Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Daily News Lobby

This is the lobby of the old New York Daily News building at 220 E. 42nd Street in Manhattan. The globe revolved and was lit from beneath. The floor was made of marble in the form of a compass rose. The globe itself weighs almost 2 tons. The pit beneath it contains a mirror so that you can see Antarctica. Around the edge of the pit there is an inlaid floor which denotes the direction and distance to the major cities around the world. There are also a bunch of thermometers, barometers and wind speed indicators which held me captive as a boy.

The building was constructed between 1929 and 1930 in an L shape with a loading dock on one side. Being located on East 42nd Street, only minutes from Times Square, allowed the News to get its paper’s on the streets more quickly than her competitors. Remember, in the 1930’s there were over 20 daily newspapers in New York City.

220 East 42nd Street is stilled referred to today as the Daily News Building, although the paper relocated to 33rd Street in the 1990’s. But the lobby is still intact and the globe still spins continuously. By the way; when the building first opened it was noted that the globe was spinning the wrong way! It was corrected almost immediately. The globe makes a complete rotation in about 10 minutes; which is 144 times faster than the actual earth turns.

The lobby also boasted a news stand from which you could buy every major newspaper in the country, as well as the Paris edition of the Tribune. The walls held an abundance of clocks; each one telling the time in some other city; both in America and overseas. This was a place where a 12 year old boy could hang out and let his young imagination run wild. I know; I was that boy.

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