Interview with a Local: Ryan Witte, Architecture Aficionado and Tour Guide
Give us a quick snapshot of your background.
I was born in Columbus, Ohio, but moved from there at the age of three and don’t remember much about it. We moved around a lot, and I believe it was formative for me to have lived in Rural, Suburban, Urban Middle and East Coast America at various times of my life. Mostly I remember Pittsburgh, PA, where I spent most of my childhood, and Long Island, where I went to Junior High and High School. I moved into New York City as soon as I graduated. I’ve lived here ever since, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. I love to travel but it’s difficult to imagine this not being my Home.
How did you get started leading tours?
Rockefeller Center’s Art & Architecture Tour had evidently been defunct for twenty years or so, and it was being revived. This was when the tour was being run under the umbrella of NBC, not Top of the Rock as it is now. A good friend of mine forwarded me an email about their job openings, and I thought, “yeah, I can do that.” I applied and got it. That was my first guiding gig. I ended up really loving it. I loved the Rock Center complex, its artworks and architecture, and I loved meeting and speaking with visitors from such a wide variety of backgrounds. Plus, my colleagues there were an amazing, smart, creative group of people, many of whom I keep in touch with to this day.