100 Years-An Intersection's New Name: Times Square
About hundred years ago on April 9,1904- New York City renamed the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, ''Times Square Is the Name of City's New Centre.''
Mayor George B. McClellan signed the resolution changing the name of Long Acre Square to Times Square. Beneath the headline was a map with ''Times Square'' in large letters and the new landmarks of what had been a horse-and-buggy neighborhood -- Long Acre Square had been named after London's carriage district.
A Gothic fortress that was being built between Broadway and Seventh Avenue and 42nd and 43rd Streets. And it was assumed to be the tallest skeleton structure in New York, about 430 feet.
The newspaper's editorial page commented on the name change on the morning the map was published. Times Square, The Times said, ''is a name that serves perfectly for identification and is one, we think, not likely to be forgotten in this community.” Its main entrance led to a subway station. And the subway, The Times said, was the reason for the new name.
A new distinctive title is given to the subway station in the basement of The Times Building at the corner of Forty-Second Street and Broadway, calling the station 'Forty-Second Street' would have been a source of endless confusion, since the Grand Central Station of the subway is also on Forty-second Street. The name 'Broadway Station' would have been open to the same objection, since there are many other subway stations on Broadway. The name Times Station naturally suggested itself, since the subway passes through the first underground story of The Times Building.''
Times Tower in 1904 was Manhattan’s second-tallest building. Indeed, if one had measured from the bottom if its three humongous sub-basements that had been built to accommodate the structural loading and weight demands of The Times’ up-to-date printing equipment, it was the tallest building in the city at that time.
Adolph S. Ochs, the publisher of The Times from 1896 to 1935, said that the name change originated with August Belmont, In the beginning of the 20th century, The Times was already an institution. This led August Belmont, who was then the president of the city’s subway system known at that time as the Interborough Rapid Transit Company to suggest to the Rapid Transit Commission that the name of the area where the newspaper’s new headquarters would be housed should be changed from Longacre Square to Times Square.
Ochs followed Belmont’s lead and lobbied the city too, and ultimately both men were successful and the city granted their wish.
Times Square is now the national, and indeed the global, capital of commercial culture, busiest pedestrian, hub of Broadway theaters, has become one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, called "heart of the world".