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Crossroads Of The World

February 2024
1min read

A century ago the New York Times put up a new building in midtown Manhattan (its cheerful terra cotta has long been debauched by a rebarbative gray cladding), and when the subway station there opened on October 27, 1904, the publisher, Adolph S. Ochs, exercised enough clout to get the stop named after his paper. So Longacre Square became Times Square, and within a generation it was known around the globe, its intersection with Forty-second Street the most famous of all crossroads. A wonderfully beguiling and spirited birthday salute, Times Square Style: Graphics From the Great White Way , by Vicki Gold Levi and Steven Heller (Princeton Architectural Press, $20.00), teems with the sorts of images Times Square and its enterprises have used to sell themselves: matchbooks, postcards, menus, chinaware, posters, song sheets, all of them together conjuring a place- at once familiar and exotic—of lobster palaces and showgirls, skyscrapers rising from warrens of bars and trinket shops and penny arcades, and, of course, lights, lights, lights.

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