Times Square- one of the most iconic places in NYC, has seen many transformations throughout the years. Starting as William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange,it has welcomed theatre galores, gone through monument construction changes but has always kept its unique character.
1904 gave a start to the building of the New York subway. Expecting heavier foot traffic, the business mogul behind The New York Times decided to move its building- Times Tower there, located between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It was during this transition when the area was named "Times Square."
The next decade was marked by Titanic's sinking and World War I. At the end of the 1910s, the New York Times moved out of the Times Tower, but the construction remained as a focal point. By the end of WWI, the square had become a popular point for gatherings, presidential elections and celebrations. By this time, some of the most reputable theathres and luxury hotels started setting up there.
The 1920s were flourishing times for Times Square, as all public transporation stopped at 42nd street. That's when the advertisement boom started- everything was expanding in price and size.
1930s marked the construction of the Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931 and was the highest building at that point in time.
The 1930s were known as the worst financial times with the striking of the Great Depression. During that time, a lot of residents, who were used to an affluent lifestyle were forced to move out from the area and to go to cheaper locations.
The 1940s were marked by the end of WWII. Scyscarpers were built, entertainment was going strong, Tiffancy & Co flagship's store opened up.
In 1950s , The UN Headquarters were built and situated in Times Square. That was a time when cheap entertainment was wide spread, yet the feeling was of conservatives times, due to the Cold War.
In 1965, The New York World's Fair opened up, bringing up new forms of entertainment and new shops that boosted the image of the square.
The 1970s were characterized by high levels of crime, fellonies in the area, peep shows and sex shops. Affordable theather admission was boosted in order to invite more people into the cultural life.
The 1980s saw a lot of commercial estates being built in Midtown with development plans opening up new paths for the coming decades.
The 90s were a time for reestablishment of the area, since a lot of theathres were developed, Disney knocked down the last peep show and the 42nd Street non-profit organization oversaw the development of major entertainment places as Apollo Theatre, the Empire Theatre, the Liberty Theatre and more.
The 2000s were a time when Broadway's reputation grew and blossomed and Times Square became known and iconic for the entertainment and shows hosted on its territory.
Today, the Square is still an iconic place, known for its huge advertisements, the neon lights, the shows and the diversity it contains. One thing is sure- if you're in NYC, you cannot miss out on taking the energy of the big apple at Times Square.