Times Square Remade
The Dynamics of Urban Change
440 pp., 7 x 10 in, 91 color illus., 67 b&w illus.
- Published: October 10, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: October 31, 2023
- Publisher: The MIT Press
The illuminating evolution of the iconic space of Times Square.
What is it about Times Square that has inspired such attention for well over a century? And how is it that, despite its many changes of character, the place has maintained a unique hold on our collective imagination? In this book, which comes twenty years after her widely acclaimed Times Square Roulette, Lynne Sagalyn masterfully tells the story of profound urban change over decades in the symbolic space that is New York City's Times Square. Drawing on the history, sociology, and political economy of the place, Times Square Remade examines how the public-private transformation of 42nd Street at Times Square impacted the entertainment district and adjacent neighborhoods, particularly Hell's Kitchen.
Sagalyn chronicles the earliest halcyon days of 42nd Street and Times Square as the nexus of speculation and competitive theater building as well as its darkest days as vice central, and on to the years of aggressive government intervention to cleanse West 42nd Street of pornography and crime. Thematically, the author analyzes the three main forces that have shaped and reshaped Times Square—theater, real estate, and pornography—and explains the politics and economics of what got built and what has been restored or preserved.
Accompanied by nearly 160 images, more than half in color, Times Square Remade is a deftly woven narrative of urban transformation that will appeal as much to the general reader and New York City enthusiast as to urbanists, city planners, architects, urban designers, and policymakers.
“Since the area was renamed Times Square in 1904 no other intersection on Earth has been as iconic, famous, and frequented as the crossroads of the world in New York. And no other person has written with such authority and knowledge about the place as Lynne Sagalyn.”
Kenneth T. Jackson, Editor-in-Chief, The Encyclopedia of New York City
“Sagalyn's erudition marches off every page, and her ability to show what Times Square has meant in both modern urban culture and New York politics transforms the history of a single neighborhood into a fundamental narrative of space and time.”
Sharon Zukin, author of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places
“Lynne Sagalyn brilliantly weaves together the strands of real estate, popular entertainment, economics, and politics that created Times Square, to explain the problems the area has faced down and the challenges it faces today.”
Carl Weisbrod, Chairman, New York City Planning Commission, and Director, New York City Department of City Planning (2014–17)
“This deep look into the century-long, boom-and-bust story of Times Square is not only a study of real estate deals and urban policy but social history— with a whiff of regret for the loss of the district's once-gritty ambience.”
Cathleen McGuigan, Editor-in-Chief, Architectural Record (2011–22)
“A rare look into the intrigue of local politics and powerful business interests behind the complexity of urban real estate markets, Times Square Remade reads like a thriller that all urbanists need to put on their list.”
Alicia Glen, co-chair, Gateway Commission; founding manager and principal, MSquared; Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, City of New York (2014–19)