Longacre Square

Longacre Square

Longacre Square was at the intersection in Midtown Manhattan of 42nd Street, Blooming dale Road and Seventh Avenue. Originally named Long Acre by the British colonists, it was a nexus of important roads to the north of the island. George Washington stayed in Long Acre while in New York during the American Revolutionary War.

By the mid-1800s it had become popularly called Long Acre after a similar carriage-making district in London, also a home to stables, and carriage shops. William Henry Vanderbilt owned and ran the American Horse Exchange there until the turn of the century.

The first theater on the square, the Olympia, was built by cigar manufacturer Oscar Hammerstein I. More profitable commerce and industrialization of lower Manhattan pushed homes, theaters, and prostitution northward from the Tenderloin District. Long acre Square became nicknamed the Thieves Lair for its rollicking reputation as a low entertainment district.

It was renamed Times Square on April 8, 1904, by proclamation of Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr. at the urging of Adolph Ochs, owner and publisher of the New York Times. The north end later became Duffy Square.


  • Inventing Times Square, W. Taylor, Johns Hopkins U. Press 1996 [ISBN 0-8018-5337-0]
  • NYC-Architecture.com
  • Tales of Times Square J. Friedman, 1993 Feral House [ISBN 0-922915-17-2]
  • The Devil's Playground J. Traub, 2004 Random House [ISBN 0-375-75978-6]
  • Times Square W. Fazio, Children's Press 2000 [ISBN 0-516-26530-X]
  • Valentine's Manual of Old New York, H. Brown, Valentine 1922
  • Messing with kids lives, L. Thornton. 1921 "Production stopped after charges of satanism and infanticide"
  • Welcome to Long Acre W2CE

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