The southwest corner of Broadway and West 47th Street at Duffy Square was a very important spot for Forgotten NY in its very early days in March 1999 when the site launched. Under those billboards and screens (this was shot in May 2010, so they have changed since then) are some brand new buildings, but also some very old ones.
In the above photo, focus on the narrow building that advertises The Heights musical and has the neon sign “Roxy.”
Forgive the fuzzy photo — I wanted to enlarge the file I had on hand a little, and I was too lazy to root out the original photo in my archives and rescan it.
In late 1998 the building on the SW corner was razed. Behind it was this glorious ad for “J.A. Keal’s Carriage Manufactory” dating to a year or two either side of 1880. In those days, Times Square was called Longacre Square in a homage of sorts to London’s Longacre Square which was home to the city’s carriage manufacturers and also home to a number of hostelries in which horses were traded.
In fact, Broadway’s Winter Garden was once a building home to the horse trade.
The Keal’s ad was quickly covered up again when the corner building was built later in 1999. It’s still under there awaiting the day when the new corner building succumbs to the wreckers. Probably, I and everyone else reading this will be as gone as Keal’s “manufactory” by then!
Note that traffic patterns have also completely changed. No cars are allowed on Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets these days.