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The History of Times Square

Updated on July 27, 2012

Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, New York City is known as Times Square. It was actually called Longacre Square in the early 1900's but then the New York Times moved their offices to the Times building on 42nd Street. Once the New York Times moved their offices the publisher, Adolph S. Ochs began to talk Mayor McCellan into building a subway station, the Mayor agreed and Longacre Square got renamed to what it is now known as, Times Square.

Some history of the Square, General John Morin Scott served under George Washington in the American Revolutionary war and the General would go on to build his home on what is now 43rd Street so he could enjoy the many acres of farmland that encompassed the area. In the beginning of the 19th century the property was acquired by John Jacob Astor and while claiming it was his most prized of possessions began to sell off chunks of his beloved property to hotels doubling his fortune.

In the 1920's and early 30's Times Square was associated with those artists such as Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin with their movie making magic. Unfortunately the spark of Times Square would fade over the next 30 years and between 1960 and 1990 the entire area was known as crime ridden and dangerous to all, not just tourists. The entire area became one of the seedier sides of town and was known for its many adult theatres and sex shops.

In the mid 90's it became the mission of the Mayor, Mayor Giuliani, to bring the area back to its old glory, security was increased and the shutdown of the adult movie theatres and sex shops began. The area was revitalized bringing in tourist attractions, upscale stores and restaurants. One of the better known uses of Times Square is the New Years Eve ball drop which has also become an expected part of the New Year's celebration throughout the world.


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    • JesadaB profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Home!

      Thank you for sharing yourself Ayse, it must have been great to be able to take your son down memory lane! Awesome!

    • Ayse profile image


      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      This article brings back memories of my early 90's in Manhattan. My photographer lived in Times Square & I always had to travel with several guy friends down those streets because of the crime rate. It's an awesome and cleaner sight to see now. I took my oldest son when he was still little and showed him his mommies old stomping grounds. Such awesome memories.

      Thanks so much for sharing!


    • JesadaB profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Home!

      Thanks Samhirata and megmccormick!

    • megmccormick profile image


      7 years ago from Utah

      Add some more photos and maps and videos to round out your's a good start.

    • samhirata profile image


      7 years ago

      Great information I had no idea Times Square had any other name!


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