There are plans for Rockefeller Center to be renovated, and it will actually help align the space with some of its original design elements from over 80 years ago.
Gabellini Sheppard Associates has redesigned the “public realm” of the area—which includes redoing the channel garden pools, the sunken plaza stair area (moving the giant plaque with the credo of John D. Rockefeller, adding railings and more stairways), and raising the pavement and doing additional landscaping around the plaza—according to proposal documents. You can see what the full proposed renovation looks like in the featured rendering above (in warmer months when the rink is not up).
Most of the changes involve creating additional space for people to walk around, especially since storefronts have contributed to more congestion in recent years. Now that the Rockefeller Center restaurants are closed, it appears some of that space will be opened up as well. You can click on the photos themselves to view the side-by-sides larger.
You can especially see the design going back to its historical roots in the new wooden “summer stairs,” which would be added when the ice rink isn’t functioning in the warmer months:
The plans were first presented at a public hearing in January of this year. They had to be revised and then approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which happened this week on April 28, according to 6sqft.
featured image source: Copyright 2020 Gabellini Sheppard Associates, LLP