Long Acre Square, before Times Square


The present Times Square was called Long Acre Square before 1904, when Times Building was erected. The "square" is formed mainly by the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, in Manhattan.

In the 18th century, New York City began its expansion towards northern Manhattan. The area, which is now Times Square, belonged to John Morin Scott (1730-1784), who practiced law in Manhattan and served as an alderman in New York . In the 1760s, Broadway began its expansion beyond present-day Ann Street.

In the first half of the 19th century, this area became a possession of John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), merchant and real estate mogul. About mid-19th century the area was called Long Acre Square after the Long Acre’s carriage district in London, a historic road.

In the second half of the century, the area north of 42d Street was the horse center of New York City. The William H. Vanderbilt’s American Horse Exchange, built in 1881, was located at Broadway, 7th Avenue and 50th Street. It was destroyed by fire in 1896 and reconstructed the following year.

In the 1880s, Long Acre Square consisted of a large open space surrounded by drab apartment buildings.

By the 1890s this part of the City was full of shops, theaters, restaurants, cafes and hotels, including the Pabst Hotel, erected in 1899 and demolished to make way for Times Building. In August 1897, Long Acre Square received asphalt pavement and large billboards were already showing up.

In 1902, the Studebaker Building was erected on the north side of West 48th Street.

The New York Times Building was erected in 1904 and, before it was completed by the end of the year, the name of the square was changed to Times Square by the Board of Aldermen, who voted on April 5, to rename it and the subway station at that point to be called Times Station, which opened to the public on October 27. It was the first Interborough Rapid Transit subway line opened in NYC.

Many businesses bet that New York Subway would bring commercial success and sought to move their businesses close to Times Square, considered to be the City's new center.


Long Acre Square



Old City of New York



Theater NYC




Intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue, known as Long Acre Square (extracted from the plan The City of New York, published by Galt & Hoy, 1879, with additional texts in color). More fragments for the 42nd Street


Long Acre Aquare


Long Acre Square, looking south from from 45th Street, 1900. The New York Burlesque Ballet and Varieties theater is at left, Hotel Cadillac and The Pabst Hotel are in the background, street cleaners clean up after the horse (photo Byron Company, source: Museum of the City of New York).


Times buildings construction


Construction NYC


Map Times Square


Long Acre Square, looking north, during subway construction, about 1902.


Broadway Long Acre Square


Manhattan 19th century

Lower Manhattan, looking south from 42nd St., showing the Croton Reservoir and the Crystal Palace, between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue.


Shops NY

Broadway, west side. 48th to 50th St. - 1899.


Subway Construction NY


19th century


Broadway 40th street NY

Broadway, west side, 40th to 43rd St - 1899.


Hotels NYC

Broadway, east side, 40th to 43rd St. - 1899.



Pabst Hotel





West 42nd Street

Site of Times Building.


Pabst Hotel






Times Building


Times Square images


Old City New York


Long Acre Square




Times Square



Long Acre Square, before Times Square


Copyright © Geographic Guide - NYC. Historic Places.