Old New York In Photos #65

The New York Times Tower Building Under Construction – 1904

New York Times Building under constructionRecently I had the misfortune of passing through Times Square, now a symbol of the mall-ification of New York.

Dead center, standing at 42nd Street where Broadway and Seventh Avenue diverge is the mutilated former New York Times Tower Building. The iconic building that gave Times Square its name, is now basically an electronic billboard. Before The New York Times moved from Park Row to their new headquarters, this area was known as Longacre Square. We covered the history of the building in a previous story.

What was once a classic building has become emblematic of the entire area. Times Square now means: chain stores, thick crowds moving s-l-o-w-l-y and solicitors every five feet hawking something. Then there’s a bunch of beggars in costumes who somehow get paid by having chump tourists hand over money to take a picture with them.

Our photograph from above shows the New York Times Building in the midst of construction in 1904.  The George A. Fuller Construction Company advertises that they are erecting the new skyscraper. The Fuller Company put up a similar building on a triangular plot two years previous to this at 23rd Street, the much beloved Fuller Building, better known as the Flatiron Building.

On the construction shed in front of the Times Tower are many posters for Broadway shows. One of the posters advertises, The Tenderfoot a musical comedy which played at The New York Theatre from February 22 – April 30, 1904.

Men standing in front of the shed dressed in heavy coats wait among the horses and carts on this brisk late winter day.  The Victoria Theatre stands to the right on Seventh Avenue. To the left along Broadway are the Rossmore Hotel and Broadway Theatre.

The photographer from the Detroit Photographic Company took this picture from the second floor on the corner of Broadway and 44th Street. If you were to stand today near the same spot you would find the view virtually unrecognizable. Almost every building in the photograph has been demolished or altered.

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