Barr & Barr: A Look Back in Time


The Signature Moment

In 1932, Nelson Rockefeller Sr. hired Barr & Barr to build the Promenade, British and French Buildings — creating Rockefeller Center. It was Joseph R. Barr’s winning mix of quiet confidence, professional boldness and his firm’s commitment to a true partnership that impresses Nelson Rockefeller. By helping to create one of the world’s truly iconic metropolitan destinations, Barr & Barr had cast a solid reputation as a firm that meets and exceeds the highest expectations.

The British Empire Building is a 6-story retail building located on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets in Midtown ManhattanNew York City. Completed in 1934, the structure is part of Rockefeller Center, and was built in the Art Deco style.

The cornerstone of the British Empire Building was laid in June, when Francis Hopwood, 1st Baron Southborough, placed the symbolic first stone in a ceremony. The British Building’s structural steel started construction in October of that year. The British Empire Building opened by early May 1934.