The building of a legendary Rockefeller head office in Manhattan was initiated by a nestor of the line, that is John D. Rockefeller, Jr – the richest man at the turn of XIX and XX century who managed the Standard Oil concern – a monopoly which processes 90 per cent of oil in the United States.
The investment’s realization began in the middle of the Great Depression in 1929 and ended in 1930. It was quite obvious that I could have done only two things: abandon the whole investment or take a risk and finance it on my own – said Rockefeller Jr. after many years. During the period of 10 years, 14 chalkstone structures in art déco style arose in the complex owned by Rockefellers. Other towers were built in the 60s and 70s. Altogether, the billionaire intended 125 million dollars for them, which now – including inflation – would give over 1,5 billion dollars.
The family business has been occupying Room 5600 from the 30s (in reality: 11 offices located on three floors) in the central skyscraper – 30 Rock, which has 70 floors. The head office of billionaires visited i.a. Frank Sinatra, Nelson Mandela and candidates for presidents of the USA; a famous photograph has been taken which presents builders who are eating a lunch, sitting without any protection on a steel bar; the paintings of the greatest painters of XIX and XX century were admired. It was astonishing. Like going to a private MoMA with an amazing view on New York – comments art historian Heather P. Ewing. Nowadays, i.a. NBC television has its office in the skyscraper and a famous rink as well as a huge Christmas tree are placed in front of the building each year before Christmas.
„New York Times” informed that Rockefellers decided to change their head office. After selling the whole complex to Tishman Speyer Properties in 2000, they had to pay 71 dollars for a one sq. m each month. Even Rockefeller family has to worry about the rent – wrote the American newspaper. They needed less space and they got the offer for reasonable money – commented Bloomberg Fraser Seitel, spokesman of the family, for the agency. However, Rockefeller does not tell any details concerning the reason of such a decision: We have an agreement which obligates us to keep a professional secret – said 99-year-old David Rockefeller, the great grandson of the line’s nestor. I think that the reasonable people respect money – said Jerry Speyer, the present owner of Rockefeller Center.
From the half of 2014, the seventh generation of Rockefellers will be working in 34-floor Rockefeller Plaza 1 building. Their Rockefeller & Company enterprise will occupy 7000 sq. m.
„Forbes” counts the Rockefeller dynasty to the group of the Richest Clans of America. It is on the 24th place with the assets valued on 10 billion dollars.