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Once The Focus of The New York Slum Clearance Committee
Columbus Circle and New York’s West Side
Is Now the Epicenter of Food and Fashion and All That Jazz

Columbus Circle Then and Now


NEW YORK – September 13, 2016 – Did you know that all official distances on Manhattan are measured from Columbus Circle? It’s the geographic center of the city. This is rather ironic given that it used to be so far from “town” that no one with any means wanted to live there. Today, Columbus Circle is home to The Shops at Columbus Circle, an epicenter for fine food, fashionable shops, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. But it also has a rich history that is a surprise to most people – both visitors and lifetime residents alike!

What is now the Upper West Side was once known as San Juan Hill and Lincoln Square, and in the 1940s these areas were declared “the worst slum section in the City of New York.” In fact, it was so bad that Robert Moses, then chairman of the “New York Slum Clearance Committee” (can you imagine Governor Cuomo using that term today?), used his vast powers to bulldoze the tenements and build what is now Lincoln Center and the New York Convention Center, which was since demolished to make way for Time Warner Center.

However, improvements and change took a long time to come to what we now call Columbus Circle. Even Columbus had to wait. The dazzling monument at the center of Columbus Circle was started in 1842, but it wasn’t completed until 1905.

And there’s even more recent pop-culture history to consider. Columbus Circle is where the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man begins his trip uptown in the movie Ghostbusters. So it’s only fitting that you can buy marshmallows (little ones, that is) at the Whole Foods Market at The Shops at Columbus Circle.

About The Shops at Columbus Circle
The Shops at Columbus Circle, located in Time Warner Center in the heart of Manhattan, is an iconic indoor and public destination that attracts millions of people a year. It’s the place to dine, shop, live, entertain, work and be entertained. The soaring 2.8 million-square-foot landmark with stunning views of Central Park has transformed Columbus Circle into a cultural portal to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. From more Michelin-starred restaurants under one roof to Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mandarin Oriental New York, Whole Foods Market, Equinox Fitness Club and more than 50 retail stores, boutiques and pop-up experiences, The Shops at Columbus Circle is an “only in New York experience” ideal for residents and visitors alike.

Media Contact:
Laura Mooney, Percepture, 781-929-2064 / [email protected]