Times Square – a New York City Landmark

Times Square is a famous intersection in Manhattan, New York City, where Broadway cuts across Seventh Avenue. The Times Square area consists of the blocks between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from east to west, and West 40th and West 53rd Streets from south to north. It is on the western part of the commercial area of Midtown Manhattan. Times Square has achieved iconic world landmark status, on par with the Red Square in Moscow, the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Trafalgar Square in London, and Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Times Square is defined by its animated, digital advertisements.

Times Square was named after the Times Building (now One Time Square), the former offices of The New York Times. During the time of the American Revolution, the area where Times Square is now located belonged to John Morin Scott, a general of the New York militia where he served under George Washington. Scott’s manor house was at what is now 43rd Street. In the first half of the nineteenth century it was one of the prize possessions of John Jacob Astor, one of the wealthiest person in America. We have many More New York City Vacation¬†Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.

The newspaper business that made Times Square famous moved there in the early 1900s, when New York Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs moved the newspaper’s operations to a new skyscraper on 42nd Street in Longacre Square. Ochs persuaded Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr. to construct a subway station there, and the area was renamed “Times Square” on April 8, 1904. Just three weeks later, the first electrified advertisement appeared on the side of a bank at the corner of 46th Street and Broadway.

Although the New York Times moved to more spacious offices across Broadway in 1913, the name lived on. The old Times Building was later renamed the Allied Chemical Building. Now it is known simply as One Times Square.

With the onset of the Great Depression during the 1930s, the atmosphere in Times Square changed as well. With the economy downturn, Times Square became a dangerous neighborhood. Adult businesses became the infamous symbol of New York City’s decline and corruption from the 1960s until the early 1990s. In the mid-1990s, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (1994-2002) led an intense effort to “clean up” Times Square, increasing security, and driving out pornographic theaters and drug dealers and opening more tourist-friendly attractions and upscale establishments. Advocates of the remodeling claim that the neighborhood is infinitely safer and cleaner. Critics however argued that the changes have diluted or “Disneyfied” the character of Times Square and have unfairly targeted lower income New Yorkers from nearby neighborhoods such as Hell’s Kitchen.

In 1990, the State of New York took possession of six of the nine historic theaters on 42nd Street. The New 42nd Street nonprofit organization was appointed to oversee their restoration and care. The theaters were variously renovated for Broadway shows, converted for commercial purposes, or demolished.

In November 2006, the traffic pattern through Times square was modified significantly in what is nicknamed by the New York City Department of Transportation as the “Times Square Shuffle.” Cars traveling south on Seventh Ave can no longer stay on Seventh Ave when they reach Times Square. The road turns into Broadway, and to stay on Seventh Avenue drivers are now required to make a series of turns before reaching Times Square. We have many More New York City Vacation¬†Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.

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