It’s hard to believe this is Times Square, sans the electric lights and vibrant billboards, but the area has changed significantly since this photo was taken in 1921. Before it was one of the most sought-after advertising spaces in the world, One Times Square was home to the New York Times starting in 1905; the square is actually named after the newspaper. The Times moved to West 43rd Street less than a decade later and stayed there until moving to Eighth Street in 2007, leaving its expensive Times Square real estate largely empty even after it was sold to new owners. Even today, the iconic building’s profits come almost exclusively from advertising, and it’s also where you see the ball drop every New Year’s Eve.
These photos show how different famous landmarks look zoomed out.