Walking Tour – The Transformation of Times Square and 42nd Street

Oct 20 at 10am–12pm
Meet at the northwest corner of Broadway and 47th Street, by Morgan Stanley Building at 1585 Broadway.
Organized by AIA New York

The Times Square “bowtie” and the area known as the “Deuce” (located on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) today share a remarkably similar energy evident in the dazzling signage, renovated theaters, new office buildings, and retail offerings by global brands. But the path to the revitalization of these two distinct but connected locales has been guided by very different notions of how to encourage rebuilding and preservation. 

By the 1970s, both areas had become known as derelict districts packed with crime, seediness and pornography.   The 42nd Street Development Project, a joint initiative of New York State and New York City, was based on the premise that the Deuce was essentially beyond repair, and unless wholesale changes were made, 42nd Street would not re-emerge as a thriving commercial and entertainment destination.  

On the other hand, the new wave of office buildings and hotels on and near the Times Square bowtie in the 19080s resulted from market forces and zoning incentives—very much a case of incremental improvements and not wholesale rebuilding. Midtown east had become over-congested with highrise office buildings, and New York City planners created a special Midtown Zoning District to move development west.  In addition, a theater subdistrict zoning amendment protected historic theaters and provided for transferable development rights from the theaters to commercial developers. 

Don’t miss this brand-new AIANY walking tour, an exciting exploration of the epic transformation of these areas into people‐friendly crossroads, a testament to how plaza design shapes and directs our movement and interactions. 

Tours will run rain or shine. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to tour start time. Registration is limited to 15; walk-ups are not guaranteed a spot on the tour. Some tours utilize VOX amplification systems; attendees are welcome to bring their personal earbuds.

NYC’s architecture and design month features hundreds of events, tours, and exhibitions organized by more than 60 partners across the five boroughs.
Saturday, Oct 27
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