Photo by Luca Bravo

Times Square

Today´s post will shed some light on the history of Times Square.

Around the late 1880s, originally known as Long Acre Square, Times Square served as the early site for William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange. By that time, it consisted of a large open space surrounded by drab apartments. However, it soon transformed into a safer environment thanks to electricity, advertisements and street lights.

In 1905, The New York times, on a clever real state operation, decided to build a tower on one of the most visible spots in the Big Apple. It would be the second tallest building in the city and would host the TNYT headquarters. By that time, the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue had been renamed from Long Acre Square to Times Square.

It’s been more than 115 years since then, and there is not a single soul that doesn’t know this intersection as Times Square (although the TNYT moved its headquarters a long time ago)

By World War I, most legitimate theaters had moved to Times Square from former entertainment districts further downtown as well as some well-known restaurants and hotels.

Since then, Times Square has suffered upside-downs due to the World Wars as well as the decadency of the atmosphere generated by the adult stores and sleazy theaters that very quickly were profitably stablished on the area.

After tremendous time, money, and effort, Times Square slowly began to transform as those stores and theaters were replaced by child-oriented stores and successful musicals.

The result can be appreciated nowadays. All the area around the 42 nd street is a mix of that history emphasized by the LED screens technology. You won´t be able to see a single facade without a huge screen advertising the latest film, musical, or Samsung´s cell phone.

In fact, the The New York Times building, owned by Jamestown is going to be renovated hosting a visitors center and a viewing deck overlooking the “Crossroads of the World.” S9 Architecture has been in charge of the design and the famous, north-facing LED signs that light the entire “Bowtie” north to West 47th Street will remain in place and the ball-drop will also function during reconstruction.


Peio Erroteta


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