At first glance, the new Walgreens at One Times Square looks like just another awful, garish big-box pharmacy. And, yes, it is that. But the store's nod to history makes it a more sentimental enterprise than is usually the case.
By moving into One Times Square (the old New York Times building), Walgreens is reclaiming old territory. The drug store chain has its first New York store in this same location in 1933, opening in the teeth of the Depression. It remained there until 1961, enjoying much of Times Square's post-War heydey. Walgreens abandoned Manhattan altogether in the 1970s.
The inner store is the usual sort of thing, except that the floor plan is exceedingly narrow, conforming to the shape of the building, and it rises up four flight, allowing for some nice views outside. If only if had an old-style soda fountain, so that Walgreens could serve up the malted milk shakes that it invented by in 1922.