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On Monday, October 27, 2014, in conjunction with the Skyscraper Museum’s exhibition TIMES SQUARE, 1984, Professor Lynne B. Sagalyn, discussed her book Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon (MIT Press 2001). The following event description is from the Skyscraper Museum which also features the full presentation of the book talk on its website.
“Debunking the myth of an overnight urban miracle performed by Disney and Mayor Giuliani, she tells the far more complex and commanding tale of a twenty-year process of public controversy, nonstop litigation, and interminable delay. Prof. Sagalyn’s definitive history of Times Square's redevelopment explores the complex relationship between planning and politics and the role of market forces in reshaping Times Square. On the occasion of the Museum's exhibition TIMES SQUARE, 1984, Prof. Sagalyn led a discussion about the process of researching and writing the book and her thoughts on Times Square today.
Times Square Roulette details the complex relationship between planning and politics and the role of market forces in reshaping Times Square, demonstrating how policy was wedded to deal making and how persistent individuals and groups forged both. 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.”
Lynne B. Sagalyn is the Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate, Director of the MBA Real Estate Program, and Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. She is currently finishing a book on the rebuilding of The World Trade Center.