Rockefeller Center’s Secret Roof Gardens

Rockefeller Center's hidden rooftop gardens (© James Maher via Inhabitat)

Inhabitat has just published a short piece on Rockefeller Center’s hidden rooftop gardens. The Center has been maintaining these gardens for the past 75 years, but public access to the gardens is a rare event.

According to Inhabitat, the building’s developer John R. Todd and architect Raymond Hood originally envisioned a network of rooftop gardens connected by pedestrian bridges (an homage to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon), but this design idea never came to fruition.

Inhabitat says that the gardens are primarily enjoyed by the building’s employees, though my friend’s husband has worked in the building for eleven years and has never been permitted to use the gardens. For a price, the space can be rented for weddings and private events, and according to my friend, the gardens are an occasional setting for Saturday Night Live skits. At this point, it seems that the gardens are primarily eye candy for those who live and work in the surrounding buildings. Only a lucky few get to experience the roof gardens up close.

Until the garden’s next open house, you’ll have to settle for these photographs. You can also peruse Inhabitat’s slideshow of the Rockefeller Center’s rooftop garden’s here.

The rooftop gardens overlook St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan (© James Maher via Inhabitat)


(Photo by Brian Dubé via New York Daily Photo)


(Photo by Taismelillo via Flickr Commons)


(Photo © James Maher via Inhabitat)


(Photo by David Shankbone via Wiki Commons)


(Photo courtesy vipnyc via Flickr Commons)


(Photo courtesy the Gothamist)

Read Inhabitat’s full story on Rockefeller Center’s rooftop gardens here.

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By | 2016-11-11T21:55:43+00:00 08.21.11|Design, Greatest Hits, Images, Spaces|Comments Off on Rockefeller Center’s Secret Roof Gardens

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.