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Times Square in Old and Relatively New Photos...

- Franny Wentzel - Thursday, December 31st, 2009 : goo

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With the new year already creeping upon us, why not have a squint of some historic images of Times Square along with a few pix I took back in 2002?

image 52584

Times Square in the 1920s. Visible are the on right and the old Criterion Theater on left. To the left are - top - the and - bottom - the .

image 37623

In the 1890s the Theater District had been creeping its way uptown...

image 52603

...and the Pabst Brewing Company hoped to establish a major presence in the town's newest hot spot.

image 52600

In 1899 the was opened a block south of what was then known as Longacre Square.

image 52601

image 52604

The Pabst offered thirsty patrons a basement 'Rathskeller'...

image 52605

...along with a beer garden that extended over 42nd street.

image 52606

There were even a few rooms to sleep off an evening's entertainment.

image 52607

The Pabst only lasted a few years before construction of the subway took out their Rathskeller - though the hotel was allowed to stay.

image 52602

The New York Times - looking for a 'crusade' - sued the Pabst over its beer garden portico and eventually got a judge to order its removal. With the manager taking a job at another hotel, the building was sold to the Times for their new project.

image 52608

Longacre Square was renamed for the newspaper...

image 52609

...and the Times used their building as the focal point of public gatherings - like this relay of World Series scores.

image 37624

The New York Times occupied the building for a mere decade before moving into a building on 43rd Street.

image 52614

In the mid-60s the Times Tower was sold to Allied Chemical, stripped to its skeleton and its Italianate facade replaced...

image 52587

...with this.

image 52616

To think it could've been worse - as this 1980s proposal shows.

image 52593image 52615

For the first few years after its 1960s rebuilding, had almost nothing in the way of signage.

image 52598

Allied Chemical did retain the legendary .

image 52599

Number One Times Square 2002...

image 37655

image 37656

...there's still a building under all those signs...

image 37657

...but there are no tenants above the second storey.

image 37658

Looking north from the Times Tower sometime in the 1920s. All six buildings - l to r Rivoli Theater, Astor Hotel, Studebaker Bldg (behind the Macy's sign), Loews State Bldg, Criterion Theater, Claridge Hotel - in this picture have been replaced.

image 37625

In the 1930s the old Criterion Theater was either gutted or demolished to house the International Casino, a nightclub that got around a state liquor law limiting an establishment to one stand-up bar by winding theirs around the stairs to an upper storey.

image 52594

In the 1940s the Miami Beach Deco exterior had been flensed from the old carcass.

image 52595

Bond Clothes occupied much of the building sharing it with a cinema and various other businesses.

image 52596

image 52610

By the time of my visit it was 's New York flagship. Why this hasn't been replaced with a skyscraper by now is a complete mystery to me.

image 37647

More info on the building here ->

In 1972 Winston Cigarettes returned the famous 'smoking man' signs...

image 37629

image 37628

image 34493

...that had been put up by Camel cigarettes in the '40s.

image 52592

image 52613

The Camel's smoker had lasted to well into the 1960s

image 52611

image 52612

Times Square in the 1970s.

image 37626

image 52588

in the 1970s.

image 37627

image 37630

And what is 1970s Times Square without its bounty of pr0n? Do you suppose the Jack Ruby estate licensed the Carousel Club name?

image 37631

The '70s was all about disco - The was no exception.

image 37634

Times Square in the 80s was a pale shadow of itself...

image 37635

...and would be completely made over in the 90s...

image 37636

...and was something other than else by the time I visited in 2002.

image 37637

The New Amsterdam theater - hosted the for over a dozen years - even when was able to build his own theater on .

image 52591

Silent actress and Ziegfeld Follies girl is said to haunt the New Amsterdam.

image 37638

The old McGraw Hill building at stands watch over a changed milleu.

image 34502

image 37639

The building from about to be buried by new construction.

image 37640

Number 4 Times Square and the shrouded Remington Typewriter Building.

image 37641

image 37642

Number 4 Times Square and the animated NASDAQ sign.

image 37643

image 37644

image 37645

The ABC News building and its news zipper - its building had replaced the Claridge sometime in the late-60s/early-70s.

image 37646

Sweeping around the square now...

image 37648

image 37651

image 37652

image 37649

MTV fans await the next Carson Daly taping.

image 37650

MTV's New York studios are housed in the former headquarters - which replaced the Astor Hotel - a legendary meeting place.

image 37649

Looking up...

image 37659

...and down.

image 37660

One of the few old-timers left...

image 52617 the Paramount Building.

image 37654

image 37653

Our last look is from a 2006 trip.

image 37661

For another great photo-essay on Times Square be sure to visit...

