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Did you know Herald Square is actually two squares, and, more accurately, two triangles? Times Square’s neighbor to the south, Herald Square doesn’t have the global name recognition of 42nd Street, but is one of Manhattan’s most iconic intersections, and home to one of the city’s legendary department stores. Here, we share some little-known facts about Herald Square.
Like Times Square, Herald Square gets its name from a prominent NYC publication. The New York Herald was a sensationalist newspaper headquartered at the intersection from the 1830s until 1966. It was also the parent newspaper to the International Herald Tribune.
Herald Square is located on a typical New York City “bow tie” configuration with two triangle parks at the intersection of Broadway and 6th Avenue. Herald Square technically extends only on the north side of the intersection, with Greeley Square
Horace Greeley was the founding editor of The New York Tribune, a rival paper that merged with the Herald in 1924.
Heralded as the world’s largest department store, Macy’s took up residence in Herald Square in 1902. The flagship store houses more than a million square feet of retail space, and takes up almost the entire city block.
One property owner—on the prominent corner of 34th and Broadway—refused to sell to Macy’s, so the department store simply built around it. Today, the corner building is covered with Macy’s advertising, but it’s not actually part of the store (see photo above).
The Macy’s Herald Square building has an estimated retail value of $3.3 billion, which helps stabilize the company’s bottom line even in the wake of shifts to cyberspace shopping.
Koreatown lives on the south side of the square, starting at 32nd Street and Broadway.
Herald Square is the anchor of New York City’s holiday cheer: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade culminates there, and some of the city’s best Christmastime holiday window displays are on view, a tradition begun by R.H. Macy in 1874. (For more of the best holiday windows, don’t miss our ultimate guide!)
The Official New York City Information Center is located inside Macy’s Herald Square. You can have any city-centric travel questions answered by an in-person specialist or kiosk, and even print maps and secure discounts to tickets and shopping.
The two blocks of Broadway between 33rd and 35th were closed to traffic in the last few years, doubling the space and making a complete pedestrian zone of Herald Square, with seating and umbrellas, food stalls, and chess tables.