Times Square Throughout The 20th Century

By Giuliana Manca, Epoch Times
March 24, 2016 3:32 pm Last Updated: March 24, 2016 3:32 pm

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. 

Panorama of Longacre Square, S. from 46th St., New York City. Photograph originally copyrighted by the Detroit Publishing Co. (Library of Congress)
c.1905—This panorama of Longacre Square, looking south from 46th Street was originally copyrighted by the Detroit Publishing Company (Library of Congress).

"The great white way" B'way south from 42nd St. Photograph showing Broadway at night, with crowds gathered to see films projected outdoors.(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)

New York Theatre on left and Hotel Cadillac in left background, Times Square. (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)

Longacre Square, S. from 46th St., New York City. (Library of Congress)
c.1919—An interwar view of Times Square, looking south from 46th Street (Library of Congress)

Feb 7 1933 Gottscho, Samuel H. (Samuel Herman), 1875-1971, photographer. New York city views. Times Square to south at night. (Library of Congress)
February 7, 1933— A southernly night time shot of Times Square by photographer Samuel Herman Gottscho (Library of Congress)

Sekaer, Peter, 1901-1950, photographer Keck, Charles, 1875-1951, sculptor. Photograph shows two men looking at Father Francis P. Duffy statue by Charles Keck in Times Square, New York.Times Square with Father Duffy's statue still wrapped up. (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 Vachon, John, 1914-1975, photographer. New York, New York. Times Square on a rainy day (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)

Looking north from the intersection of 44th Street, Broadway, left, and Seventh Avenue, right, this view shows the lighting in the Times Square area in full and brilliant display, in Manhattan, New York City, on February 17, 1950. Broadway continues in the upper left; Seventh Avenue runs to the upper right. (AP Photo)
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)

The Lights went on much earlier than usual as heavy clouds caused a semi darkness resembling twilight in New York, June 22, 1961. By 4:30 pm, the lights of Times Square theaters blazed brightly and reflected in the rain dampened streets. (AP Photo/Hans Von Nolde)
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)

A general view of some of the advertising signs and displays found in the Times Square area of New York, Jan. 8, 1971. (AP Photo)
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)

Times Square Theatre Ticket Center in New York City, March 11, 1982. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis)
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)

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, Thursday, Nov. 27, 1992.  A 66-foot long tail trails behind the Pink Panther balloon.  (AP Photo/Richard Harbus)
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)

Traffic flows along the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue in New York's Times Square Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1999. While officials acknowledged there is no guarantee of a terrorist-free New Year's in New York, they quickly added that they had taken every possible precaution to protect revelers. (AP Photo/Aaron Jackson)
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)