Jamestown Properties’ One Times Square, which is best known as the home of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, is a largely vacant building splattered with graffiti. But the building still rakes in over $23 million annually from its lucrative advertising signage — accounting for more than 85 percent of its revenues.
“It made most sense when you cover all the windows with signs to not have it be so occupied,” Jamestown’s chief operating officer Michael Phillips told the New Yorker.
Every year about one million people gather around the 25-story building at 42nd Street and Broadway to see the ball drop, a tradition that stretches back 106 years. The property was once the home of the New York Times — from 1905 to 1913, at which point the newspaper moved to 229 West 43rd Street.
But the building has a darker past too, according to the New Yorker. The Federal Bureau of Investigation once used the building for pistol practice and a seventh-floor office housed German spies. [New Yorker] – Hiten Samtani