USA Travel and Tourism guides: Travel to the major commercial intersections Place Times Square in New York. It in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Times Square, codified as The Crossroads of the World and the Great White Way, is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. Times Square is the world's most visited tourist attraction, bringing in over 39 million visitors annually. Formerly named Long acre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building, which is now called One Times Square and is the site of the annual ball drop on New Year's Eve.
The northern triangle of Times Square is technically Duffy Square, dedicated in 1937 to Chaplain Francis P. Duffy of New York City's Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment; a memorial to Duffy is located there, along with a statue of George M. Cohan, and the TKTS discount theater tickets booth. The stepped red roof of the TKTS booth also provides seating for various events. The Duffy Statue and the square were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The theaters of Broadway and the huge number of animated neon and LED signs have long made them one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring building owners to display illuminated signs. The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. Officially, signs in Times Square are called spectaculars, and the largest of them are called jumbotrons.
Times Square is the site of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop. On December 31, 1907, a ball signifying New Year's Day was first dropped at Times Square, and the Square has held the main New Year's celebration in New York City ever since. On that night, hundreds of thousands of people congregate to watch the Waterford Crystal ball being lowered on a pole atop the building, marking the start of the New Year. Beginning in 1908, and for more than eighty years thereafter, Times Square sign maker Art raft Strauss was responsible for the ball-lowering. During World War II, a minute of silence, followed by a recording of church bells pealing, replaced the ball drop because of wartime blackout restrictions. Today, Countdown Entertainment and One Times Square handle the New Year's Eve event in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance. A new energy-efficient LED ball, celebrating the centennial of the ball drop, debuted for the arrival of 2008. The 2008/2009-ball, which was dropped on New Year's Eve (Wednesday, December 31, 2008) for the arrival of 2009, is larger and has become a permanent installation as a year-round attraction, being used for celebrations such as Valentine's Day and Halloween. On average, about 1 million revelers crowd Times Square for the New Year's Eve celebrations.