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30 Rockefeller Plaza, application to replace illuminated signage at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and replace building signage at the four ground floors

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, June 12, 2014, the following resolution passed with a vote of: 26 in favor, 3 opposed, 2 abstained, 1 present not entitled to vote.

WHEREAS, 30 Rockefeller Plaza is an Art Deco style skyscraper lobby, designed by the Associated Architects and built in 1931-33 as part of an Art Deco style office, commercial and entertainment complex, which comprises the Rockefeller Center Individual Landmark; and

WHEREAS, The applicant, Comcast, wants to replace the signage at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and replace building signage at the four ground floors due to the purchase by Comcast of GE's 49% stake in NBCUniversal.  The changes are as follows

-       Replacing the three illuminated GE signs at the top of 30 Rockefeller with Comcast sign which includes the Comcast name and the iconic NBC Peacock.  The existing signs are a third generation signage following RCA and GE and were reviewed by the Landmarks Commission in 1987.

-       The proposed work involved replacing the three illuminated signs on the north, south and west elevations.  It will incorporate white LED lighting technology to match the existing neon tube lighting, and the san-serif letter fonts of Comcast sign will evoke the original RCA letters

-       At the base of the building, the incised letter at the Rockefeller Plaza, Avenue of the Americas, West 49th and West 50th Street entries will be changed from the 'GE Building' to the 'Comcast Building' with the NBC Peacock logo.  The new incised letters will be cut into monolithic Deer Isle granite slabs matching the original material.  LPC approved this modification when the building's name changed in 1989 from the 'RCA Building' to the 'GE Building;' and

WHEREAS, The purpose of the modifications is to allow the building to continue to be branded by ownership; and

WHEREAS, Although some concern about the use of the peacock logo as part of signage was expressed, the proposed applications are not altering the historic fabric of the building, nor are they obstructing the view from the observatory deck; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application to change the signage at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

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