what was the original name of times square in new york city?

what was the original name of times square in new york city?

what was the original name of times square in new york city?

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Times Square as we know it is relatively recent. In the late ‘90s the area was known for its drugs and crime.

During Rudolph Giuliani’s administration as Mayor of New York City at the turn of the century, Times Square began to change for the better.

Our favorite part of NYC

Times Square is the liveliest part of Manhattan and our favorite area to find accommodation, have a bite to eat and have a drink. Whatever specialty you’re looking for; you’ll find it in Times Square.

As a top attraction for tourists, Times Square can sometimes be a little bit oppressive as it attracts about 330,000 people each day; but, this is also part of its charm.

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Facts You Didn’t Know About Times Square Facts

1. Times Square was once named Longacre Square.

It took on its current name in 1904, when The New York Times moved its headquarters to the area.

2. The first Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop was held in 1907.

The tradition is still going, and nowadays more than a million see it in person (along with many more on television all around the world).

3. By law, Times Square’s buildings must have a minimum amount of display lighting.

The unique regulation is intended to preserve the area’s reputation for glitz and bustle.

4. It draws 50 million visitors a year.

That’s the most of any US attraction. Although we have to say this: if 60 million people go to New York City each year, that means 10 million of them manage to come here and somehow not visit Times Square.

6. Times Square had its darker days dramatized in movies like Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy.

More recently, the HBO show The Deuce took its turn doing so.

7. Revitalization and investment in the 1990s and 2000s turned the area into a booming tourist destination.

These days, it’s a great place for families and home to popular stores, restaurants and shows.

8. The area became largely car-free in 2009, with temporary pedestrian plazas and the closing of Broadway to automobiles.

The bold move, originally an experiment championed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, soon became permanent.

9. Around 340,000 pedestrians pass through Times Square on a typical day.

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8 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT TIMES SQUARE

IT WASN’T ALWAYS CALLED TIMES SQUARE

Times Square got its name when the namesake newspaper, The New York Times, took up residence in the building (now known as One Times Square) in 1904. That was the year the mayor of New York renamed Longacre Square after the paper, though it took less than a decade for the Times to relocate again. Fortunately, the name stuck.

 

THE NYE CELEBRATION HAS HAD A BALL DROP FOR OVER A CENTURY

Records show New Yorkers have been celebrating the New Year in Times Square since The New York Times took up residence in the neighborhood. But the ball drop dates back to 1907, wood-and-iron globe decorated with 100 light bulbs was lowered from the top of a flagpole. Now, the Times Square Ball weighs nearly six tons and is illuminated by 32,256 LEDs.

 

THERE ONCE WAS A PASSAGE FROM THE 42ND STREET SUBWAY STATION TO THE KNICKERBOCKER

In the Knickerbocker Hotel’s former life, there was a stairwell that linked its lower-level restaurants and bars directly with the subway. Today, vestiges of this passageway can still be found near Platform 1, where you can catch the shuttle connecting Times Square and Grand Central Station. Sadly, you can no longer pass through this doorway to the Knickerbocker — but you can see proof of the passage, eternalized in a plaque above the sealed white door.

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YOU CAN SEE IT FROM OUTER SPACE

It’s not called the Great White Way for anything. Times Square is home to a dizzying number of brightly-lit digital billboards and signs, and it’s so bright that, at night, astronauts on the International Space Station can easily see the neighborhood from outer space. In fact, buildings here must have aminimumamount of display lighting. The area has a reputation to uphold, after all.

 

ART IS HIDDEN EVERYWHERE

Enter Times Square, and you’ll be surrounded by hidden artworks. At the pedestrian corner where Broadway meets 7th Avenue, between 45th and 46th streets, visitors might hear a strange “hum”—you’ll have to be alert to hear the sound emanating over the cacophony of visitors and street vendors. This is a work by sound designer Max Neuhaus, originally installed in 1977 and revived in 2002. And if you’re in Times Square in the minutes before midnight, you might notice a synchronized art display on the district’s billboards. Called Midnight Moment, the digital exhibits change every month. In March, Jeffrey Gibson’s “She Never Dances Alone” will fill the screens of Times Square with a celebration of indigenous culture.

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CARS DROVE THROUGH HERE UNTIL 2009

In May of 2009, Broadway closed to vehicles between 47th and 42nd Street in an effort to improve traffic in the neighborhood. The result? Some over 400,000 people walk through here, including the so-called Broadway plaza, every day. And it inspired additional pedestrian plazas that opened in the ensuing decade, including Union Square.

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YOU CAN TAKE AN ACTOR-LED WALKING TOUR

For an intimate introduction to the theater district, you can join a designated Broadway Up Close walking tour led by actors and stage crew. Join the Broadway’s Beginnings tour every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday morning at 11 a.m.

 

ONE TIMES SQUARE IS MOSTLY EMPTY

Despite being one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the country — and being the landmark skyscraper that gave Times Square its name — the building is currently home only to a ground-floor Walgreens and the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball and the event’s headquarters. It makes enough revenue from the advertisements on its facade to pay for it to remain otherwise largely unoccupied.

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