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Exploring the Mezzanine Exhibit at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck

August 28, 2023 By CityPASS

As an unrivaled tourist destination, New York City is full of incredible views at any time of day. Whether you're taking in the hustle and bustle of busy streets or admiring the twinkling lights of the city that never sleeps, the sights are always sweet.

However, when it comes to iconic landmarks and views in New York City, few can compare to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center. Located high above the concrete of Manhattan's 50th Street, it offers an unparalleled outdoor viewing experience of the city's breathtaking skyline. But that's not all.

Along the way is a Mezzanine Exhibit that dives deep into the history of NYC and the construction of Rockefeller Center itself, while also offering a creative interactive experience. Intrigued? Read on to plan an exceptional trip to this NYC attraction.

What To Expect at Rockefeller Center's Top of the Rock Observation Deck?

Before we talk about this unforgettable experience, let's get an important detail out of the way: Both the Top of the Rock experience and Rockefeller Center are fully wheelchair accessible, so everyone will have a great time.

The journey to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck in New York begins at the Grand Atrium lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where 14,000 dangling Swarovski crystals greet you in the shape of an upside-down model of the skyscraper.

From there, one of the several high-speed elevators dubbed Sky Shuttles will carry you to your first stop — the 67th floor. This double-height level offering great views from indoors is ideal for chilly winter visits and features exhibits such as Radiance Wall, another Swarovski marvel. It also has two comparatively small terraces onto which you can step out and see to the north and south.

You then make your way up to the 69th and 70th floors, where you'll get 360-degree views from the larger outdoor observation decks part of Top of the Rock. They offer stunning perspectives of the city, from the Empire State Building and the financial district to Central Park and beyond. Note that the 69th floor, featuring the Breezeway terrace, has tall safety glass all around. So, if you're looking to capture NYC in all its glory, make a beeline to the 70th floor.

However, before booking your Top of the Rock Observation Deck ticket and ascending, you should stop by the Mezzanine Exhibit and get a truly unique insight into Rockefeller Center.

Have a Special Experience at the Mezzanine Exhibit

The Mezzanine Exhibit is a carefully curated space that will take you through Rockefeller Center's history and cultural significance. With interactive displays and multimedia presentations, the exhibit engages with and educates visitors of all ages.

Delve Deeper into the Rich History of Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center's history dates back to the early 1930s when John D. Rockefeller Jr. — a visionary who sought to create a thriving hub of culture and commerce in Manhattan — envisioned a groundbreaking complex to symbolize progress, innovation, and artistic expression.

The Mezzanine Exhibit elaborately explores the center's history, starting right from its early conception and development. Visitors can learn all about Rockefeller's vision, his commitment to creating a space that would foster economic growth and cultural enrichment, and the meticulous planning that went into bringing his dreams to life.

Discover the Tower Conception and Construction by John D. Rockefeller Jr.

The Mezzanine Exhibit offers a behind-the-scenes look at the monumental effort required to build Rockefeller Center. It also talks about the engineering marvels of the time, spotlighting the cutting-edge techniques used to construct the skyscrapers, including the Comcast Building — the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center.

As a visitor, you can explore the construction process, witness the dedication and ingenuity of the workers involved, and admire the attention to detail that made the center what it is today.

Learn About New York City History

The Mezzanine Exhibit, through a comprehensive exploration, showcases the tapestry that is New York City's history. Its early days as a Dutch trading post, the waves of immigration that created its vibrant culture, and its emergence as a global metropolis are just a few of the many milestones you'll get to know more about at the exhibit.

Needless to say, you'll ride to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck with a deeper appreciation for New York and its enduring legacy.

Enjoy the Art Deco Architecture

One of the hallmarks of Rockefeller Center is its striking Art Deco architecture. Characterized by its bold geometric shapes, streamlined forms, and lavish ornamentation, Art Deco defined the 1920s and 30s.

The Mezzanine Exhibit pays homage to this iconic style and highlights its unique architectural details and design elements. From the decorative motifs adorning the facades to the grand lobby spaces with their ornate ceilings, you can immerse yourself in the luxury and elegance of the bygone era.

Engage in an Interactive Experience at the Exhibit

You can actively participate in Rockefeller Center's history through interactive displays and multimedia installations. But there is one experience you do not want to miss: the recreation of the famous photo, Lunch atop a Skyscraper. Captured in 1932, the photograph features the men who built Rockefeller Center enjoying their lunch break while dangling their feet from a steel beam on the 69th floor, 850 feet above the Manhattan streets.

The Beam Walk exhibit offers you a chance to recreate this photo with all the fun and no risk by allowing you to pose on a steel beam, with a realistic New York City background behind you.

Discover the Cultural Significance of the Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Plaza has become synonymous with cultural events and celebrations that bring people together year-round, right from the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in winter to the Rockefeller Plaza art installation in the summer. The Mezzanine Exhibit showcases the diverse range of the plaza's events and celebrates its continuing cultural significance.

Plan Your Trip to New York City with CityPASS® Tickets

New York is a city made for every season, so you'll have a great time no matter when you visit. Make it an even greater time by picking up a New York CityPASS® ticket and save up to on New York’s top things to do.

Why play a guessing game of Top of the Rock Observation Deck vs. the Empire State Building? We offer amazing discounts for both, along with deals on hotels near the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. So, skip the box office and choose a convenient Top of the Rock time slot on our app.

New York City Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header Image Courtesy of Top of the Rock®

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