NBC will celebrate the lighting of the world's most famous Christmas tree with Christmas in Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, Dec. 2 (8-9 p.m. ET). The arrival of the holidays wouldn't be complete without a dazzling display of musical talent and the lighting of the world's most famous Christmas tree, live from Rockefeller Center in New York City and hosted by "Today" anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales.

The star-studded evening will feature musical performances from Sting, James Taylor featuring Chris Botti, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Andy Grammer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pentatonix, Band of Merrymakers, the Rockettes and more, performing current hits and holiday classics.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center - Netflix

Type: Variety

Languages: English

Status: Running

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2008-12-03

Christmas in Rockefeller Center - Construction of Rockefeller Center - Netflix

The construction of New York City's Rockefeller Center complex was conceived as an urban renewal project, spearheaded by John D. Rockefeller Jr., to help revitalize Midtown Manhattan. Rockefeller Center is located on one of Columbia University's former campuses and is bounded by Fifth Avenue to the east, Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) to the west, 48th Street to the south, and 51st Street to the north. The center occupies 22 acres (8.9 ha) in total, with some 17 million square feet (1.6×10^6 m2) of office space. Columbia University had acquired the site in the early 19th century, but had moved to Morningside Heights in Upper Manhattan in the early 1900s. By the 1920s, Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan was a prime site for development. Around that time, the Metropolitan Opera (Met) was looking for a new site for its opera house; and their architect, Benjamin Wistar Morris, decided on the former Columbia site. Rockefeller eventually became involved in the project and, in 1928, leased the Columbia site for 87 years. Rockefeller's lease excluded land along the east side of Sixth Avenue, to the west of the Rockefeller property, as well as at the site's southeast corner. Rockefeller hired Todd, Robertson and Todd as design consultants and selected Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray; Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux; and Reinhard & Hofmeister as architects for the new opera complex. However, the Met was unsure about moving to the new complex, and the Wall Street Crash of 1929 put an end to the plans. Rockefeller instead entered into negotiations with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) to create a new mass-media complex on the site. A new plan was released in January 1930, and an update to the plan was presented after Rockefeller obtained a lease for the land along Sixth Avenue. Revisions continued until March 1931, when the current site-design was unveiled. A late change to the proposal included a complex of internationally themed structures along Fifth Avenue. All structures in the original complex were designed in the Art Deco architectural style. Excavation of the site started in April 1931, and construction of the first buildings began that September. The first of the complex's edifices was opened in September 1932, and most of the complex was completed by 1935. The final three buildings in the original complex were built between 1936 and 1940, although Rockefeller Center was officially completed by November 2, 1939. The construction project employed over 40,000 people and was considered the largest private construction project at the time. It had cost the equivalent of $1.4 billion in 2016 dollars to construct. Since then, there have been several modifications to the complex. An additional building at 75 Rockefeller Plaza was constructed in 1947, while another at 600 Fifth Avenue was constructed in 1952. Four towers were built along the west side of Sixth Avenue in the 1960s and 1970s, which was the most recent expansion of Rockefeller Center. One structure in the original complex, the Center Theatre, was demolished in 1954.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center - Developing the remaining empty lots - Netflix

Rockefeller Center Inc. needed to develop the remaining empty lots of the northern and southern blocks. Notably, the southern plot was being used as a parking lot, and at the time, it was the city's largest parking facility. In 1936, Time Inc. expressed interest in moving out of their Chrysler Building offices into a larger headquarters, having just launched their Life magazine. Rockefeller Center's managers persuaded Time to move to a proposed skyscraper on part of the southern empty lot, located on Rockefeller Plaza between 48th and 49th streets. The steelwork for that building was begun on September 25, 1936, and was complete by November 28, forty-three working days later. The 36-story Time & Life Building, as it was known, opened on April 1, 1937, along with the final block of Rockefeller Plaza abutting the building, between 48th and 49th streets. Rockefeller Center's executives had talks with the Associated Press for a building on the northern empty lot, which was occupied by the complex's truck delivery ramp. The lot had been reserved for the Metropolitan Opera house, but the managers could not wait anymore to develop the lot, and in 1937, the opera plans were formally scrapped. The lot had also been planned as a hotel site, but this was also deemed economically infeasible. In January 1938, the Associated Press agreed to rent four floors within the structure at 50 Rockefeller Plaza. In exchange, the building would be renamed for the company. Construction of the steelwork started in April 1938; after 29 working days, the 15-story structure was topped out on June 16. The Associated Press moved into 50 Rockefeller Plaza in December. The presence of the Associated Press and Time Inc. expanded Rockefeller Center's scope from strictly a radio-communications complex to a hub of both radio and print media. In 1938, the Associated Press opened the Guild, a newsreel theater, along the curve of the truck ramp below the building. It was impossible to build any smaller buildings in the remainder of the complex, since the demands of tenants stipulated larger buildings. Additionally, it was no longer viable to build a system of rooftop gardens because the 15-story Associated Press Building was much taller than the 7- to 11-story-high gardens on the rest of the buildings, making it extremely hard to create a system of gardens without the use of extraordinarily steep bridges. The final plot on the southernmost block needed to be developed, and several tenants were being considered. In early 1937, the center's managers approached the Dutch government for a possible 16-story “Holland House” on the eastern part of the plot. The Dutch government did not enter into the agreement because of troubles domestically, most notably the social unrest that preceded Hitler's 1940 invasion of the Netherlands. However, the Rockefeller Center's managers were already in negotiations with Eastern Air Lines. Despite the lack of a definite tenant, the excavation of the 16-story structure at 10 Rockefeller Plaza started in October 1938, and the building was topped out by April 1939. Eastern Air Lines' CEO, Eddie Rickenbacker, did not sign a lease until June 1940. At that time, 10 Rockefeller Plaza was renamed the “Eastern Air Lines Building”.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center - References - Netflix