The Urban Design Forum and the Times Square Alliance kicked off 2011 by hosting a conversation with three designers of the future Times Square on January 27.

Tim Tompkins (Times Square Alliance) opened the evening by presenting the timeline of Times Square in the last thirty years, from a crime-infested neighborhood into the overcrowded commercial streetscape we know today. He asked the question, “How do we bring New York back into Times Square?” Nicholas Leahy (Perkins Eastman) followed, presenting the recently completed TKTS booth, which is now home to the Red Steps, Duffy Square’s amphitheatre to the “greatest show in the world.” Claire Weisz (WXY Architecture + Urban Design) discussed the transformation of the Embassy Theatre, one of the first newsreel theaters in the country, into the Times Square Visitors Center, the venue of our event. Finally, Craig Dykers (Snohetta) philosophized about the landscape that he imagined for Times Square, only definitively suggesting that the street surface would not match the animated wall surfaces. We look forward to hearing more about the simple, versatile streetscape that Snohetta, WXY, and others will be designing over the course of the coming months.