1/24/97 -- 5:17 PM

Christie's,0188


NEW YORK (AP) - Rockefeller Center wants to make Christie's, the well-known auction house, the newest tenant in the landmark complex in downtown Manhattan.

Currently, the center is dominated by a hodgepodge of stores and restaurants catering mostly to the thousands of tourists who visit it daily and the 65,000 people who work there.

Christie's spokeswoman Taggarty Patrick confirmed Friday the auction house was negotiating a move to Rockefeller Center but added ``a deal has not been signed at this point.''

Rockefeller Center spokesman Steve Rubenstein said the center has filed proposed plans for a new auction house with the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Christie's site would include a high ceiling auction room created from a portion of a five-story parking garage, whose dark entrance would be turned into a glass canopy and limestone facade.

``We are hoping to turn a garage into a world-class cultural facility that will have a great impact on Rockefeller Center,'' said Rubenstein.

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