Rockefeller Center—Construction of the AP Building

Accession Number

Rockefeller Center—Construction of the AP Building

Paul J. Woolf

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

9 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in (24.13 cm x 16.51 cm);22 1/8 in x 18 1/16 in (56.2 cm x 45.88 cm);952 3/4 in x 6 3/4 in (2419.99 cm x 17.15 cm);9 13/16 in x 7 1/8 in (24.92 cm x 18.1 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952

Label copy
Following in the tradition of Lewis Hine’s documentation of the construction of the Empire State Building, Woolf photographed Rockefeller Center under construction. Comprising fourteen structures, Rockefeller Center required the demolition of more than 225 brownstones that had occupied that portion of mid-town. Margaret Bourke-White also photographed at Rockefeller Center as it was being built.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
Paul J. Woolf documented the construction of the Rockefeller Center's Associated Press Building, following in the tradition of photographer Lewis Hine. This daytime photograph of the site illustrates the use of new steel frame construction methods and equipment, including the crane. The image focuses on the geometric lines created during construction.

Physical Description
This is a photograph of the mid-late 1930s construction of the Rockefeller Center AP Building in Manhattan.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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architecture genres
construction equipment
construction sites
construction workers
cranes (equipment)
men (male humans)
steel frame construction

7 Related Resources

Architecture in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
New York City
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Technology and Modernity in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
The City in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
The Modern Metropolis
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Work and Workers
(Part of 9 Learning Collections)
 W19 Perlove - HISTART 210 History of Photography Study Case 
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )

& Author Notes

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