Yesterday I participated in the 4th Annual OpenHouseNewYork Weekend by taking a tour of the Wallabout section of Brooklyn. Today I took advantage of the weekend-long event to visit a legendary space that has been closed to the public for more than 60 years: the Rockefeller Center Rooftop Garden.
Located atop the British Empire Building, this garden offers exceptional views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Saks Fifth Avenue, its neighbors across the street. The compact, formal space, smaller than a city block, includes meticulously clipped hedges, a shallow pool with a small fountain, a few perfectly matched cypress trees, a border of pink geraniums and a raised platform of fastidiously manicured sod.
Peeking around the corners provides rare glimpses of the rest of the Rockefeller Center complex including Radio City Music Hall and the skating rink which just reopened for the season.
This is a hidden spot of greenery high above the city, a retreat usually reserved for private moments of the rich and powerful, but for four hours today, it was a beautiful space open to all who came.