Design Reserach Project
Page 6
Public Contribution in High-Rise Building Design
@ New York City
Rockefeller Center : The City within the City
History of Rockefeller Center
There are 2 forces that make Rockefeller Center began and happen which were no longer operative or visible at the center when it finished.
1. Columbia University - who own whole plot of the land from West 48th Street to 51st Street and Fifth Ave to Sixth Ave. It is the biggest privately own parcel in Manhattan.
2. World Famous Metropolitan Opera - who propose the first project and attract Mr. Rockefeller and finally decide to take over this project on his own.
In 1927, William K. Vander and J.P. Morgan - Leader of Metropolitan Opera Company, were searching for New Opera house as theirs on 39th Street does not attract the high-class people anymore. It became a squalid commercial. The people who come to show the limo moved up town. They found Columbia site interesting for the new project. Columbia also interested in the amount of money that they will get instead of the rental from small store that they were dealing with. The Opera's personal architect, Benjamin Wister Morris was the first one who propose the scheme for this grand scale development.
Picture: Old Scheme of the Metropolitan Opera that inspire Mr.John D. Rockefeller Jr. and other New York Millionare
Columbia decided to do anything to sell this property even brake some rules of real estate holding. Only the Metropolitan Opera did not have enough money at that time. They evaluate that they will have 3.8 million from selling the property of the old opera house and tickets but Columbia wants 2.4 million for land at once. Which is beyond Met Opera Capacity.
Picture: 1932 Speakeasys before the begining of the Empire.
Morris, plan about attract the rich to join a "Syndicate". He want to find the group who can leased the entire Columbia property surrounding with the future opera house and square. With this, they could easily attract the tenants. With that success they can buy the land for square as a gift to the city. It is the first time that the powerful open space that was appeared in the large scale project of New York City.
The chief client, John D. Rockefeller Jr., who like to donate his money for philanthropic endeavors, was the leader of the millionaires in New York City that was invite to join the investment of this project. He thought about it as "Important Civic Improvement". He decided to take all opera projects into his own capacious wing in August 1928.
Picture: John D. Rockefeller Jr.who make all the final decision about the design of the Center.
Columbia University and Rockefeller Group made an agreement of epoch real estate deal. The Annual rental rate will be 3.8 million$ this lease meant a proposal of 91 million $ plus 10 for real estate taxes. This agreement gave Rockefeller the option to buy property in the central block for 3.6 million on condition that he will sell at the same sum to the Opera. He also had and option to buy land for "an open square" adjacent to the opera site for the price of 2.4 million. This square, Rockefeller intended to donate to city of New York.
At that time they were planning about the brightest future of the luxurious, cultural, the new symbol of New York City. Rockefeller had to assemble the team of architects to perfect Morris Basic Scheme for Opera + Square + Shopping Mall. Then give the space for rent.
In December 6, 1928, Rockefeller organized the Metropolitan Square Corporation to handle the affairs of the project. It is the great time of the economics. Everything was going up, until the one year later,