Connect with us

Secrets of Times Square

Meet The Former and Present Residents of Manhattan Plaza: Irving Fischer




“Manhattan Plaza is often called the ‘Miracle on 42nd Street’, and if I did nothing else in my life but be associated with that, my life would be complete. It is the type of place to live that has to be duplicated throughout the major cities of this country.” Irving Fischer

Manhattan Plaza was intended to be luxury apartments, but went bankrupt. The Manhattan Plaza Associates LP, a partnership headed by Richard Ravitch and Irving Fischer took over. Building amenities include a playground, five tennis courts, and gym, a swimming pool, and a 1,000-car garage. Manhattan Plaza also has 50,000 square feet of retail space at its base.

Richard Ravitch

Irving Fischer became involved with developer Richard Ravitch who proposed two buildings for middle-income housing on a square block from 42nd to 43rd streets between 8th and 9th avenues. Using funds from the state’s Mitchell-Lama Housing program, the city loaned Ravitch’s HRH Construction all of the projects’ $95 million cost and tore down several occupied tenement buildings to build the two high-rise apartment buildings. Construction began in 1974.

During construction, New York City fell into a deep economic recession and had to drastically cut its funding of the project. With no market in the area for such high-rent housing, the two 46-story buildings stood as a failure.

The neighborhood residents and housing activists believed subsidized housing should be prioritized for the neighborhood’s existing poor residents. After nearly a year of debate and strong advocacy from performing arts unions, the plan was approved by the city.

Manhattan Plaza for the Performing Arts opened in 1977, with federal rent subsidy for 10 percent low- to middle-income earners, 70 percent performing arts workers (from dancers to wardrobe fitters, to writers and gaffers), and the balance for low-income seniors, the disabled, and local residents. In just over a year, all of its 1,689 apartments were fully rented.

T2C: When did you become involved with Manhattan Plaza?

Irving Fischer: In 1973 I worked with Richard Ravitch, on Manhattan Plaza. Land had been purchased and the apartments were geared to the middle class, but nobody wanted to live there, because of the neighborhood. Thanks to the economic demise, we were lucky to offer the apartments to actors. The evolution of section 8 foundation helped to attract people.

T2C: What were the biggest obstacles?

Irving Fischer: Finding a way to occupy the buildings.

T2C: What were your biggest triumphs?

Irving Fischer: Jerry Schoenfeld presented the idea to offer the building to performers from Off Broadway and Broadway. Their income levels met the criteria for section 8 subsidy. Thus began part of the clean up of 42nd Street. Hell’s Kitchen was called Hell’s Kitchen for a reason. Manhattan Plaza helped in getting rid of the drugs and prostitution.

T2C: Have you created other buildings based on Manhattan Plaza?

Irving Fischer: I’ve been involved in the building of many affordable housing and developments, but nothing like Manhattan Plaza.

T2C: What have been the biggest changes to the neighborhood architecturally?

Irving Fischer: The evolution of the theaters, restaurants and other high rises.

T2C: What else would you like to build?

Irving Fischer: My dream would be to build other apartment buildings like Manhattan Plaza around the country.

T2C: What was your greatest accomplishment?

Irving Fischer: Changing Hell’s Kitchen which was an unprecedented act and miracle. I was also fortunate in being the managing general partner. I oversaw the property and it’s population. I brought on Richard Hunnings and Rodney Kirk and my son Michael to run and manage the operations. That was a huge success. Richard had a way of making us see things as different flowers and all were valuable. He and Rodney created love. The staff showed love that was unconditional. We were all in this together. They asked and showed tremendous respect. That showed in multiple ways everyday and it was communicated in every aspect. So much good and everybody was a collective. 1688 apartments, thousands of people and staff were all a family affair. Everything was kept immaculate, because of love.

T2C: What would you change about Manhattan Plaza?

Irving Fischer: Nothing its perfect, but I wish I was still there.

T2C: What is your fondest memory of New York?

Irving Fischer: i was instrumental in turning Hell’s Kitchen into a viable area.

T2C: What would you like us to know that we haven’t asked you?

Irving Fischer: I put together a very good operational team to make Manhattan Plaza happen. I tamed Hell’s Kitchen. Manhattan Plaza wasn’t a job, it was a part of our lives. It was deeper and bigger than having a job. Manhattan Plaza has a tremendous amount of love, that was bigger than all of us.

