Rainbow Room Enters Landmark Review Process

The Rainbow Room. Credit: LPC

Currently shuttered nightclub and restaurant venue on top of Rockefeller Plaza calendared for public hearing in September 2012. On August 14, 2012, Landmarks took the first step to consider designating the Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza as an interior landmark. The Rainbow Room has been closed since 2009, when Tishman Speyer Properties, the owner of the building, evicted Cipriani Restaurants from the space.

The Rainbow Room opened in 1934, one year after the repeal of Prohibition. Described by Landmarks’ staff as “streamline modern”, the Rainbow Room was designed by Associated Architects, the same firm responsible for Rockefeller Center. Wallace K. Harrison acted as the lead architect and Elena Bachman-Schmidt oversaw the nightclub’s interior design. The nightclub could accommodate 300 people for dining and dancing, and was known for its expansive views of Manhattan through the venue’s 24 double-height windows. The Rainbow Room was conceived as an open space, without piers or columns, and it features a domed ceiling and a circular dance floor accessed by a wide descending stairway. Guests were seated on tiered platforms around the dance floor’s perimeter. Crystal chandeliers and wall sconces added to the opulence of the space. The Rainbow Room was renovated and restored in 1987 under the supervision of architect Hugh Hardy, then of the firm of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates.

Chair Robert B. Tierney, led a unanimous vote to calendar the Rainbow Room for a public hearing, which is scheduled for September 11, 2012.

LPC: The Rainbow Room, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan (LP-2505) (August 14, 2012).

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