Daily News Building

220 East 42nd Street

Text and Photographs by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Natural History special issue

Part of City of Stars photo essay.

Photo of the facade of the Daily News Building, an Art Deco building with a carved, decorative artwork above the entry and the bold words, The News.
Façade of the Daily News building on 42nd Street.

The lobby of the building that until 1995 was the home of the Daily News features an oversized, rotating, tilted globe of Earth, with oceans, prevailing ocean currents, continents and nations delineated. The sphere sits in an illuminated, fenced-off basin surrounded by a tiled compass rose embedded in the floor, providing the cardinal direction and mileage to various cities around the world. If you do not immediately recognize this earthly icon as the symbol of the Daily News, then perhaps you will instead associate it with the home of the Daily Planet, the newspaper of the fictional city Metropolis, and the employer of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and their mild-mannered associate, Clark Kent.

Poster-sized images of the cosmos adorn the lobby walls, and a glass cabinet displays a vintage time-zone clock, alerting passersby to how many hours New York City’s time is ahead (or behind) that of other cities around the world.

Photo inside the lobby, with the central globe and surrounding demarkations and posters in the background.
Daily News building lobby.
Close up of a sign beside the globe.
One of the signs beside the globe, which reads: If the Sun were the size of this globe and placed here, then comparatively, Alpha Centauri, the nearest fixed star, would be the size of the globe and would be 68,000 miles away (about 2½ times around the Earth or ⅓ the distance to the Moon).