The making of an icon

Opened in 1959, 1271 Avenue of the Americas was the first expansion of Rockefeller Center across Sixth Avenue. Designed by architects Harrison, Abramovitz and Harris, the former Time & Life Building continues to be regarded as one of the finest examples of modern workplace architecture of our time.

Henry R. Luce (left), Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc., and Nelson A. Rockefeller, Chairman of the Board, Rockefeller Center, Inc., operate twin pneumatic drills to start excavation for the new Time & Life Building, May 16, 1957.

Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for photographers at the opening ceremony for the Rockefeller Center Sidewalk Superintendents' Club.

Design classics, then and now

The interiors of 1271 Avenue of the Americas are considered triumphs of mid-century modern design, and still have impact today. From the executive chair designed for Time-Life by Charles Eames (still in production today), to the iconic Copacabana-inspired plaza pavers, 1271 Avenue of the Americas has a storied place in the history of American design.

Walnut stools and The Eames Executive Chair were designed for the building in 1959 by Charles and Ray Eames as a favor for their friend Henry Luce, founder of Time Inc.

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