A symbol of the Big Apple
Times Square is the long intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, between West 42nd and 47th St. A symbol of the Big Apple, the approximately 40 playhouses in its side streets make it the centre of the theatre world. Here, where city regulations require that all advertising be illuminated, the neon heart of the metropolis beats. An estimated one and a half million pedestrians cross the “world's intersection” daily, and more than 20 million tourists come here every year. Every New Year's Eve hundreds of thousands of revellers stand here and take part in the traditional countdown to the new year.In the 19th century it was called “Longacre Square” and was the site of coachmen, saddleries and horse stables. The area was rather notorious, and the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Ave. was nicknamed “Thieves' Lair”. In 1904 the New York Times moved into its new publishing house “Times Tower” at the southern end of the square, which from then on carried its name (the editorial offices have since then moved their offices into a new building by Renzo Piano on Eighth Ave., between 40th and 41st St.). The narrow high rise with the address “1 Times Square” has since then changed owners several times. The square's rise to become the centre of New York's entertainment district began with the opening of the first house of the Metropolitan Opera in the year 1883 and with the opening of the Olympia Theater two years later by Oscar Hammerstein.