NYC - Times Square: Mototron
One Times Square is best known as the building iupon which the famous New Year's Times Square Ball drop is performed annually. It was originally built by the New York Times in 1904 as a headquarters for their operations, and at 25-stories, 395 ft (120 m) it was the second tallest building in the world. The Times celebrated its opening with a fireworks display on January 1, 1905, at midnight, starting an annual celebration that continues to this day. The famous New Year's Eve Ball drop tradition began in 1907, adapted from the United States Naval Observatory practice of dropping a Time Ball down a flag pole every day at noon.
During World War II in the early 1940s, the ball lowering was stopped for two years due to a wartime conservation of energy. A celebration was still held, but the crowds observed a minute of silence.
Less than ten years after moving to One Times Square, The New York Times moved its corporate headquarters to a nearby building, 229 West 43rd Street, in 1913. In 1928, the famous electric news ticker display near the base of the building was first used to announce the results of the US presidential election of 1928. Spanning the base of the entire building, the sign was originally comprised of 14,800 lamps. The ticker was dark for a decade between 1975 and 1985, when Newsday sponsored its revival. Today it is sponsored by Dow Jones, the parent of The Wall Street Journal.
In the 1960's, the building was purchased by Allied Chemical, who modified the facade by replacing the granite and terracotta elements with marble facing and simple concrete paneling. Today, the cost of renovating the building with central air conditioning has largely left it unoccupied occasionally shuffling retail tenants on the first few floors. The operators don't seem to mind as they take in more than enough rent money for the building's 26 signs.