Scope and arrangement
The Joe Baum papers are arranged in five series:
The files contain press coverage of Restaurant Associates and its restaurants, advertisements and publicity material, some annual reports, and a corporate plan as well as menus and photographs. The files are arranged alphabetically.
This series concerns projects undertaken by the Joseph H. Baum and Michael Whiteman Company (and its predecessor, the Joseph H. Baum Company) with the exception of files concerning the Rainbow Complex at Rockefeller Center which can be found in Series IV.
This series documents Baum's $25 million renovation of the Rainbow Complex, a suite of dining, dancing, entertainment, and club facilities on the 64th and 65th floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the tallest building in Rockefeller Center. The centerpiece was the celebrated Rainbow Room, a two-story high Art Deco-style restaurant/nightclub that had opened in 1934 to great acclaim. Other venues included, at various times, the Rainbow Grill, Rainbow Promenade, Rainbow Suites, Rainbow Pavilion, Rainbow Stars, and the Rockefeller Center Club.
The files include information on the development and operation of the Rainbow Complex both before and after its reopening in 1987. Baum's staff assembled a "Rainbow Archive" of historical information on the construction of Rockefeller Center and the Rainbow Room and continued to maintain files until 1998.
After Baum's death, and until its close in 2009, the complex was operated under management of Cipriani family.
Video recordings in the collection document Baum's public appearances and interviews during the late 1980s and 1990s. They are unavailable for viewing until preservation copies have been produced.