Photo: Roving Rube
03 January 29


International Building clock
International Building clock, Rockefeller Center 

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Photographer's notes: Rockefeller Center has everything else, so why not a clock too?

The Rube has photographed this one several times in the past, but has never liked the results because of the glare off the gilding, and also because it has as a strongly "portrait" orientation -- taller than it is wide -- and computer screens are "landscape": wider then they are tall.

Fig. 3 shows another clock just to the left of this picture, in another entrance. In doing this series, the Rube was puzzled why this latter clock appeared subtly different each time he walked by, until he realized he was actually seeing four duplicates over different entrances to the International Building. Today, when he went inside to see if he could get the back view of this clock, he found himself unexpectedly on another axis that leads out to Atlas statue on Fifth Avenue. Then, in a series of flashes (see NYCJPG's 1/2/03, 6/8/02, 2/26/02, 12/16/01, and 11/28/01 entries), he realized that the International Building is not just a satellite of the neighboring GE Building, but, like their doormen Prometheus and Atlas, they are brother titans.

He then walked all the way around the International Building, and counted 20 entrances. And they were all "front" entrances! -- no loading docks! How could this be? Then he remembered the single garage door on 50th street, with the security guard manning it 24 hours a day.

The symmetry of the great Roman forums influenced the logic and organization of the Center, and the order of priority assigned to individual buildings was taught in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which Rockefeller's architects knew well. Proper light and air, subterranean trucking depots, a pedestrian concourse linking all the buildings of the Center together, as well as high-rise offices space -- all had to be supplied according to New York's structural and zoning guidelines. Together the historical and the practical helped shape Rockefeller Center. (The Architecture of New York City, by Donald Martin Reynolds.)





Restore Image Detail Detail Entrance clock In context