As I try to narrow down my project, I find that I’m trying to isolate what I’m mapping into a series of threads, or stories, I would like to tell.  I’ve done a lot of reading and research and would like to include it all, but I’m not sure that will be possible.  In my last few attempts to narrow things down, here are the stories that I would like to illustrate in my project on the map:

1)  Park Row
I would like to start my project with Park Row back in the mid-19th century.  I plan to juxtapose photos of the competition that occurred between the Herald, The New York Times, and the World buildings.  I am thinking about including a few photos from before 1870 (when the Herald erected it’s tower), showing the rows of low-rise buildings housing numerous newspapers in what I’m calling “pre-Park Row”.  Then, I plan to include photos of different time periods between 1870 and 1890, to show the changes of the NY Times building and the construction of the Pulitzer World building.  I plan to finish the section in the early 1900s, when the Herald moved to Herald Square, and the NY Times moved to Longacre (shortly after renamed Times) Square.

2)  NY Times
In the next section, I want to focus on the New York Times’s buildings.  I want to continue with Times Square, juxtaposing photos of the triangular plot between 42nd and 43rd streets and Broadway and 7th avenue back in the early 1900s, which was then occupied by a unique, ornamental building but has now developed into a billboard/media covered structure with just a skeleton of the original edifice beneath. From there, I’ll show the evolution of the building to a French chateau-style structure on west 43rd street, which the newspaper occupied for 94 years before landing at it’s current location, designed by Renzo Piano, in front of Port Authority.

3)  Broad Street
After looking at the NY Times, I want to shift gears back downtown at the turn of the 20th century to examine financial media outlets, specifically, The Wall Street Journal.  With locations just south of Wall Street, the WSJ moved along Broad Street several times before moving across the island to the World Financial Center.  After Dow Jones was purchased by News Corp., the Journal abandoned its downtown roots to relocate to midtown, where the financial hegemony has slowly shifted over the past 10 years, following 9/11.  As a way of bridging into the next portion of the “argument”, I want to mention that financial media company Reuters was also located on Broad street just a stone’s throw away from the WSJ, and is now located in midtown in Times Square.

4)  20th Century Media Skyscrapers
This last section is sort of a mish-mosh of topics, mostly looking at some of the more modern skyscrapers that house a few of the big media players.  This part of the project will rely almost entirely on pure “mapping” in that I don’t have a lot of analytical information to present, but mostly information on building specs and locations.  From the media buildings in Times Square (Reuters, Conde Nast), to the Hearst building on west 57th Street, to the Bloomberg building on east 59th, the Time Warner Building on west 59th, the News Corp. buildings on 6th avenue, to the Viacom building at One Astor Plaza, and finally, Conde Nast’s bid for 1,000,000 square feet in the Freedom Tower—I plan to touch on these briefly as a way of assessing some common aesthetic and rhetorical features between them, even if they weren’t all built specifically to house a specific media company.

So those are the four main “arguments” that I want to make in my project, although I know that there will be a number of holes in the information that I’ve gathered.  For example, I’m still not entirely sure if the WSJ was located at 30 Broad Street from 1965 until 1986, or if there was perhaps another location in there before the WSJ moved into the World Financial Center.  I’m hoping, as we upload our media/arguments to URT, I’ll tie off some of these loose ends or just nix a few random threads altogether.  Or perhaps the key is to leave the loose ends there and embrace our short-comings so that future classes can more easily pick up where we’ve left off.