Origin of Times Square

Is Times Square so named because the Magazine “Times” is head quartered there? If not, what is the origin?

It’s named for the NY Times,who built their building on that triangular patch between 42nd/43rd,7th Ave and B’Way,around 1903/5

Before that it was Longacres square.The Times operation moved to larger headquarters on 43rd st.later.

Time was originally Henry Luce publisher,established IIRC ca.abt.1925.The Times publisher at the tower opening was Ochs.

Damn, Titan got here first . . . Yep, that’s pretty much it. Longacre Square was largely a horse-and-carriage district, named after the square in London.

The Times Building is still there, but it was ruined in the mid-1960s by being stripped down and covered with concrete. Here is a postcard of what it used to look like–one of the loveliest buildings in the city, and for a long time the tallest in midtown.

The magazine Time was first published in Chicago in the 1920s, long after Times Square was named in New York. As others have said, Times Square in New York is named for the newspaper The New York Times.

There is also Herald Square named for the New York Herald

As the song goes “…remember me to Hearld Square, tell all the folks on 42nd street that I will soon be there.”

. . . . and Union Square has nothing to do with the labor movement. It was named after the union of Broadway, Fourth (now Park) Avenue and 14th Street.

As long as we’re running the table on the squares,Madison Square park wasn’t named for Stanford White’s building,nor the original Madison Square Garden,but for the former Pres.Madison.

And the Met Life building on the east side of the park was the “world’s tallest building” when it opened in 1909.Eclipsed by the Woolworth building a few years later,they planned to make the north building (across 25th?) a 100 floor tower in the 20s to reclaim the title but the '29 crash left them short of their goal and topped out at about 25 stories.

The teens and 20s had a flurry of "world’s tallest buildings"until the crash stopped the craziness.
Now,for $200,Alex,what’s the name of the little triangular patch formed at 70th to 74th,Bway and Amsterdam other than the 72nd street stop on the 7th ave/Bway IRT?Sort of a Herald square north.

Broadway is originally an old Indian trail; Manhattan used to be quite hilly before we started levelling it in the eighteenth century, and some Ice-Age outcroppings are still around (Washington Heights is a really high one, right on the Hudson). Broadway begins at Bowling Green and runs slantwise through Manhattan, crosses the Harlem River into the Bronx, and then, around 262nd Street, runs into the county of Westchester.

When it crosses an avenue (avenues run N-S, streets E-W, although there’s a few erratics) the result is often named. The intersections in Midtown are large and irregular and most of them have become pretty famous.

Union Square is the junction at 14th Street (below that there’s nothing special besides Astor Place, gateway to the East Village), where Park Avenue (South) begins (frankly, it’s a real estate man’s term, as the whole street from Greenwich Village to Grand Central was called that until they got the idea to call the part north of the Square Park Avenue South.) The Gershwins wrote a song about it for their 1933 musical LET 'EM EAT CAKE. There’s still some political activity there and it’s the first place I went after 9/11 to pray and place flowers and candles at the 1856 statue of Washington; the smoke was still billowing downtown.

Madison Square is at 23rd Street where it crosses Fifth. The park has been beautifully restored, and one of the trees is a scion from one that President planted. Yes, the original MS Garden was located on its northern edge, and it’s still called that even though it’s blocks away now. It has the only statue I have ever seen of Pres. Chester Arthur (a Noo Yawka).

Next comes Herald Square, at 34th where it crosses Sixth Ave. This is where the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends, and it’s a major retail hub and traffic is very tricky. If you’re lost, just look for the Empire State Building to your east.

When it crosses Seventh you get Times Square, which has been covered already.

At the intersection with Eighth at 59th you have Central Park coming in from the NE and disrupting the pattern a bit; the result is called Columbus Circle. The AOL-Maybe-And-Time-Warner Building there is almost finished. Trump has one corner, an apartment building the other, etc. and it’s also terrible for pedestrians for now.

Intersection with Ninth (which has changed its name to Columbus Avenue at 57th) around 63rd is Lincoln Square, known now for the Lincoln Center performing arts megalopolis. It has gone from the slummy location of West Side Story to million-dollar penthouses in two generations.

