Art Deco at Radio City Music Hall

Kathy’s thoughts from New York:

I recently chaperoned one of the twins and 19 of his peers to New York City for a four-day, fun filled, jam packed weekend of adventure, discovery, and excitement. Most of the kids had never been to the Big Apple before, nor seen any city quite like it. We went to two Broadway shows and the Ballet. We visited Ground Zero and Ellis Island. The kids took two fantastic acting classes and rode a subway for the first time. All very exciting, however, my personal favorite was…

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall. In all of the years that I have worked, lived and visited New York City, I had never had a tour of this incredible city landmark. It was built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1932 in Rockefeller Center located in Midtown Manhattan. Most Americans know it as the home of the Rockettes and the popular venue for the Tony Awards and several different music awards shows. Originally, it was designed by Edward Durell Stone as a high-class International Music Hall. The great cavernous hall did not lend itself to smaller performances. Therefore it was quickly converted into a feature film house, with each showing complete with a live spectacle performance preceding it. This transformation was a huge success until the mid-1970’s.

Art Deco

But more fascinating to me than the glimmering history of the place is the beautiful Art Deco interior designed by Donald Deskey. Deskey hired many Depression Era artists to accomplish the task (for that fact alone we love him!). And to think this incredible place was scheduled to be demolished in 1978 due to lagging cinema attendance. Several prominent persons in the city created a committee to save the music hall. With the help of national celebrities, Radio City Music Hall was placed on The National Register of Historic Places. After a complete renovation, the Hall reopened in 1980.
From the beautiful Art Deco-style murals in the Grand Lounge to the fabric on the walls of the Great Concert Hall to the art deco fish carpet on the floor, the design and composition of the place are amazing. Even the bathrooms are exquisitely designed, adorned with grand murals and guarded by the beautiful aluminum sculpture 
“Spirit of the Dance” by William Zorach

Take the Tour

Ultimately, the elegance and grandeur displayed at Radio City Music Hall is a testament to our great country’s development and preservation of the American Art Scene. I applaud all of those who fought to preserve this landmark and hope future generations continue to see the value of Art. Take the tour when you are next in NYC. It is worth it! – Kathy

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