Times Square is a major commercial intersection and the busiest square in New York. It is known for its many Broadway theatres, cinemas and electronic billboards. It is one of those places that make New York a city that never sleeps.
Formerly Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904 after the New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building. At the start of the First World War, Times Square was the centre of the Theatre District and attracted a large number of visitors.
This made the square an ideal place for billboards. In 1917, the first large electric display billboard was installed. Eleven years later, the first running electric sign was lit for the first time to announce Herbert Hoover’s victory in the Presidential elections. The billboards have become such a tourist attraction for the area, that the zoning now requires the buildings to be covered with billboards!
Many people come to Times Square for the atmosphere and the billboards spectacle, but there are also many restaurants and shops in the area, including some crowdpullers such as the Disney Store and a large candy shop `. But Times Square is best known for its entertainment, and plenty of visitors come here to attend a Broadway show. Times Square is also home to MTV’s headquarters, and ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ is broadcast in front of a live audience from its office at 44th and Broadway.
Times Square is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop. About one million people meet at Times Square for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, more than twice the usual number of visitors the area usually receives daily.
On December 31, 1907, a ball signifying New Year’s Day was first dropped at Times Square, and the Square has held the main New Year’s celebration in New York City ever since.