New York's Rainbow Room Achieves Landmark Status

The shuttered space is still without new tenants

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The vaunted Rainbow Room, once a key player in the nightlives of the New York elite, has finally been granted landmark status after concerns about its 1985 $25 million restoration put the ruling in question. Despite those trepidations, the landmarks commission voted unanimously to approve.

Commission chairman Robert Tierney spoke to the space’s famous history, saying, "The Rainbow Room came to epitomize New York City glamor. It retains not only many of its original characteristics, but also several generations’ worth of memories."

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Conceived in 1934, the original Rainbow Room was designed by Rockefeller Center architect Wallace Harrison, decorator Elena Bachman, and set designer Vincent Manelli. Before its closing, a New Year’s Eve experience at the top of Rockefeller Center was an iconic New York celebration on par with standing in Times Square (and with much nicer views, and a hell of a lot more caviar). The challenge that Tishman Speyer, the building’s owner now faces will be finding a restaurant glamorous enough to take its place.