This article has been viewed 78973 times in the last 6 years

joey: 1st Jan 2010 - 01:49 GMT

i was lucky enough to see times sq when the man was blowing

Robert: 2nd Jan 2010 - 15:09 GMT

Thanks again Franny for your superb contributions.
Hope you will have your novel finished this year.

nathan brown: 9th Jan 2010 - 07:12 GMT

a real shame they knocked all these grand treasures down .they say its progress i say its from australia and in sydney they destroyed heaps of old buildings during the 1960s and 1970s a real shame i say .

DAVID: 12th Jan 2010 - 05:00 GMT

It's criminal what our so-called leaders have done by tearing down the old Helen Hayes Theater (now the dumpy Marriott Hotel) and several others. A perfect example would be the grand European Penn Station that is now Madison Sq. Garden. Makes me want to vomit. The archeticts of those old buildings understood building were to give something back to the city. Today, the new Times Building is best described as a 'dead' zone. An entire block of steel. BORING! DULL! NO CHARACTER! Why didnt they take it to Queens or Bklyn where there's space instead of taking up a whole block leaving residents with NOTHING but a cold, empty feelings. Short sighted politicians call this progress.....several old buildings are scheduled to be torn down. Few things are grand any more in this town. It's only a memory.

Franny Wentzel: 12th Jan 2010 - 14:43 GMT

Makes you want to dig up the bones of Robert Moses and rattle 'em around so he knows no peace in death for what he and his kind have done to cities.

Mike: 13th May 2010 - 04:23 GMT

What Guilliani did to the city especially 42nd and TS was nothing but pious and ruthless, stepping on peoples civil liberties along the way. The area now has no character, it's nothing more then a pretentious corporate theme park. I'll take the red lights over what's there now anyday, at least there was something human to that.

Jaime: 14th Sep 2010 - 03:58 GMT

Here is another view of the Winston sign:

Bunny Music: 31st Dec 2010 - 16:06 GMT

I used to party at 1 Times Square in a club called Nirvana. It was on the 14th and 16th floors and we watched the ball drop past the windows from the inside. Those were the days oh boy!

Babette: 1st Jan 2011 - 20:39 GMT

I remember the old Times Square. The buildings were there but there was so much prostitution, pimps, and gangs hanging around that it made it dangerous to stay out in the evening. They should have left the old buildings alone as now that it's safe there is no old buildings to look at. The leaders should be punished for their short range thinking.

V: 2nd Jan 2011 - 13:18 GMT

This is a great example of how we should be constantly taking photos in NYC. Such a rapidly changing city...

Ricky: 9th Aug 2012 - 16:44 GMT

I remember the old time square. The years was 1975.I was 18 years old.I when to old time square to go the movie.You pay $3.00 Dollars to the movie .you get 5 Movies for $3.00 Dollars.I remeber i when to club.I was 23 years old.I When to Bond and Roseland to the club.But saw old pictures old time square.people who used Live call good old day. Now time change.New time square.but Leaders who change time square they made money. you think learders help us no. they will change you community. They will out poor people home and Rich live. sing out. August 9 2012.

Ozzy: 19th Sep 2012 - 04:18 GMT

Well I was just there and I think it is the coolest place on earth...full of lights and life...let go the past and embrace the new

Vee: @Ozzy "Ditto"

rahmat: mera aik dost

Raquel : 17th Dec 2012 - 15:59 GMT

Does anyone remember a pimp name ricky pretty ricky from 1970 and eighty

Pretty Ricky: Of course *I* do!

3 nads: 24th Dec 2012 - 23:11 GMT

At first they were going to restore the Remington building but 9/11 happened and for some reason they just decided to tear down that beautiful, narrow building for....... the sky window monstrosity that is the Bank of America tower. I hate seeing old intricate buildings from the 20s and older being torn down for plastic shits. I don't mind plastic but it's over rated and used for cost-cutting effectiveness in floor design makes any city looks like toys.

Raquel : Are u serious Ricky?

Migraineb0i: I'll always remember my short trip to NYC!

Jason C.: 15th Jan 2016 - 22:39 GMT

Any one take any pictures of the Hotel Diplomat on 43rd street?
That used to be the ornate & old New York Elks Lodge #1!
It was awesome inside of that place.
I loved the huge 3 story lodge room / Grand Ballroom up on the 3rd floor with all the Elks murals
on the vaulted ceiling.

Any one have pictures of that building email me @
Thank you

Franny Wentzel: 16th Jan 2016 - 08:25 GMT

A quick Googling will bring you this Flickr album...


And here are some pix of the Diplomat...

image 52667

image 52668

image 52669

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image 52670

Pictures of the ballroom - KISS played there in the '70s

image 52671

image 52672

The Diplomat's final days as an SRO before demolition..

image 52673

image 52674

image 52675

Here is a NY Times article detailing its demolition...

...apparently it made more economic sense to pull down a 13 storey building and replace it with a one storey 'taxpayer'.

Franny Wentzel: 16th Jan 2016 - 08:35 GMT

An early-'70s brochure...

image 52676

image 52677

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