Times Square

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The Times Square in New York City is located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and after by the newspaper New York Times used building TS1 named. It stretches from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street and forms the center of the Broadway theater district of Manhattan . In the 1930s, Times Square was officially divided into two sections. The southern end kept the name Times Square and the northern end was renamed Duffy Square .

In addition to around 40 theaters, there are cafes, fast food chains and souvenir shops in the area around Times Square, as well as upscale restaurants, multiplex cinemas , MTV studios, Sony and Vogue . The American technology exchange NASDAQ is also located in the neighborhood of Times Square. Times Square is famous for its numerous neon signs. Times Square is often referred to as The Crossroads of the World , The Center of the Universe , The heart of the Great White Way - the latter is a name for the theater district around Broadway - or The Heart of the World .


Times Square as a pedestrian zone (June 2009)
Neon signs in Times Square
Times Square (June 2008)
The NYPD lettering (June 2012)


On April 8, 1904, what was then Longacre Square, which until that date had been a place for carriage mechanics and horse stables, was named after the new high-rise building of the New York Times and since then has borne this name, which has become known worldwide through many films. From the beginning of the 1920s, theaters, musical houses, oyster bars and cabarets lined the street up to 50th Street. In addition, some of Manhattan's finest hotels were found in this area, such as the Hotel Astor, which was demolished in 1968.

The tradition of billboards began very early on, the first copies of which consisted exclusively of white lightbulbs and which gave the area, especially around Broadway, the name “The Great White Way”. Until the mid-1940s, advertising was limited almost exclusively to the northern part of the intersection, Father Duffy Square, as the southern part largely consisted of hotels and the New York Times publishing house, which, due to the elegant facade design, did not tolerate advertising. From the 1950s onwards, buildings at the southern end of the square were also hung with posters or neon billboards, especially the roofs of the lower buildings were blocked up to the last meter. The most famous advertisements of this era were the camel cowboy, which blew clouds of smoke across the square, and the huge Pepsi waterfall on the former Bonds department store.


With the advent of the first televisions in the 1950s, there were often no customers in the large theaters. Little by little the theaters had to close and the buildings were empty. Since there was no law for the protection of historical monuments in New York at the beginning of the 1960s, the old buildings were demolished and replaced by the glass and concrete buildings customary at the time. However, if the decision was made to keep one of the old buildings, the stucco elements that decorate the building were mostly knocked off in order to create smooth, modern facades that could then be used or rented for advertising purposes.

Well-known names such as the Hotel Astor, the Lyric Theater, the Apollo Theater or Loew's Theater disappeared from the streets during this decade. Dimmed cinemas that showed B-movies or poorly produced films that hardly made any money moved into the vacant buildings. In the late 1960s, this changed too, and from the cinemas were striptease - bars or porn cinemas , especially along 42nd Street. With them came sex shops , kitschy souvenir shops , dingy motels and fast food shops as well as prostitutes , drug dealers and pickpockets; Fights and robberies were the order of the day. In 1976, New York Police Department declared that Times Square was one of the most dangerous areas in the city. Locals avoided the neighborhood; it was still popular with tourists.

New beginning

In June 1980, the Times Square Show art exhibition was held near Times Square . In the mid-1980s, it was decided to redevelop the square and found the Times Square Business Improvement (TSBI). She organized her own police patrol and a garbage collection especially for Times Square, which started the big project: First everything "shady" was removed from the square. After that the old buildings were restored and renovated. Some of the concrete structures from the 1960s were also demolished in order to rebuild the original buildings according to the original construction plans.

Next, the entire intersection from 42nd Street up to 55th Street was repaved. The former “Times Tower” was also polished up again with an enormous sandblasting fan and painted white. The tower had been bought in 1962 by Allied Chemical , which had the granite and terracotta walls torn off and replaced with white marble slabs and huge, tinted windows. Today you hardly see any of it, as the tower resembles an oversized advertising pillar . The Times Tower is now owned by a German real estate company.

After the big companies like MTV, Sony, Vogue and others had re-established themselves on the square, the former hotel chains and theaters also came back. In early 1990, Two Times Square was opened. This huge tower is the "little brother" of One Times Square and is directly opposite it. In this glass tower there is a hotel and a fish restaurant. The specialty here is the facade facing Times Square. It was specially designed for billboards and has since been home to the world-famous Coca-Cola advertisements. At the beginning it was a 15 m high cola bottle, today it is a large LED display board.

The building codes of the City of New York state that new buildings must be provided with brightly lit billboards in order to preserve the familiar image of Times Square. A lighting unit, the LUTS (Lighting Unit for Times Square), was set up especially for this purpose .

In the summer of 2009, Times Square was reopened with a new street system after some renovation work. The only continuously passable street is now only 7th Avenue. Broadway was paved with colorful paving stones in the area of ​​Times Square and converted into a pedestrian zone.

On May 1, 2010, a car bomb terrorist attack failed.

On June 23, 2019, Nik Wallenda and Lijana Wallenda crossed Times Square on a 400 meter long rope stretched between the skyscrapers One Times Square and Two Times Square at a height of around 80 meters in the opposite direction. When ordered by the authorities, they used a safety rope.

Times Square Ticker

NBC Screen and Times Square Ticker

The Times Square Ticker or zipper is a huge marquee on the Facade of One Times Square , be published on the headlines in text format. It was put into operation in 1928 to announce the result of the presidential election . The news ticker that runs around the entire building originally consisted of 14,800 lamps. In 1985, Newsweek took over funding of the operation after the ticker was out of service for ten years. He is currently funded by Dow Jones , the publisher of the Wall Street Journal .

Above the New York Times publishing building is another huge NBC Nightly News screen , on which passers-by could watch the evening news . On October 13, 2006, News Corp.'s Panasonic large screen was released. which the Fox News present.

New Years Eve celebration

The New York Times first held a New Year's Eve party in Times Square on December 31, 1904 to celebrate the move into the new One Times Square publishing building . Since the fireworks resulted in numerous burns injuries, the famous glowing Times Square Ball was introduced instead on New Year's Eve 1907 , which was lowered onto the building on a flagpole.

Since then, around a million people have gathered here every year at the turn of the year from the afternoon onwards to have a good view of the ball drop and the video walls that have been set up, on which numerous appearances by rock and pop greats are shown during the night. The ball is lowered with a countdown 60 seconds before the turn of the year.

After lowering the ball, visitors traditionally sing the song Auld Lang Syne for the New Year .


"What a wonder garden this must be for anyone who is so happy not to be able to read"

- Gilbert Keith Chesterton - 1922 on the numerous advertising posters in Times Square.

Web links

Commons : Times Square  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The new walking feeling in the middle of Manhattan. Retrieved January 6, 2019 .
  2. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/23/us/flying-wallendas-times-square/index.html
  3. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from August 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.nycjpg.com

Coordinates: 40 ° 45 ′ 21 ″  N , 73 ° 59 ′ 11 ″  W.