One Times Square in New York

Photo of One Times Square in New York, New York
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of One Times Square in New York, New York
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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One Times Square
Also known as:Times Square Tower
Formerly:The Times Tower

1 Times Square, New York, New York, Times Square
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Once a year, this becomes the most famous building in the world. It is from the top of this structure that the glittering ball slowly descends on New Year's Eve to mark the passing from one year to the next. Each year a million people crowd into Times Square to gaze expectantly at the building along with hundreds of millions watching at home on television. The design of the actual building is hard to discern behind all of the advertising billboards, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's another 1960's curtain wall much like all the others in New York and other large cities. In fact, it is the flashing, blinking, and even steaming advertisements that give this building its visual appeal. Neighboring buildings on Times Square have picked up and improved on the theme, and are now required by city ordinance to be covered in billboards. The result is a little bit of Tokyo's famous Shibuya district right here in America.

But, it's the New Year's tradition that made this building famous. It started in 1907, when the Times Tower opened as the headquarters of the New York Times. The ball drop was a celebration of that milestone, and was accompanied by New Year's fireworks. Since then, it has continued each year, with the exception of the years during the Second World War when coastal cities refrained from emitting excess lights which could help guide enemy vessels or attract bombing raids.

Quick Facts
    > 1917 - The first electric billboard is erected on Times Square.
    > 1928 - The famous "zipper" electronic news scroll is activated.
    > During the Second World War, the New Year's celebrations continued, but without the fireworks and spectacle that might attract enemy bombers.
    > 2004 - Several pedestrians are hurt when debris falls on them from crews working on the building.
Did You Know?
    > It was not the New York Times that had the name of the area changed from Long Acre Square to Times Square. It was the owner of one of the then-independent subway companies.
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