The first New Year's Eve Times Square Ball in 1907 was made of iron and wood and decorated with 100 25-watt light bulb, weighing 700 pounds and being 5 feet in diameter.
The current Times Square Ball, designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 1,070 pounds and is 6 feet in diameter; the sphere is covered with 504 Waterford crystal triangles that are bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels, which are attached to the aluminum frame of the ball.
The building is unoccupied above the third floor but its owners get enough revenue from the billboard rent.
The tower fills a truncated triangular lot at the base of Longacre Square, later renamed Times Square for the building and its owner, The New York Times newspaper.
During the New Year's Celebration the ball drops 77 feet in 60 seconds beginning at 11:59 p.m. EST on December 31st.
The outside of the ball has 168 light bulbs, and there are 432 more inside, of which there are 208 clear and the rest are red, blue, green and yellow, 56 of each color, plus 96 high-intensity strobe lights that create the famous "flashing ball" effect.
In the early 1940s, the ball lowering was halted for two years due to the wartime dim-out; the crowds still gathered but celebrated with a minute of silence after which chimes rang out from an amplifier truck parked right next to the building.
Nowadays the building is called simply 1 Times Square, appropriate for its role as the undoubtedly best-known Times Square building.
During the 1960's, this Gothic Styled tower was stripped to the steel and reclad, resulting in a modernist curtain wall (designed by Smith Smith Haines Lundberg & Waehler) which is now hidden behind all of the advertizing.
Giant billboards of electric lights are placed on the front side of the building at Times Square.
Every year the countdown to the New Year is broadcast on television from here.
When it opened, it was the second tallest building in Manhattan and soon became the backdrop for a lively theater district.
The Times Building, a steel-framed skyscraper that originally had decorative lines and Gothic details, is probably the most famous work of architect Eidlitz.
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