Moving Into the Old New York Times Building: Guitar Center

Coinciding with the retail chain’s 50th-year anniversary, Guitar Center Times Square is in final rehearsals.

The 28,000-square-foot location opens Thursday August 7 with a free evening concert by The Roots at the Best Buy Theater across the street. Free tickets for the show are being given away at various New York GC locations:

Housed in the original New York Times building at 44th & Broadway, the Times Square location fosters a hands-on environment and offers unique features including a Fender custom shop where craftsmen tailor guitars to specifications, a boutique pedal selection in a 360-degree display and The Platinum Club, which showcases top-of-the-line, high-end luxury guitars.

Guitar Center partnered with design and architecture firm 8 Inc, whose many other clients include ESPN, Nike, Citibank and Apple. On display opening weekend at Guitar Center Times Square will be the “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster once owned by Eric Clapton. The guitar was purchased at-auction ten years ago by Guitar Center for $959,500 in support of Clapton’s Crossroads Centre Antigua.

As far as which song is most appropriate to be strummed in the aisles at 218 West 44th Street by customers cognicient of the Times real estate connection and paper’s current plagiarism scandal, we’ll leave that up to them. Clapton’s catalog, for starters, contains several immediate possibilities.

Times Square is Guitar Center’s 262nd U.S. store.