Before 1904, Time Square was better known as Longacre Square that was until the New York Times newspaper moved their head quarters to its address located on 475 Broadway. This helped pave the way for big change, starting with the squares name. From 1904 on, people would call the area Times Square. No one could have known how famous and important this land mark would become. Today we see Time Square as a pillar of new beginnings. This is why it was so easy to give the square our new year’s tradition. Not to mention the savvy move on the papers part in placing a giant lighted ball at the top of its building. Oddly the papers operations only occurred in this location for about nine years. It was then sold and production continued at 229 W 43rd St. where an annex was built especially for newspaper production. Many more expansions and moves occurred until 2007 that is when The Times finally found a permanent home in Manhattan.
A Developers Dream
Developers of that day saw Times Square as a money pot full of potential. The area boomed with popularity even before the Times moved in. This was thanks to an optimistic developer who saw the area as becoming the new uptown neighborhood of New York. Boy was he right! If he could see it now. With any new development in mans history no matter how positive, there always seems to be a trail of undesirable traits as well. Times Square was no different; there were many Brothels, pickpocket technicians, and plain old street walkers. This made for quite an interesting view of what we today would call a red light district. After a while a man named Oscar Hammerstein adopted the square and started an entertainment empire consisting of three theaters. Times Square was the most elite theater location in the United States during World War I.
Cleaning Up The Filth
Despite the glamor, the area would later become one of the worst areas for crime and sex in New York. Until the 1980′s when new legislation forced the area to clean it’s act up. By the 1990′s Times Square’s filth was replaced with much magnificence and an opportunistic business vibe. Out with the adult toy stores and in with personal money markets who provide cash loans to excited entrepreneur’s. In the future, who knows what we will see plastered on the walls of electric blues and greens, shouting at our unconscious to buy more of what we don’t need. So please take heed when visiting Times Square where pedestrians beware.