On the 65th floor of the GE Building in Rockefeller Plaza, New York’s legendary Rainbow Room sits, untouched now for more than a year. It appears, however, that city officials are taking a new interest in the iconic restaurant and nightclub and are considering it for landmark status.
The Rainbow Room opened originally in 1934 as an upscale supper club for New York City elites to eat, drink, socialize, and dance. In 1998, the establishment was passed down to the Cipriani family to take over the restaurant’s operations. The Rainbow Room flourished as an Italian bar and grill until 2009, when the family shut it down, claiming the rent was too high. Since that time, owner Tishman Speyer gutted areas around the ballroom to make room for a new kitchen. The old kitchen was converted into an office for another Rockefeller tenant.
All the while, however, community leaders have been pushing to make the Rainbow Room a landmark, which would restrict future renovations and prohibit transforming it into offices.
Tomorrow, Aug. 14, the official hearing for the landmark status request will take place. The Landmarks Preservation Commission wants to preserve the following:
Part of the 65th floor interiors, east side, consisting of the fixtures and interior components of this space, including but not limited to, walls and ceiling surfaces, floor surfaces, seating platforms, stage, rotating dance floor, metal railings, lighting fixtures, and mirrors, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, (aka 1240-1256 Avenue of the Americas; 31-81 West 49th Street; 30-64 West 50th Street), Manhattan.
According to the New York Post, if the meeting goes well, the proposal will move to a public hearing. Though establishing the Rainbow Room as a New York City landmark would help to preserve the legendary space, it will make it much harder and more expensive to maintain.