rainy day coffee stop
E X P E C T A N T
Before John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s vision inspired Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, there was the Heights Rockefeller building. This “community store building,” designed in the French Norman style by Andrew J. Thomas, was built in 1930 as the gateway to Rockefeller’s Forest Hill development, a model village planned in the 1920s but abandoned as a financial failure in the Great Depression. According to the building’s current owner: “Thomas is said to have developed a special brick, fired in a range of soft, warm tones, for the project. He used it [in] combination with Ohio sandstone, solid oak half-timbering, wavy edged cedar siding, hand split shakes, and slate.” Talk about texture!
The Heights Rockefeller Building was intended to serve as the commercial center of Forest Hill, developed on Rockefeller’s summer estate. Although the original plans never materialized, the building remains a landmark in the community and houses Rockefeller’s restaurant, antique shops, artisans, nonprofits and more.
If you stopped for a morning cup of coffee and noticed a National Register of Historic Places plaque on your way into the Starbucks, would you stop and pay closer attention to the building’s details? Would you be more likely to check out other storefronts in the building?
Rockefeller Building Texture