NEW YORK -- Amid champagne and moving boxes,
The newspaper's Manhattan employees were busy packing up in their storied stone building on West 43 d Street and moving the newsroom into a new tower just a walk to the south. It's also a leap into the 21st century -- a 52-story, ceramic-and-glass skyscraper filling a block of Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st streets, packed with the latest technology.
The paper's final Page 1 meeting in the old building started at 12:30 p.m. -- a ritual gathering of editors selecting the best of "All the News That's Fit to Print," the motto coined by the late Times publisher, Adolph S. Ochs.
A champagne cork popped over the table as weekend editor Marty Gottlieb announced "the last issue of The New York Times in this venerable building."
With early -- or "bulldog" -- editions of today's paper already out, Gottlieb and about a dozen editors reviewed the top news and any changes for later editions.
By midnight, the last paper edited in the old Times building would be out. And by this morning, the weekend staff was to be at the new building working on tomorrow's paper.
The new building, opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal, is still walking distance from the paper's namesake location, Times Square. An earlier home of the newspaper, the Times Tower, opened in 1904. Now known as One Times Square, it is the building from which the New Year's ball descends each year. The Times moved from that spot to the French Gothic style edifice on West 43 d Street in 1913.
The latest building was a joint venture between The New York Times Co. and Forest City Ratner Cos. It was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with the Manhattan-based architectural firm of Fox & Fowle.