Times Square is the most lively square in New York. It is known for its umpteen Broadway theatres and cinemas. Times Square is what makes New York City a city which never sleeps.
By the end of the 19th century, New York City saw great expansions right up to 42nd street. This area was soon becoming the center of the social scene of the city. In the year 1904, the New York Times created the Times Tower on 43rd street. This replaced the downtown premises. The square that faced the building was known as Longacre square. It was rechristened Times Square. The name Times Square, New York is reserved for the sections between 40th and 53rd street and the area between 6th and 9th avenue.
Headquarters of The New York Times
The new headquarters of The New York Times was inaugurated at 1 Times Square New York with much fanfare and fireworks. The tradition is carried out every New Year’s Eve. The ball-lowering ceremony from the rooftop pole of 1 Times Square was first held on the New Year’s Eve of 1907.
By the beginning of the World War I, Times Square New York became the center of the Theatre Scene. It attracted scores of visitors. The square became ideal for displaying billboards. In the year 1917, the first electronic billboard was displayed. Eleven years down the line, an electric sign ran for the first time, announcing the victory of Herbert Hoover’s in the elections for President. The billboards serve as a major tourist attraction.
During the 1930s, the Great Economic Depression caused a drastic decline in the attendance of theatre performances. Some business establishments had to shut down. They were instantly replaced by strip clubs and peep shows. The area attracted scores of visitors and post World War II, the theatre scene was once again booming. Toward the end of the 1960s the popularity of Times Square declined. By the mid 1970s, the area became notorious for crime and drugs.
Redevelopment plans were submitted in the 1980s. However, they never succeeded. The scene changed a decade later, when Walt Disney created a Disney store in Times Square New York. This brought more business to the area. It resulted in a sort of ‘disneyfication’. The downtown area is relatively safer than in the 1990s. New York City Times Square serves as a major tourist attraction and has become the defining element of New York’s social scene.