All photos courtesy of Times Square Alliance
2021 has arrived in Times Square. The famous, seven-foot numerals are in the plaza for folks to see up-close and take photos with before they’re placed on top of One Times Square underneath the famous New Year’s Eve ball. The four numbers use a total of 526 LED bulbs and will be in the Times Square Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets until tomorrow at noon.
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Photo credit: Countdown Entertainment, LLC, courtesy of Times Square Alliance
In September, the Times Square Alliance announced that its annual New Year’s Eve celebration will take place virtually this year, including the famous ball drop. This will be the first time in 114 years that the December 31 event will not have a crowd. But thanks to a new app developed by Jamestown, Times Square will come to the living rooms of revelers around the world. Turning the New Year’s Eve experience into a video game, the app lets users create a personalized avatar, explore a virtual Times Square, play games, and live stream the countdown to midnight. Real-life musical performances, interviews, and countdowns are still happening this year but will be live-streamed instead.
Rendering courtesy of 3deluxe
It’s been over ten years since cars were first banned in some sections of Times Square. Is it time for additional street closures along bustling Broadway? In a new design study, the Germany-based architecture firm 3deluxe has reimagined Times Square to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists, trading vehicular traffic lanes for recreational activities, landscaped features, and public transportation. The concept comes as New York and other cities continue to reexamine the value of safe public space as the fight to control the coronavirus pandemic continues.
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All photos courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Just like their doughnuts, Krispy Kreme says its new 24-hour Times Square flagship will be “fresh and one-of-a-kind.” Opening on September 15, the massive, immersive new shop will feature the world’s largest glaze waterfall, a doughnut-making theater, and the ability to produce 4,560 doughnuts an hour.
PSA by Carrie Mae Weems; Photo by Maria Baranova
A public art campaign is lighting up Times Square in support of New York City’s healthcare and essential workers. As part of a joint effort by Times Square Arts, For Freedoms, and Poster House, “Messages for the City,” now in its second phase, features work from more than 30 artists and designers on digital public service announcements in New York, Boston, and Chicago.
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Photo by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash
To show support for New York City’s essential workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of buildings turned blue Thursday night. Madison Square Garden, One World Trade Center’s spire, Beacon Theatre, Pier 17, Hudson Yards’ Vessel, and more join more than 100 landmarks across the country as part of the #LightItBlue campaign. The nationwide lighting will occur weekly every Thursday.
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The Times Square shuttle platform, Photo by Helvetica Fanatic on Wikimedia
At the platform of the Times Square-Grand Central shuttle, a train track is hidden in plain sight. At both ends of the two-station line, tracks are numbered 1, 3 and 4, with no Track 2 to be found. As the New York Times explained, Track 2 once ran in its appropriate spot, between Tracks 1 and 3, but was taken out of operation nearly 100 years ago. After an attempt to expand the original 1904 line turned to major confusion for commuters, transit officials covered Track 2 with wooden flooring to make it easier for New Yorkers to walk to the new tracks.
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Rendering courtesy of TSX Broadway
A mixed-use development project hopes to bring even more bright lights and theatrics to Times Square. A team of developers, led by L&L Holding Company, will provide the ultimate New Year’s Eve experience at its new luxury hotel, part of the plan to transform the historic Palace Theatre into TSX Broadway. New renderings of the $2.5 billion project, which involves raising the theater more than 30 feet and building a 669-room hotel above it, show off suites with perfect views of the Times Square ball drop, the neighborhood’s first outdoor stage, and immersive retail experiences.
Photo by Kohei Kanno on Flickr
Every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31, anticipation runs high as the world holds its breath waiting for the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball to descend from its flagpole atop One Times Square. We all know that the countdown starts at 10, but there are a handful of other fun facts to muse over when it comes to the city’s most lauded tradition. From the wattage of the ball to the weight of trash produced to how long it takes to get it all cleaned up, see what we’ve rounded up, in numbers, ahead!
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The 2007 Times Square Ball during construction. Image courtesy of Focus Lighting.
When midnight hits this New Year’s Eve, the Times Square Ball will dazzle people just the same from five feet away or on their television. Making this magic happen is no easy feat, though. To learn a bit more about how the nearly 12,000-pound ball was created, we chatted with principal designer Christine Hope of Focus Lighting, the architectural lighting design firm who conceptualized the current ball more than 10 years ago. From engineering a new system to make all 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles sparkle to dreaming up the magical light show that plays leading up to the ball drop, Focus Lighting shares the inside scoop on this world-famous tradition.