One Times Square, aka the Times Tower, is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Millions of tourists from across the country and around the world constantly take photos of Times Square, formerly called Longacre Square, and the flashing digital advertisements that run nonstop year round. Even more view it during the annual ball drop and lighting of the four numbers at the start of every year since 1904. The culturally iconic and economically famous 25-story skyscraper stands 363 feet tall and is in the midst of getting a 21st century makeover. Six giant screens that once lit the slender northern wall have been taken down and will be consolidated into one 350-foot-tall LED panel. Jamestown is the owner of the property. One Times Square can be touted as the most expensive and lucrative place on the planet to advertise.
Photos taken over the past several months since the start of the year show how fast work has progressed.
The previously existing monitors facing north were all taken down. This includes the three screens above the setback located behind the New Years Eve ball, which have already been replaced and turned on. Additional supporting frames for the backside of the screens have gone in between parts of the old suspended structure. Earlier this year was the best time to see the front side of the 1960’s facade.
Allied Chemical Corporation purchased the structure from Douglas Leigh in 1963 and recladded the curtain wall with the white marble we see it today. The original design showed a much more appealing and ornately decorated Renaissance-inspired take. Their logo was once displayed on all four sides of the highest part of the Times Tower.
Another significant part of the exterior that was removed was the “zipper.” This was the first of its kind in the world to display moving words for almost 90 years and was placed near the base of the tower. It was last operated by Dow Jones, starting in 1995. It displayed the most revered message just over 74 years ago when the rapidly flickering lights announced the end of World War II, ushering a plethora of V-E Day celebrations and tightly-packed crowds along the entire stretch of the crossroads.
Walgreens is currently the only tenant that occupies One Times Square. But proposals are in the works for a possible observation deck on the setback, though this has not been officially established. The geodesic ball is still on top of the setback while 2019’s numbers have been temporarily taken down for protection during this external makeover. They should most likely return to their prime spots this summer once the new LED panel below turns on.