Times Square 1984: The Postmodern Moment

Architecture, Events

Skyscraper Museum, Times Square history, Times Square architecture, Carol Willis, Times Square 1984: The Postmodern Moment

What’s now a Disney Land-like mix of big-brand stores like M&M’s and Hershey’s, the televised location for Good Morning America, and home to everyone’s favorite costumed characters, was once “the worst block in town.” During the 1970’s and 80’s, Times Square was filled with peep shows and porn theaters and riddled with crime. In 1984, in an effort to build taller and reduce crime while preserving the frantic energy and cultural heritage of the area, a design competition was organized by the Municipal Art Society and the National Endowment for the Arts. The debate among architects, developers, and preservationists came after plans were revealed for four skyscrapers near the intersection of 42nd Street, Broadway, and Seventh Avenue.

Now, a new exhibition at the downtown Skyscraper Museum will resurface the submissions from this design competition, exploring the history of Manhattan’s most recognizable crossroads.

More about the fascinating new exhibit “Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment”

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