Nicknamed “The Crossroads of the World,” Times Square is one of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas and the hub of the Broadway Theater District. Located where Broadway meets Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th streets, it draws an estimated 50 million visitors a year, thanks to its reduced-price theater tickets, scores of neon signs, food market, and free concerts. It’s perhaps best known as the site of the annual “ball drop” from the roof of One Times Square, counting down the final 60 seconds before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Key Features of NYC’s Times Square
Times Square is the world’s second most visited tourist attraction behind the Las Vegas Strip, with well over 100 million annual visitors. This busy intersection of art and commerce is recognizable for its scores of advertisements, including a 68-foot-tall Coca-Cola sign and “zipper” news crawls.
Nickelodeon, MTV Networks, The New York Times Company and Condé Nast Publications are among the media companies located here. ABC News, ESPN programs, and Good Morning America use Times Square Studios.
In addition to the Broadway shows, some well-known sights include the themed restaurant Planet Hollywood, the Disney Store, the Hard Rock Café New York, the retail store M&M’s World, and the events venue PlayStation Theater.
The TKTS Times Square booth with its red bleacher seats at Broadway and West 47th Street sells tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, music, and dance events for up to 50 percent off.
History of Times Square
1880s: The future Times Square is called Long Acre (or Longacre) Square and an early site for William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange.
1905: New York Mayor George B. McClellan renames the area Times Square after The New York Times, which moves into the Times Tower there, then the second-tallest building in the city.
1907: The first New Year’s Eve ball drop occurs atop the Times Building.
1920s: Times Square grows as a transportation hub, with subway lines, elevated lines, and bus routes all stopping at West 42nd Street. Entertainment icons such as Irving Berlin and Charlie Chaplin become associated with the area.
1930s: The Great Depression stops growth in Times Square. The area develops a seedy reputation because of its burlesque halls, saloons, and brothels.
1945: Massive crowds in May and later in August gather in Times Square to celebrate V-E (Victory in Europe) Day and V-J (Victory over Japan) Day, the end of World War II.
1960s: Times Square’s disrepute continues with a depiction in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy.
1980s: A commercial building boom begins in Midtown as part of a redevelopment plan.
1990: New York State takes possession of nine historic theaters on 42nd Street, with a nonprofit organization, the New 42nd Street, overseeing their maintenance and restoration.
1992: The Times Square Alliance, a coalition of local businesses and city government, begins improving cleanliness and quality of life.
1995: The Walt Disney Company leases the New Amsterdam Theatre, home of the Ziegfeld Follies from 1913 to 1927, for its theatrical presentations. As part of the Disney contract, the city and state evicts pornographic theaters from the area. The city also increases security, urges low-rent residents to relocate, and contracts with tourist-friendly attractions such as the wax museum Madame Tussauds.
2016: A pedestrian plaza along Broadway from 42nd Street to 47th Street with granite pavers and benches is competed.
Location & Tourism
Times Square is generally located where Broadway and Seventh Avenue meet. Visitors can find the official NYC Information Center at West 44th Street and Seventh Avenue. One Times Square, the site of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, is roughly at West 43rd Street and Broadway.
Interesting Facts About Times Square
- Although it functions as a town square, Times Square is shaped more like a bowtie because Broadway runs diagonally through Manhattan’s horizontal and vertical street grid.
- Filmmaker Fritz Lang used Times Square as inspiration for his 1927 expressionist sci-fi film
- In 1942 and 1943, because of World War II lighting restrictions, the New Year’s Eve ball drop was replaced with a moment of silence at midnight, followed by chimes.
- Since 2002, a yoga event called “Mind over Madness” involving up to 15,000 people has marked the summer solstice in Times Square.
- In 2010, the discovery of a car bomb caused the evacuation of Times Square from 43rd to 46th streets. No one was injured.
- A car accident in Times Square in 2017 killed one person and injured 22 others, spurring calls for more safety bollards for pedestrians.
- The pedestrian plaza is divided into “activity zones,” where costumed characters and “desnudas” (topless women covered in body paint) are allowed to perform and panhandle, and “pedestrian flow zones,” where no one is allowed to loiter.
Directions to Belluck & Fox from Times Square
Belluck & Fox’s NYC mesothelioma lawyers is located in Midtown at 546 Fifth Ave., 5th Floor, New York NY 10036. From Broadway and Seventh Avenue, head south on Seventh Avenue and turn left onto West 42nd Street. Turn left again onto Sixth Avenue. Turn right onto West 46th Street, then right onto Fifth Avenue.
Using public transportation, take the 7 subway train from Seventh Avenue and 41st Street to the Fifth Avenue/Bryant Park station to get to our service location.