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Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon
     

Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon

by Lynne B. Sagalyn
 
The spectacularly successful transformation of Times Square has become a model for other cities. From its beginning as Longacre Square. Times Square's commercialism, signage, cultural diversity, and social tolerance have been deeply embedded in New York City's psyche. Its symbolic role guaranteed that any plan for its renewal would push the hot buttons of public

Overview

The spectacularly successful transformation of Times Square has become a model for other cities. From its beginning as Longacre Square. Times Square's commercialism, signage, cultural diversity, and social tolerance have been deeply embedded in New York City's psyche. Its symbolic role guaranteed that any plan for its renewal would push the hot buttons of public controversy: free speech, property-taking through eminent domain, development density, tax subsidy, and historic preservation.

In Times Square Roulette, Lynne Sagalyn debunks the myth of an overnight urban miracle performed by Disney and Mayor Giuliani, to tell the far more complex and commanding tale of a twenty-year process of public controversy, nonstop litigation, and seemingly interminable delay. She tells how the troubled execution of the original redevelopment plan provided a rare opportunity to rescript it. And timing was all: The mid-1990s saw rising international corporate interest in the city as a mecca for mass-market entertainment and synergistic merchandising. Sagalyn details the complex relationship between planning and polities and the role of market forces in shaping Times Square's redevelopment opportunities. She shows how policy was wedded to deal making and how persistent individuals and groups forged both.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lynne B. Sagalyn, director of the MBA real estate program at Columbia University's business school, explores the underpinnings of New York's concerted mid-1990s gentrification efforts in Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon. Alongside the usual suspects Giuliani, Disney, the ousted peep shows and porn venues Sagalyn places Koch, the Broadway Association, "maverick realtor" Irving Maidman, Frederic S. Papert and his not-for-profit 42nd Street Development Corp., and a host of other major and minor players in the continual plans for redeveloping Times Square. By the 1960s, '70s and '80s, the area had become a blatant symbol of the decline of urban America, a far cry from its glory days in the 1920s as the pinnacle of theatrical couture. On the other hand, when redevelopment plans threatened too drastic a face-lift, critics waxed nostalgic about "the symbolic soul of New York." The jumble of symbolisms, politics, policies and business plans characterizing 20th-century 42nd Street has never before been subject to such thorough and perspicacious scrutiny. 175 illus., 25 in color. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Architecture

If, as Lynne Sagalyn asserts, 'the deal is in the details,' then this book is the real deal.

New York Sun

... Magisterially copious...

The New Yorker

... masterly... full of eye-opening material.

From the Publisher

"If, as Lynne Sagalyn asserts, 'the deal is in the details,' then this book is the real deal." Alexander J. Reichl
Architecture

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262194624
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
11/21/2001
Pages:
638
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Jerry I. Speyer

A compelling and timely account of development politics and policy in New York. With balance, insight, and terrific writing, Times Square Roulette explains the complicated process of city building and in newly revealing ways sheds light on the dynamics of public-private real estate ventures in New York. Real Estate professionals, students, city residents, and others who love cities have much to gain by reading Sagalyn's telling account of one of the city's great transformations.

Alan Altshuler

Sagalyn has a terrific story to tell, and she tells it with a remarkable mix of local color and analytic sophistication. She has a deep understanding of politics, economics, corporate and public finance, city planning, and urban design; and she integrates them gracefully throughout.

Eugenie L. Birch

In Times Square Roulette, Lynne B. Sagalyn has accomplished the extraordinary feat of presenting a balanced, sophisticated, and definitive account of one of the nation's most-watched urban turnarounds. She brilliantly blends intriguing historical narrative with careful financial and political analysis to capture the excitement, complexity, and dynamism of the large-scale public-private partnerships that are at the heart of today's remarkable city revival. This is a great story!

Kenneth T. Jackson

The self-styled 'crossroads of the world,' Times Square has always been different from the entertainment districts of other American cities -- bigger, louder, more crowded, and even more depraved. The battle for its future, as well as its past, has been complex and confused, but has never been explained with more clarity and power than by Lynne Sagalyn.

From the Publisher

"In Times Square Roulette, Lynne B. Sagalyn has accomplished the extraordinary feat of presenting a balanced, sophisticated, and definitive account of one of the nation's most-watched urban turnarounds. She brilliantly blends intriguing historical narrative with careful financial and political analysis to capture the excitement, complexity, and dynamism of the large-scale public-private partnerships that are at the heart of today's remarkable city revival. This is a great story!"--Eugenie L. Birch, Professor and Chair, Department of City and
Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

Edward I. Koch

Lynne Sagalyn has analyzed the remaking of 42nd Street with extraordinary diligence and insight. A must read for New York City aficionados.

Meet the Author

Lynne B. Sagalyn is the Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Director of the MBA Real Estate Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

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