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Times Square Theater, 2014. Via Google Maps.

Event Planner Leases Long-Vacant Times Square Theater At 217 West 42nd Street, Midtown

The long-vacant Times Square Theater, located at 217 West 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues in Midtown, may have another chance to be used, according to the New York Post. Singapore-based Oracle Projects International, which produces and designs events, has reportedly leased the property. The former theater is overseen by the state’s Historic Preservation Committee as well as New 42nd St, a nonprofit that leases the theater (and five others) in a 99-year lease. In recent years, the building was leased twice with different reuse projects in mind, but both failed to come to fruition. The latest plan would likely include, at the very least, minor alterations to, or a restoration of, the existing building. The building’s interior and exterior were on the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s backlog, but were removed from the calendar without prejudice last month.


From left to right: 701 7th Avenue in 1909, 1920’s, 1951, 2006, 2015, and as proposed for 2017. Image sources indicated throughout the article

The Phantom Of Times Square: A Century Of Radical Change At 701 Seventh Avenue

The year 2015 marked the near-complete demolition of Times Square’s second oldest structure. The Columbia Amusement Co. Building, which opened at Times Square’s northeast corner on West 47th Street in January 1910. 701 7th Avenue was known by a variety of names during its century-long life span. Like the slightly older yet much more famous One Times Square at the opposite end of the square, the building engaged in the neighborhood’s classic disappearing act, where giant billboards seen by millions made their renovation-scarred hosts all but invisible. But behind the ads, standing on a 16,000-square-foot lot, was a building with a history as dramatic and diverse as that of the famous square on which it stood.

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A selection of demolitions from 2015. Photos by Vitali Ogorodnikov unless otherwise noted.

What Notable NYC Buildings Were Demolished in 2015?

In 2015, New York’s landmarks law turned 50 years old. Events and discussion panels were held across the city throughout the year. The Museum of the City of New York held the commemorative Saving Place exhibit. As YIMBY reported, six individual landmarks and four historic districts were designated during this period. However, last year also saw its fair share of demolitions. Here, we look back at a small selection from the dozens of buildings that met the wrecking ball over the course of 2015. These eight structures range from architectural masterpieces to eyesores and span across a variety of decades, styles, and uses – as diverse as the Big Apple’s built environment itself.

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1568 Broadway

Developer Acquires Leasehold For DoubleTree Suites Hotel At 1568 Broadway, Times Square

Last month, the leasehold interest of the 45-story, 468-key DoubleTree Suites hotel (by Hilton New York City – Times Square) was purchased for $540 million by Indianapolis-based Maefield Development, according to The Real Deal. The mixed-use building at 1568 Broadway, between West 46th and 47th Streets in Times Square, currently contains ground-floor retail space and the Palace Theatre, which was designated an interior landmark in 1987. Last November, YIMBY brought you news of the proposed retail and lobby expansions, and the restoration (and raising) of the Palace theater for entertainment purposes. The building is set to receive a significant overhaul, which includes the hotel portion as well as the installation of a new, state-of-the-art LED screen.


719 Seventh Avenue, looking southeast

Foundations Are Excavated For Retail Project At 719 Seventh Avenue, Times Square

As SL Green is developing Midtown’s largest commercial property at One Vanderbilt across the street from Grand Central Terminal, the company is also building the neighborhood’s smallest ground-up project at 719 Seventh Avenue, just one block north of Times Square’s northern terminus. Despite its diminutive four-story size, the retail building will assert itself via a 150-foot-tall, 5,000-square-foot array of digital billboards. On-site demolition is complete, and excavation is well underway. Pavarini McGovern LLC is listed as the construction manager.

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