Monday, May 04, 2009

an imposing structure

{click to view full size}

This photo was taken at the height of the Depression on Sept. 1, 1933. It shows a building whose construction occasioned a famous steelworker photo about which I wrote a post on this blog a couple of months ago. The post showed men whose casual acceptance of terrifying heights is hard to believe. Like this:

Here's Charles Clyde Ebbets, the guy who took those shots and who was "photographic director" for the building's contruction:


The photo of the building itself was taken by another professional photographer, Samuel H. Gottscho, and is titled: Rockefeller Center, New York City. RCA Building, general view from old Union Club. It comes from collections of the Prints and Photos Div of the Library of Congress where, in 2004, it was given preservation treatment by a contractor in which the emulsion layer was removed and relaxed. Here are three other photos from that shoot, all of them in low-res postcard format:

Here's another large-format one, taken a few months after the first:

{title: New York City views. Rockefeller Center and RCA Building from 515 Madison Ave, taken Dec 5, 1933, by Samuel H. Gottscho; source: LC}

I remember a trip to the NBC Studios in this building back in the late 50's when some high school classmates were participating in a quiz show. We got a backstage tour and were in the audience during the live production. Contestants were blindfolded and asked to identify foods by taste; then and now the concept seemed dumb, but fun all the same.

Incidentally: Stats on this blog show passage of a milestone a day or two ago. The counter ticked over 100,000 visits since late November 2007 (the blog began in Sept 2004, but I didn't get this stat tracker until later).

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