Posts Tagged ‘Longacre Square’

An East Side sign with an old New York address

May 14, 2018

Outside a pretty walkup building at 242 East 60th Street is a postwar-style sign for an apartment building called Ambassador Terrace, a white-brick highrise in the East 40s.

I’m sure the interiors and lobby at the Ambassador have undergone upgrades over the years. But you wouldn’t know it from the sign, with its wonderful two-letter prefix on the management office’s phone number.

LO for Longacre, a reminder that Times Square was Longacre Square until 1904.

What’s also great is the two-digit zip code: 18.

These short postal codes were instituted in the 1940s to help speed mail delivery. They were replaced by the 5-number zip codes we use today in the 1960s.

Here’s more examples of old phone exchanges found around the modern city. And postal codes too: this one was hiding on East 10th Street.

Times Square before it became Times Square

December 27, 2016

Here’s a look at Times Square in 1900, seven years before the neighborhood became famous for the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop—and in fact, before it was even called Times Square.


At the time, the nexus of avenues that would soon be dubbed the Crossroads of the World was known as Longacre Square, the sleepy center of the city’s carriage industry.

By the turn of the 20th century, New York’s theater district had edged up against the area—see the burlesque house on the left. In four years, the New York Times would relocate to that spot in the center of the card.

And starting in 1907, New Year’s Eve in New York would never be the same.

[Photo: MCNY]

What Times Square looked like in 1911

July 2, 2012

That’s when it was still known as Longacre Square, though the name was officially changed in 1904 when The New York Times built its new headquarters there.

Looks so small-town, doesn’t it?

Three ways of looking at Times Square

August 12, 2010

West 47th Street and Broadway (looking south) comes off like a frontier town in this 1878 photo. Check out the dirt roads!

At the time, it was the city’s carriage trade district, home to carriage makers and stables. Soon it would be renamed the more elegant-sounding Longacre Square, after the carriage district in London.

Things changed a lot by 1975, when the above photo was taken. Longacre Square became Times Square in 1904, and the northern end was renamed Duffy Square in 1939.

Today, Times Square the pedestrian mall still has a TKTS kiosk. But Florsheim Shoes and Burger King are gone, and gleaming glass office buildings sparkle along Broadway and Seventh Avenue.

[First two photos from New York Then and Now]