The documentary Miracle on 42nd Street, is available on Amazon and will soon be available to stream. 

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:


Midnight Moment For October Presents Circadian Nocturne



In October from 11:57pm – 12am, artist Anna Ridler introduces a new kind of countdown clock in Times Square. Using complex algorithms to explore non-human ways of keeping time, Ridler’s Circadian Nocturnefeatures AI-generated animations of night-blooming and night scented flora – queen of the night cactuses, the moonflower, night-blooming jasmine, night phlox, and evening stock. Painterly petals slowly blossom into a dreamlike garden — chronobiological clocks set against the mechanical and digital structures that set the pace of our contemporary lives.

Created with artificial intelligence and a high-tech machine that can keep time at an atomic level, Circadian Nocturne also pairs modern, highly precise computerized timekeeping methods with the often unpredictable and imprecise imagery created by autonomous digital software and is part of an ongoing project exploring time and technology. Welcoming this tension, Ridler visually obscures tech-based accuracy with something more organic and in sync with the natural landscape.

Launching in the fall, an artist-designed mobile app featuring a smaller, single screen version of the project and an original musical score by composer William Marsey will accompany the Times Square presentation of Circadian Nocturne, allowing for more intimate experience of the work from anywhere in the world.

Based in London, Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher who works with systems of knowledge and how technologies are created in order to better understand the world. She is particularly interested in ideas around measurement and quantification and how this relates to the natural world. Her process often involves working with collections of information or data, particularly datasets, to create new and unusual narratives.

Ridler holds an MA in Information Experience Design from the Royal College of Art and a BA in English Literature and Language from Oxford University along with fellowships at the Creative Computing Institute at University of the Arts London. Her work has been exhibited at cultural institutions worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Barbican Centre, Centre Pompidou, HeK Basel, the ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica, Sheffield Documentary Festival and the Leverhulme Centre for Future Intelligence. She was a European Union EMAP fellow and the winner of the 2018-2019 DARE Art Prize. Ridler has received commissions by Salford University, the Photographers Gallery, Opera North, and Impakt Festival. She was listed as one of the nine “pioneering artists” exploring AI’s creative potential by Artnet and received an honorary mention in the 2019 Ars Electronica Golden Nica award for the category AI & Life Art. She was nominated for a “Beazley Designs of the Year” award in 2019 by the Design Museum for her work on datasets and categorization.

Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

Continue Reading


This Saturday A Free Musical Performance Will Accompany The Midnight Moment



On Saturday, September 30, from 11:30pm–12am on Broadway between 45th and 46th Street a free, open-air musical performance will take place to accompany Shahzia Sikander’s Midnight Moment. The show will featuring Pulitzer Prize winning composer Du Yun, vocalist Zeb Bangash, and interdisciplinary artist eddy kwon.

Every midnight in September, a cyclical struggle unfolds across the screens of Times Square. Imagined as a restaging of a fictional Indo-Persian-Turkish miniature painting, Shahzia Sikander’s Reckoning depicts a dramatic choreography of floating warrior-like figures entangled in joust amidst an abstract, unraveling landscape. Reckoning draws upon themes of creation, conflict, and connection, mirroring the universal tensions that exist within broader global relationships, such as between migrant and citizen, woman and power, human and nature.

An intricate animation made from multiple layered drawings, Reckoning was created in 2020 and featured as a digital component of Sikander’s recent public art project Havah … to breathe, air, life commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy and on view in Madison Square Park and the nearby Courthouse of the Appellate Division, First Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The multi-site project was commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy and Public Art of the University of Houston System, where it will be restaged in the fall of 2023.

September’s Midnight Moment is presented in partnership with Sean Kelly and The Armory Show as a part of Armory Off-Site, the fair’s outdoor art program featuring large-scale artworks across New York City’s parks and public spaces. Sikander’s work will also be on view in the Platform section of The Armory Show, curated by Eva Respini, which will feature large-scale installations and site-specific works that reexamine historical narratives.

The animation for Reckoning is by Patrick O’Rourke and an original score was created by Du Yun, both long-time collaborators of Sikander. The work marks Sikander’s second Midnight Moment, the first being Gopi-Contagion presented in October of 2015.

