Friday, January 30, 2009

42d St. Lyric Theater Then/Now

1992
Today

15 comments:

Virginia said...

You just have to wonder what they're thinking here. "Hey Herb! Look at that g reat looking old building with all the detail work. Let's go get a big , gaudy, hideous blinking sign and see if we can cover it up!"
Geeesh KM. It's just a damn shame and it looks like it's going on all over town. Are you the only one up there with any taste???
V

Daryl said...

Amazing contrast ..

This morning I was too lazy to get off the bus and look for the shoe statues .. but I did look over my shoulder and now I realize why I never noticed them before .. they're in the street not on Broadway so I dont feel quite so dense.

The Green Cat said...

While I'm no fan of the gaudy sign, unfortunately the Bway producers have to have jazzy signage to promote their shows. And with the amount of distraction on the New 42nd Street, I can understand why the Hilton has gone with such a large sign. Say what you will about what it looks like now, but the Lyric (and the Apollo, both of which are incorporated into the current Hilton Theater) was condemned in the 1990's. While the original theaters were demolished, elements of them were saved and incorporated into the new theater. So while there may be a hideous sign covering the facade right now, it's better than the entire facade having been demolished to make way for another non-descript box.

More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilton_Theatre

sonia a. mascaro said...

Love your pictures! When I visit NY I must bring your blog with me, for sure!

Ken Mac said...

Thanks Green Cat. While some of what she says is true, the developers have turned 42nd and Times Square into a giant non descript box where there is no trace of either the area's history or the old theaters, save two! My pics don't do it justice, I would rather walk among the druggies and dealers of old than an endless in your face parade of ugly signage, taffic and noise. One thing no picture can show is how quiet Times Square was then. Sure it was dangerous, but if you came to new York you learned how to hold yourself and walk the street. Street smarts, now it's all shopping smarts.

Ken Mac said...

Cat's logic has also contributed to the plethora of incredibly ugly signage...they have to compete right?

marley said...

Its a shame this buildings beautiful details are hidden by these signs.

JM said...

I think this should not be allowed, it's a shame!

Hilda said...

The architectural detailing looks even more elaborate now, but there are just too many signs! They should show off the building more.

Cimba7200 said...

It looked more dignified in 1992, don't you think? - Dave

The Green Cat said...

Ken: I also prefer the old 42nd Street--the one with character. I hate that it has become a generic swath of neon crap. I didn't mean to imply that I was in favor of the ugly signage. I merely wanted to point out that at least some bits of the original buildings are saved in some of the ugly renovations.

Incidentally, if you get a chance to see the new Disney offices in the floors above the New Amsterdam Theater, they have saved the old proscenium from the original little theater on the upper floors and incorporated it into the office space!

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