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Times Square has always been about reinvention — in order for the New York Times’ headquarters to be built (and give the spot its name), the Pabst Brewing Company’s Pabst Hotel had to be demolished. But in the late 1970s, after decades of grandeur followed by decades of decay, imagining the future of Times Square became a particularly pressing project.
Mayors John Lindsay and Ed Koch led the reforms, and by 1979, the nonprofit 42nd St. Redevelopment Corp. stepped in with ambitious plans to clean up the iconic cesspool. That era of redesign continued through to the Disneyfication of the neighborhood, and today, designers and architects are still trying to reimagine this one, singular place. […]