Here’s the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street back when it was known as Longacre Square.
This photo was taken shortly after the Times Tower was built and the intersection became known as Times Square. That’s the Astor Hotel on the right.
You can see the New Amsterdam Theater on the left and the Rialto on the right.
Times Square as seen from 45th Street. The Times Square we know today is taking shape around this time. Those are street car tracks in the foreground.
5. Circa 1927
This photo was taken looking uptown from 43rd Street. There’s a lot more car traffic at this point.
Lots of still-familiar brands advertising in Times Square at this time – Chevrolet, Wrigley’s chewing gum, Coca-Cola, and Camel cigarettes.
This shot is looking uptown along Broadway and 7th Avenue. Some gorgeous neon signage in this shot.
These people are celebrating V. E. Day on May 7th 1945.
Just a business dude chilling out by a streetlight.
Here’s a lot of great theater marquees along West 42nd Street.
Neon lights at night. You definitely get a better sense of the vibe there with a color image.
There’s a great moody, late night vibe to this shot. You could make a night of buying sporting goods at Modell’s, walking down the block to get a steak for dinner, and then heading across the street to catch a late show of Queen of Blood.
The neighborhood has really committed to a full-on sleazy vibe at this point in time.
The Pussycat was a porno theater on 42nd Street. The marquee is advertising Insatiable starring Marilyn Chambers.
That Howard Johnson’s was in Times Square for 46 years, from 1959 through 2005.
This photo was taken nearly two years into the Giuliani era. The character of the neighborhood has changed quite a bit at this point, and the “Disneyfiction” of the area was well under way.
Times Square on December 31st, 1999. The tradition of having a big celebration and the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve dates back to 1907. A good number of the people in this image were definitely paranoid about the Y2K bug.
Times Square was frequently crowded in the late ’90s and early ’00s with pop music fans who hung around outside the MTV studio on 1515 Broadway for daily tapings of TRL. This photo was shot at a taping of a live performance by Bon Jovi for an event celebrating the beginning of the 2002 NFL season.
Here’s a relatively chill midday moment in Times Square a full century after it got its name. You can spot a lot of brands who’ve been advertising in the area for generations.
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