“The skyline of New York, said Ayn Rand, “is a monument of a splendour that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.” Here’s the sort of thing she might have meant, at the time she might have formulated that thought: the centrepiece of Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, the RCA/GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Place, seen in a recently cleaned up photo as you’ve never seen it before – in the 1930s , before the construction of the International Building (aka 45 Rockefeller Plaza) that you can see being begun in the foreground.
Designed by sculptor Rene Chambellan and architect Raymond Hood, who called himself “spokesman for my associates in a great adventure.” (Architect Wallace Harrison said in 1937, “People are always asking who designed Rockefeller Center. Each of us answers, ‘I did’.'”
My thanks to Berend for passing on the photo; he points out one can easily understand why a young Ayn Rand would have fallen in love with sights like this.
And for non-New Yorkers who’re wondering where you might have seen the building before . . .
NB: Of course, a major irony here is that GE is now one step away from something very, very nasty.