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Design at the Crossroads of the World

New TKTS booth in Times Square is a big, red stairway to cheap seats.

A new design for what was once the shabbiest show on Broadway – the discount ticket booth in Times Square – was unveiled today, and it’s a look that will razzle dazzle ‘em.

Anchored by 27 skid-resistant red steps, illuminated by glowing red LED lights, the booth will serve both as a conduit for same day discount tickets, and a place to hang out while watching the greatest show on earth: the daily mayhem that is Times Square.

Two years in the making, the new facility, which replaced the cramped, annoying 1970s-era TKTS booth, was designed by two Australian designers, John Choi and Tai Ropiha, who beat out 683 other designers for the commission. The bake-off, sponsored by the Theater Development Fund, was the largest New York design competition prior to Ground Zero.

Among other improvements: the facility will now take credit cards, and two traffic lanes have been re-claimed to make the plaza 110% larger than it was.  The temporary TKTS booth at the Marriott Marquis has closed, but the statue of Father Duffy, the chaplain of the Fighting 69th Infantry and a World War I hero who became the namesake of the square in 1937, is still there.

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  • Rachel King

    When I first got to NYC in 2006, it was under construction. It always felt like one of those things that would ALWAYS be under construction. I look forward to its opening, but I wonder how much congestion it will cause in an already overly-crowded (and that's an understatement) area of Times Square.