NBCUniversal Reveals Plans for 30 Rock Restoration and Renovation

30 rockefeller plaza rotunda rendering

30 Rock is getting a bit of a face-lift.

NBCUniversal unveiled Wednesday its plans to upgrade and enhance operations at its iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza broadcasting headquarters in New York City.

The multi-year renovation and restoration includes the re-creation of the original art deco era design of the NBC portion of the lobby and the addition of new tech elements. (A rendering of the proposed lobby is pictured above.)

The plans also call for the re-creation of the 16-foot-wide marble Grand Stair and the Mezzanine Rotunda, which will serve as a 1930s-style grand circular reception lobby. Among the new additions to 30 Rock will be the Peacock Lounge, envisioned as an entertainment waiting area for auds who come to see “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “The Meredith Vieira Show.” Spaces accessible to the NBC visitor tours will also be enhanced.

“The re-development of the Grand Stair and Mezzanine Rotunda, coupled with the modernization of our studios, is an homage to the original designers of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and an affirmation of our belief that the true golden age of this legendary broadcast facility lies not only in the past, but in the present and the future,” NBCUniversal operations and technical services prexy John Wallace said in a statement . “The entire re-design has been crafted to bring NBCUniversal’s talent for showmanship and spectacle to our global headquarters, and to further deepen our company’s longstanding commitment to New York.”

Architectural and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates will head up the lobby renovation project and architecture firm Design Republic will serve as lead designer for the studios, 7th floor lobby and production gallery.

“30 Rockefeller Plaza, conceived at the dawn of modern design and urban planning was an epicenter of emerging technology,” said Michael Gabellini, FAIA, design partner, Gabellini Sheppard Associates. “This landmark facility served as a prolific beacon for NBC’s ever expanding broadcasting and entertainment network. Our vision in re-creating the Grand Stair and Mezzanine Rotunda, lies not in replicating the past, but in burnishing the history and shaping the future of this legendary complex.”

Here is a list of the extensive renovations:

The Grand Stair: The re-created stair will reflect the 1930s art deco design and lead auds attending NBCUniversal programs to a mezzanine and the new rotunda.

Mezzanine Rotunda: Designed to help guests relive 30 Rock’s golden age, the rotunda will serve as a grand reception lobby and is planned to be over 200 feet in circumference. The walls will be made of honed Italian marble and an embellished bronze “silk glass.” Two 60-foot long by five-foot high curved LED screens will be embedded in the bronze silk glass. A custom bronze ringed chandelier will hang from the center of the rotunda as a long lost fixture from the original mezzanine.

Peacock Lounge: Auds for NBCUniversal shows taped at 30 Rock will enter the Peacock Lounge waiting area, complete with nearly 13-foot high columns paneled with LCD screens from floor to ceiling as well as smaller LCD screens arranged as picture frames on shelves around the room. All screens will show content tailored for the show that guests are about to see.

7th Floor Lobby: Guests attending either the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (Studio 6B) or “The Meredith Vieira Show” (Studio 6A) will take an elevator to the 7th Floor Lobby. The lobby will feature green tinted marble panels and wall coverings made of specially milled African Sapele Pommele wood and brass. The walls will also contain two 5-by-16 foot concave, ultra high-definition 4K screens.

Glass Walled Production Center: NBCUniversal will create three new production control rooms for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and “The Meredith Vieira Show,” which will become part of the NBC tour once completed.

The Greeters’ Stand: The greeters’ stand will be reinstated as part of the renovation project. Located in the center of the main lobby, the stand will serve as home base for NBC Pages who welcome visitors to the facility and answer questions from the general public.

The NBCUniversal Store: The store, which serves as the home base for the NBC tour, will be moved to the west end of the building, closer to the Avenue of the Americas.

Below, see a historic shot of 30 Rock’s original 1930s mezzanine reception lobby.

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