers.

The Top of the Rock observation deck re-opened in November 2005 after undergoing a $75 million dollar renovation having been closed since 1986 to accommodate other renovations at Rockefeller Center. Today it is among New York's most popular attractions welcoming over two million visitors and tourists each year. I had the opportunity to visit Top of the Rock a few days after its opening and then again in June of 2009. Even after four years, the zip ride in the express elevator and the breathtaking views from the top had not lost its excitement.

The 69 floor viewing deck.
The 67th floor deck (bottom) and 69th floor deck (top left) as seen
from the 70th floor.
Three expansive viewing decks, measuring 55,000 square feet in total, on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors offers bird eyes views of Manhattan. The 70th floor, 850 square feet above street level, offers an unobstructed panoramic view unlike any other in the city.

The entrance level includes mammoth video screens to entertain the throngs waiting for the next elevator. The ticket level is an elegant rotunda topped by a massive crystal chandelier by Swarovski. The Austrian company famed for cut crystal also is credited for the 180-foot geode crystal wall on the first level of the observation deck.

5th Avenue down below. St. Patrick's Cathedral, bottom left. 
View Southeast: MetLife Building (formerly the Pan Am building)
obscures the Chrysler Building behind it.
The view of the street level down below allows for an unusual perspective of the busy city. Each of viewing decks offer wonderful views across Manhattan in every direction. For obvious reasons fully-transparent, safety glass run the perimeter of the 67th and 69th viewing decks. The safety glass is not necessary on the top viewing deck due its situation above the two decks below.

Visit for more info. Top of the Rock is open 8am-midnight, 7 days a week except for special holiday hours. The entrance is on 50th Street between 5th and 5th Avenues. Standard ticket prices: Adults $25, Child (6-12) $16, Senior (62+) $23. Sunrise Sunset tickets allow two visits in one day and priced $38 for adults and $20 for children. Ticket offers combining Top of the Rock with other attractions available.

View Northwest: The building tops around the Theatre District and
Times Square. 
The Hopeful Traveler on Top of the Rock.
The Swarovski crystal chandelier at the Top of the Rock lobby entrance.
(image credit: branille/flickr)
The neon signs beckoning guest to come and visit.
(image credit:


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