Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Release #050-00

Contact: Sunny Mindel / / Edward Skyler (212) 788-2958



International Competition First Step in Redesigning Heart of Broadway

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced the results of tkts2k design competition. The international competition asked professional architects and designers to submit proposals for the redesign of the Theatre Development Fund's (TDF) popular tkts ticket booth in Times Square. The competition was sponsored by TDF and overseen by the Van Alen Design Institute, a New York-based organization committed to improving the design of public spaces, and conducted in conjunction with NYC 2000, the Mayor's Office for the Millennium. The Mayor was joined by Jack Goldstein, Executive Director of TDF, Raymond Gastil, Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute and John Dyson, a member of the competition's jury.

"In recent years, Times Square has been transformed from a dilapidated symbol of a decaying City into a bustling business, entertainment, and media center worthy of the name 'Crossroads of the World,' Mayor Giuliani said. "Soon the new Theatre Development Fund's tkts booth will follow suit. These inspired designs will fuel the next stage of this project, and the final result is sure to make tourists and New Yorkers alike enjoy their surroundings even more as they wait for tickets to the world's best theatre."

John Choi and Tai Rophia, both of Sydney, Australia, will receive $5,000 for their First Place submission to the competition. Their wedge-shaped design can accommodate two spaces within one footprint. One space would house the tkts operation while the other would be used for public seating, creating the effect of an open-air theatre. The Mayor also announced the second place awardee, the two third place awardees and the four honorable mentions. The tkts2k competition began in June of 1999 and attracted 683 entries from 31 countries. The eleven-member jury included representatives from the League of American Theatres and Producers, the Theatrical Stage Employees Union, Columbia University, New York University, the Times Square Business Improvement District and the City.

Jack Goldstein, TDF's executive director, said, "I wish to thank everyone involved, those who submitted designs, and those who were singled out for recognition, and particularly our distinguished jury, the Van Alen Institute, and the City. TDF now will begin the process of evaluating the feasibility of the jury's recommendations. We intend to work with the Parks Department and the Fine Arts Commission, and to invite interested parties such as Community Board #5 and The Father Duffy Coalition to serve on an Advisory Committee. The Theatre Development Fund's goal is to build a new tkts booth that serves both the public and the theatre, that respects Duffy Square and also contributes to the remarkable 'canvas' of Times Square."

Raymond Gastil, the Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute said, "This is the strongest response to a call for entries in New York City history. It shows the powerful talent, energy and commitment that is ready, willing and able to improve the public realm, when enlightened organizations like TDF, together with the public sector, are able to raise their expectations."

The Theatre Development Fund tkts booth in Times Square opened for business on June 25, 1973, with the cooperation of The League of American Theatres and Producers at a time when Broadway theatre tickets sales were low and Times Square was considered an unsafe neighborhood. tkts opened its ticket windows with the mission to augment theatre ticket sales, to attract new audiences, to reinforce the theatre-going habit and to bring more theatre-goers into the Times Square area. Since that first day in 1973, tkts has sold over 37 million tickets at discount prices, generating over $770 million in revenue for hundreds of stage productions. Using tkts as a model, TDF was responsible for helping to develop booths in Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia,
San Francisco, Toronto, London and Sydney.

The Theatre Development Fund, now in its 32nd year of service, fulfills its mission to foster creativity in the theatre by supporting new works and to broaden audiences for all the performing arts. Each year TDF sells more than 2.5 million tickets at discounted prices -- to an audience of New Yorkers and visitors who might not otherwise be able to afford the unique experience of live performance. In addition, TDF sponsors 20 innovative programs, including in-depth arts education projects, information services and special programs for the deaf or otherwise physically challenged theatre-goers.

NYC 2000, the Mayor's Office for the Millennium, was established through an Executive Order by Mayor Giuliani to ensure that New York City's Millennium celebrations are befitting of the world's financial and cultural center. Comprised of a dynamic group of business and community leaders, and chaired by actor Ron Silver, NYC 2000 will showcase the best New York City has to offer through the year 2000.

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