10 Rockefeller Plaza (formerly the Eastern Air Lines Building and Holland House) is a 16-story building located on Rockefeller Plaza between 48th and 49th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Completed in 1940, the building is part of Rockefeller Center, and was built in the Art Deco style.
Rockefeller Center occupies three blocks in Midtown Manhattan bounded by Fifth and Sixth Avenues to the east and west, between 48th Street to the south and 51st Street to the north. By 1936, most of the complex had been completed. Rockefeller Center Inc. only needed to develop three empty plots in the middle of the complex's northern and southern blocks.
The final plot on the southernmost block needed to be developed, and several tenants were being considered. In spring 1937, the center's managers approached the Dutch government for a possible 16-story "Holland House" on the eastern part of the plot. A six-floor parking garage would fill the hard-to-lease space on the lowest three floors of the building, as well as three basement floors. The Dutch government did not enter the agreement because of troubles domestically, most notably Hitler's invasion of the Netherlands. However, Rockefeller Center's managers were already in negotiations with Eastern Air Lines, whose CEO Eddie Rickenbacker would sign a lease in June 1940. The Dutch government did move into temporary offices in the International Building.
Excavation started in October 1938, and the building was topped out by April 1939. Upon the Eastern Air Lines Building's completion, the Dutch government moved its offices-in-exile into the new building. The new structure was unique for its glass-wrapped lower facade and the lack of art over its doorways. Although the complex itself was finished in November 1939, the Eastern Air Lines Building was not officially complete until its dedication in October 1940.
10 Rockefeller Plaza is located on the west side of Rockefeller Plaza between 48th and 49th Streets. Its planning name was the Holland House, but the Dutch government did not sign on, so the building became the Eastern Air Lines Building instead. 10 Rockefeller was built as a 16-story slab, basically a miniature version of 1 Rockefeller Plaza across the street. Unlike the other buildings, there are no exterior reliefs or carvings on 10 Rockefeller Center. Diverging from the standard style of the complex, it contained two glass-faced 4-story retail wings to its north and south, with a rounded moderne corner at Rockefeller Plaza and 48th Street. Instead of a limestone entrance portal, 10 Rockefeller had a glass portal with a large mural on the lobby wall behind it. The design of the glass-faced retail space was considered "baffling" to retailers, and the space remained unused until at least the 1950s.
As stipulated in the original plans, the building also contains a six-floor parking garage with 800 spots, accessible from 48th Street. Garages in New York City office buildings had been prohibited under the 1916 zoning law until it was amended in 1935. As a result, 10 Rockefeller contained New York City's first garage in an office building, and the design of 10 Rockefeller's garage was unique for the area. There is a lounge for car owners, a recreational area for chauffeurs, and bronze firepoles for attendants to access the garage quickly.
A rooftop garden exists on the third floor, above the garage and retail space. There are two more tiers of gardens on the fifth and sixth floors. Notable modern tenants include the Today Show studios, and since 2005, the Nintendo New York store.
10 Rockefeller Plaza contains a single crimson, gold-and-silver leaf mural, The History of Transportation, commissioned by Dean Cornwell in 1946. The mural is made up of three parts: "Night Flight", "New World Unity" and "Day Flight". The piece depicts planes and gods flying at night; historical means of transport such as steamboat and steam train; and Rickenbacker's racecar, among other things.
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