Continue Reading


Indigenous Climate Warriors in Times Square



(Photo by Honor the Earth)

On Tuesday September 19, 2023, the Indigenous peoples took to the frontlines of the climate crisis on Turtle Island and took over Times Square painting a giant mural with the message, “No Green Colonialism; Land Back NOW!”

This mural came the day before the UN Climate Ambition Summit, where world leaders are expected to come together and make decisions around the climate crisis.

The Indigenous communities are organizing to push back on the Biden Administration’s push toward solutions to the climate crisis that threaten the lives of Indigenous people across Turtle Island, which they call “Green Colonialism.” “For too long, Native lands and communities have borne the brunt of harm from mining and other extractive industries. As the federal government moves to support clean energy development, this cannot come at the expense of clean water or Indigenous rights. This familiar assault on Native lands and communities is another wave of colonialism, and we will not stand by and allow our lands to be sacrificed,” Krystal Two Bulls,  executive director of the national Indigenous organization Honor the Earth said in a press release.

The mining projects violate treaty rights and threaten clean water and land in places such as Thacker Pass, Oak Flat , and the Talon-Tamarak mine near the Mississippi headwaters.

We should all be fighting this fight!


Continue Reading


Sunday’s Broadway Forever Concert Postponed Until October 15



Today, Broadway Forever announced that the Sunday, September 24th concert will be postponed to Sunday, October 15th at 11:00AM due to expected severe weather in New York City. The Sunday, October 15th concert will take place at Lou Gehrig Plaza in the Bronx (East 161st Street, Grandview Place).

A complete line up of appearances and performances will be announced soon.

For the second consecutive year, NY Forever, in partnership with City National Bank, the New York City Department of Transportation and 161st Street Business Improvement District presents Broadway Forever,empowering New Yorkers across the city to build a better city for all.

Fans will have the opportunity to sign up for future community service opportunities in all five boroughs, which will be coordinated by New York Cares and their partner organizations.

Broadway stars performing throughout New York City celebrate the creativity and resilience that is intrinsic to the city – and provide an opportunity to recognize the volunteers and community organizers who work hard to make New York a better place. The concerts will bring Broadway entertainment to DOT’s Public Space Programming, a city initiative that brings free activities to public spaces.

The events are produced and staged by 6W Entertainment, with additional support from New York Cares and the Times Square Alliance.

For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at

Continue Reading


TerrorVision Opens To Scare You More Than New York Ever Could



Last night TerrorVision – Live Screaming Your Nightmares, an immersive haunted house flickers to life at Horrorwood Studios, 300 West 43rd. Expect to scream as you go behind the filming of the upcoming TerrorVision Halloween episode. Things go terribly awry, the screen shatters and guests are suddenly cast as the unwitting new star, as gruesome creatures seek to attack around every corner. Snow, wind, giant creatures and special effects will invade your senses. Over 140 actors inhabit the world of TerrorVision, which is over 20,000 square of darkened hallways, haunted rooms, passageways and fright, making it one of the largest theatrical experiences in New York City.

In 2022, TERROR premiered their first horror endeavor, NYC’s largest haunted house, ‘BEDLAM’, in the former Ripley’s Believe it or Not on West 42nd Street, selling more than 20,000 tickets and running for 19 days.

The team behind TerrorVision has designed for the some of the largest horror experiences in the industry, ranging from theme parks to Broadway productions, and large immersive events in NYC and in Europe. Co-artistic directors Will Munro and Katie McGeoch have spent more than two decades as the heads of Six Flags’ Fright Fest.

Tickets, begin at $39, are available at, with early bird pricing available until September 19.

The cool part is you can choose your level of Terror: General Admission – This is the standard level of scary, heart pounding fun. “Chicken” ticket – This allows guests to wear a special amulet to become “invisible” to the monsters. This is perfect for those who do not want to be touched by the ghouls, though still get some residual scares. And the Ultimate Terror – Suited for the most brave guests only, this upgrade will ensure you’re targeted throughout the experience. Bring a change of underwear, you’re going to need it.

***All three levels can also add the RIP/VIP immediate entry upgrade, which skips the general admission line.There is an upcharge for the “Chicken” and Ultimate Terror ticket. Pricing varies nightly.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles