“And blood-black nothingness began to spin
A system of cells interlinked within
Cells interlinked within cells interlinked
Within one stem.
And dreadfully distinct
Against the dark, a tall white fountain played.”
Words by Officer K taken from Denis Villeneuve’s film Blade Runner 2049, 2017.
Photo by Rick Stachura. June 6, 2021.
One Times Square (aka 1475 Broadway) from West 42nd Street.
Sans its lofty billboards and wraparound news ticker, One Times Square is a stupefying sight — perhaps even sacrilegious. It is, after all, the great Sauron of Advertising, its LEDs famous for beaming sneakers and stoves and stay-fresh deodorants down to the streets below. And, with its annual feat of mesmerism, it compels the world to watch it adjust its crystal Eye each December 31st, when a ball drops slowly from a pole on its roof to announce the new year.
But now, according to public filings, Sauron is getting gutted. Its interior stairs are being replaced and, by extension, each of its floors will be transformed. Plans call for its fourth floor disappearing to expand the third, and a “vertical enlargement of four stories” adding to its height. A new elevator will provide express travel to and from its roof — presumably so the Eye can be venerated. There’ll even be a jazzed up curtain wall to cover the tower’s bones. All told, the projected refurbishments will cost Sauron’s owners $32 million.
During construction, however, a stair scaffolding will be wrought around building’s facade to bring workers inside. Ostensibly, that’s the reason all the ads were removed: They’d be in the way.