GE Building

History

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As one of the most successful electronics companies in the United States, RCA Victor was eager to set up a strong presence in the heart of New York City. This corporation chose Midtown Manhattan as the ideal location for a new office. By the late 1920's, the firm finalized plans for the construction of a skyscraper that would be one of the tallest and most splendid in North America. The site of the project was designated near the St. Bartholomew's Church, an Episcopal entity that was built in 1903. Based in NYC, Cross & Cross was chosen to design the RCA Victor Building. This local architectural firm applied Art Deco and Gothic elements into the high-rise property. In 1931, the stunning RCA Victor Building was ready for commercial use. This spectacular edifice rivalled the Art Deco facades of the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, which were also built in the 1930's. The General Electric Building was officially renamed after RCA Victor relocated to the Rockefeller Plaza. In fact, General Electric was the parent company of this iconic electronics brand that dominated the American market for decades. It's also important to distinguish the General Electric Building from 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which was once known as the GE Building. As the official address, 570 Lexington Avenue is commonly used to clarify any ambiguous references involving the General Electric Building. In 1985, the City of New York officially designated the skyscraper as a landmark. The property was also recognized by the National Register of Historic Places approximately 20 years after earning landmark status. Click to book your NYC Downtown Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour.

Architecture and Design

The General Electric Building has an official architectural height of 640 feet. Extracted from local quarries, the terra cotta facade is combined with bricks in a salmon pink finish. Granite in a light rose hue is integrated into the base of this historic skyscraper. The most notable decorative element of the General Electric Building is the Gothic crown that mimic cathedrals and churches of Medieval Europe. These traditional, religious-inspired outlines symbolize modern radio technology. After all, RCA Victor was one of the top brands for radios in the early 20th century. A clock with GE's signature recursive label is installed above the main entrance of the building. The lobby of the General Electric Building has vaults, arches and other intricate outlines that epitomize the height of the Art Deco style.

Visiting GE Building

The General Electric Building stands at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 51st Street. Served by the 4 and 6 trains of the New York City Subway, the 51st Street station is situated directly below this historic skyscraper. Both of these rapid transit lines connect Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses stop at the intersection of East 50th Street and Lexington Avenue. These roads have one-way traffic patterns, but the adjacent Park Avenue accommodates vehicles heading northbound and southbound. Street parking near the General Electric Building is limited, so you'll need to find indoor garages in the vicinity. Due to heavy traffic and occasional closures for construction, the streets and avenues surrounding the skyscraper might not be good stopping points for taxis and other hired vehicles for private transport.

Location: 570 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

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