Still hating the new, PG-rated Times Square? You might reconsider after checking out this space-age redevelopment plan, proposed in 1962 as the neighborhood began its postwar slide into seediness.
The plan, from an area merchants’ association, depicts 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues as a two-story suburbanesque mall, according to Times Square Spectacular by Darcy Tell.
“The plans called for restoration of live theater at some of the ten remaining theaters, glass-fronted retail all along the blocks, and pedestrian walkways above the street,” writes Tell. Needless to say, that idea went no where.
In 1964, a second plan was introduced, featuring a giant convention center. “Included were exhibition galleries, promenades, a hotel, a high-rise office building, and an underpass down the middle of 42nd Street,” states Tell.
Other proposals made the rounds for decades, but it wasn’t until the 1990s when a plan that paired “the visually rich melange of past days with signature new anchor buildings,” as Tell puts it, became reality.
[Photo: Times Square Spectacular, page 138]