Skyscraper tourism: Top of the Rock, New York

2014_July_NY1I’ve already let slip about my love of skyscrapers, and I’ve posted about skyscraper tourism for Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

So now it’s time to return to the original city of skyscrapers – New York City.

Although the Empire State Building is more famous (and I’ll write about it in a future post), The GE Building (the observation deck is known as Top of the Rock) actually offers even better views with its location adjacent to Central Park.

Top of the Rock, NYIt also offers one of the most iconic, historic photos of the golden age of New York skyscraper construction. Who hasn’t been drawn to this photo?

These construction workers sit on a lunch break, sitting on a  girder of the Top of the Rock, with all of Manhattan far below them, with not a safety line in site. If you look carefully, the construction worker on the right has a bottle of alcohol in his hand.

Top of The Rock, New YorkIt gives me the shivers just looking at it…

The Top of The Rock, the art deco skyscraper built in 1933, is officially the GE Building, and was built by John D. Rockefeller. It houses the offices and television studios of NBC, and it’s located at Rockefeller Center, designed to be a showcase plaza for New York.

Its location is key to the stunning views. From the observation deck, you have a clear view over Central Park, and the iconic Empire State Building and the Chrystler Building.

Top of the Rock, NYThe building is 260 meters (850 feet), and boasts 70 floors. A pretty impressive accomplishment in the early 1930s.

Enjoy your views over all of New York – it’s beautiful during the daytime and at night. The observation deck is open daily from 8:00 to 23:00.

For more tips on what to do in the Big Apple, see my earlier posts on strolling along the High-line, enjoying the views of the skyline from the aircraft carrier The Intrepid, eating at Dinosaur BBQ, taking in a  performance at the Apollo, and enjoying NY buried under the snow.



  1. evelyneholingue on July 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I love skycrapers as much as I love mountains. I used to have for many, many years, the picture of the men on lunch break. My husband and I bought it when we arrived in the US as a symbol of what immigrants would do to make it there. We hung it very high in the staircase. Now one of our daughters has claimed it for her tiny studio. Thanks, Kimberly, for bringing back some great memories and for NY of course.

    • kimberlysullivan on July 10, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Great photo, isn’t it? Yes, this skyscraper was built during the Depression, under the WPA programs, so the work was even more important for these men. Glad your daughter has it on her wall!

  2. chillcat on July 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I remember going to the top of the Empire State and feeling dizzy for days! Somehow in my dreams I am often in skyscrapers – what does this mean I wonder?

    • kimberlysullivan on July 10, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Ummm… probably that you’re a woman of towering ambition with the world at her feet? Just one interpretation… : )

  3. […] already written about our visits to New York’s Top of the Rock, Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers, and Taiwan’s Taipei […]

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