New York’s iconic tourist attraction, Times Square, has been the heart of the city since the early 20th century.
Formerly called Long Acre Square (or Longacre), the public space that developed around the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue has since sprawled out to extend from 42nd Street to 49th Street.
While the features, atmosphere, and technology at the Big Apple’s center has changed over the last century, its mythic ability to gather together humans from around the world has never changed.
Below is a collection of images of Times Square during every decade of the 20th Century.
c.1905—This panorama of Longacre Square, looking south from 46th Street was originally copyrighted by the Detroit Publishing Company (Library of Congress).
c.1908—Looking south down Broadway, nicknamed “the great white way,” from 42nd Street, with crowds gathered to see films projected outdoors (Library of Congress)
c.1911—The New York Theatre can be seen to the left and Hotel Cadillac is present in the background (Library of Congress)
c.1919—An interwar view of Times Square, looking south from 46th Street (Library of Congress)
February 7, 1933— A southernly night time shot of Times Square by photographer Samuel Herman Gottscho (Library of Congress)
1937—Photographer Peter Sekaer captures an image of the Father Francis P. Duffy statue still wrapped up. The statue, sculpted by Charles Keck, was dedicated on May 2, 1937 by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (Library of Congress)
March 1943—The wet pavement of Times Square looks as if it were the surface of a pond, in this photo taken by John Vachon (Library of Congress)
Feburary 17, 1950—Looking north from the intersection of 44th Street, Broadway, left, and Seventh Avenue, right, this view shows the lighting in the Times Square. Broadway continues in the upper left; Seventh Avenue runs to the upper right. (AP Photo)
June 22, 1961—The lights went on much earlier than usual as heavy clouds caused a semi darkness resembling twilight in New York. By 4:30 pm, the lights of Times Square theaters blazed brightly and reflected in the rain dampened streets. (AP Photo/Hans Von Nolde)
January 8, 1971—Facing south, this is a general view of some of the advertising signs and displays found in Times Square when the photo was taken (AP Photo)
March 11, 1982—Times Square Theatre Ticket Center, also known as TKTS, is an initiative created by Theatre Development Fund in 1973, five years after the fund’s creation in 1968 (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis)
November 27, 1992—Spectators brave the elements as floats and balloons make their way through New York’s Times Square during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along Broadway. A 66-foot long tail trails behind the Pink Panther balloon (AP Photo/Richard Harbus)
December 15, 1999—This image looks north, with Broadway slanting uptown to the left and Seventh Avenue extending straight on the right. This photo was taken just 16 days before the end of the 20th century (AP Photo/Aaron Jackson)