After that nobody much cares, really, it’s almost all residential and was settled relatively late in NY history. At Tenth (Amsterdam) Ave. and 72nd are some lovely old apartment buildings and Needle Park, which earned its name during the 70s for all the heroin addicts. At Broadway and 107th there’s Straus Park, with a beautiful, poignant fountain on the site of the farm that used to be owned by Ida and Isidore Straus, who died together on the Titanic. Broadway bisects Columbia University, ducks under the Cross Bronx Expressway at the George Washington Bridge, becomes Route 9 for a while next to Fort Tryon Park where the Cloisters are, and ends its NYC portion between Van Cortlandt Park and Manhattan College in Riverdale, the Bronx. Right across the woods from me, where, if I’m on the roof, I can see it.

Heh, X-Post! Yes, Madison Square is named after James Madison although the one Presidential statue there is Arthur. The street that had its name changed by the real estate guys in the 1960’s was Fourth Avenue; in fact, I work on Park Ave South, next to the ‘small’ skyscaper mentioned before, and there’s still some buildings with “XXX Fourth Avenue” worked into their facades. Forgot to mention that at the corner of Broadway and Fifth is the famous Flatiron building, which is 101 years old and quite detailed and beautiful close up. I sit in the park during the summer with my lunch and I can look south at it or north at the Empire State.

Dad told me that the little park at 72nd and Broadway was always called Needle Park because of its shape, way before the heroin times, but I’ll see if I can find whether or not the entire intersection has a name.

The park between 72nd, 73rd, Broadway and Amsterdam is Verdi Square. And Mehitabel, it really hasn’t been a needle park for the more than a dozen years that I’ve been living in the neighborhood. In fact, until earlier this year when they opened up the new 72nd Street subway entrance, Verdi Square was entirely closed off.

Between 73rd and 74th isn’t a park, but rather the old Central Savings Bank building. The old subway station is located on the triangle between 72nd, Amsterdam and Broadway (with the apex at 71st).

Well while we’re tossing out NY facts, the G train is the only subway line that doesn’t go into Manhattan.

Who knows maybe it will be a Double Jeopardy question one-day.

Great thread.

Oh, I know, it’s a lot nicer now than when I was a kid, but then again what isn’t?

Thanks for the name! I remembered a statue but didn’t recall who it was.

Just a little side note - despite what some posters may have implied (or not), a small vestige of “unsullied” 4th Avenue still remains between Astor and Union Square. Park starts at 17th St.

And does anyone really call 6th “Avenue of the Americas?”

  1. Mehitabel, nice post! But (…you know there’s always a “but” from me in a NYC thread, right?..) Broadway does not duck under the Cross Bx Expressway at the GWB. The roadway that runs from the Bronx (on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River) to the GWB has another name; I’ve usually seen it called the Manhattan Transverse. But (as you might imagine) there was a SDMB thread not too long ago about it, and someone dug out the official official name of the thing, which I don’t recall.

  2. Eve, yes it’s 6th Ave now and forever.

  3. Okay, time to add my Times Square trivia to the pot:
    When they inagurated the NYC subway in 1904 Times Square – today “The Crossroads of the World,” right? – was such a backwater location that it was a local stop. Canyahbelieveit?

I have walked a number of times up B’way from below Houston to 116th between 7:30 and 9:00 on a Sunday morning and the one intersection that is almost impossible for a pedestrian is and always has been at Columbus circle. It may have gotten worse lately, but it was always impossible for pedestrians, even early on a Sunday morning.

Not only is 6th Ave. called that, they have even added signs with that name on it, which they didn’t in the early 60s when I lived in Manhattan.

I actually like the new Times Square . . . It was sad to see some of the old buildings go, but they did a bang-up job of preserving the Victory and the New Amsterdam theaters, and at least the saved the facade of the Eltinge.

I sorta like some of the new facades and lights (and I love wax museums), and I like that bizarre skyscraper on the NE corner of 8th and 42nd. It’s gotten a lot of flak, but it’s so po-mo and funny . . . Makes me laugh, and what more can you ask from a building?