One Times Square

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One Times Square (also known as 1475 Broadway, New York Times Building and New York Times Tower) is a 25 story, 395 foot (110.6 m) high skyscraper at 42nd and Broadway in Times Square.
It was the second tallest building in Manhattan when it opened. The famous New Year's Times Square Ball drop is performed annually from its roof. One Times Square was originally built to be the headquarters of The New York Times. The One Times Square was to start the tradition of dropping the ball. It also introduced a news ticker (the "zipper") that has made it a gathering spot during world events.

One Times Square held a celebration of the opening of its new headquarters with a display of fireworks on January 1, 1905, at midnight. This celebration at Times Square continues to this day. The famous New Year's Eve Ball drop tradition began in 1907. The dropping of the ball was adapted from the United States Naval Observatory practice of lowering a time ball with a flag to signal the time of noon. This goes back to the mid-19th century.
Less than ten years after moving to One Times Square, The New York Times moved its corporate headquarters to a nearby building, 229 West 43rd Street, in 1913. The Times retained a classified advertising branch office in the building until it sold the Times Tower in 1961. The Times is now headquartered in the New York Times Building on nearby Eighth Avenue.
In 1928, the famous electric news ticker display near the base of the building was first used to announce the results of the US presidential election of 1928. Spanning the base of the entire building, the sign was originally made of 14,800 lamps. The ticker was dark between 1975 and 1980, when Newsday sponsored the revival of the display. The ticker is now sponsored by Dow Jones, the parent of The Wall Street Journal.
During World War II in the early 1940s, the ball lowering was stopped for two years due to wartime blackouts and energy conservation. A celebration was still held, but the crowds observed a minute of silence for the wartime efforts.
From building to billboard
The Times sold the building to Douglas Leigh in 1961. Leigh then sold the building to Allied Chemical in 1963. Allied Chemical greatly modified the building's facade, replacing intricate granite and terracotta elements with marble facing and simple concrete paneling. This refurbishment made a majority of the building's exterior a sheer wall, with the exception of floor-to-ceiling windows on the 16th floor. The 16th floor was a restaurant space for some time, allowing diners to eat their meals in Art Deco elegance at eye level with the glittering towers all around the square. However, the restaurant space has been closed since the 1980s.

Because of the extensive cost of renovating the One Times Square building with central air conditioning, the building currently has no tenants above the retail floors and is only used to hold dozens of colorful advertisements. Additionally, the operators of One Times Square have noted that the building generates more revenue as a collection of advertisements than it would full of tenants. In 2000, it was reported that the building's 26 signs bring in monthly rent checks ranging from $100,000 to $250,000.
In recent times the One Times Square building has been vacant except for occasional tenants in the retail space. In the late 1990s, a Warner Bros. retail store filled the first three floors, but most of the building remained vacant. For three weeks in March 2006, the first three floors were occupied by a "JC Penney Experience" store. The building's first three floors currently house a flagship Walgreens pharmacy, which opened in November 2008, On opening day, Walgreens launched the largest LED sign in Times Square. Walgreens' 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) sign with over 12 million LEDs dwarfs the previous largest LED sign in Times Square, the NASDAQ sign on Broadway. The Walgreens sign, designed by Gilmore Group and built by D3 LED, runs diagonally up both sides of the building and loops around the front, and weighs 250,000 pounds. Most of the remainder of the building was sheathed in a white fabric shortly before the Walgreens sign came online.
In late 2006, the iconic NBC Peacock that hung above the Panasonic Jumbotron was replaced with the logo of News Corp., the parent company of Fox. Weeks later, the Budweiser billboard that hangs above the JumboTron was expanded into a complete LED High definition screen, and the Cup Noodles ad that had hung above the former Peacock logo and Budweiser ads was taken down and replaced by a new Chevy billboard that features a clock. The One Times Square Chevy ad was replaced early December 2009 with an ad for Kia. In late 2007, Toshiba contracted the uppermost sign on One Times Square. It displays the iconic New Year's countdown on its screen, as well as messages, greetings, and advertisements for the company. And in late 2008, for the 2009 New Year's Eve celebration, the roof of the building was redesigned to accommodate an enlarged flagpole for the new New Year's Eve Ball, which was doubled in size and is displayed year-round at a new height of 485 ft (148 m). (Before New Year's 2009, the ball was taken off the flagpole shortly after New Year's and stored.) In 2010, a new Sony Jumbotron took the place of the Panasonic, and continues to be sponsored by News Corp.
The One Times Square digital signs on the building are considered to be the most valuable in the world. They can often be rented by the day or by the hour for product launches or other special events. The rental rates can be as high as $10,000 per hour.