Champagne Flows as 'NYT' Moves to New HQ

By: Amid champagne corks and moving boxes, New York Times staffers selected all the news that was fit to print for a final time at their century-old headquarters on Saturday.

The newspaper's Manhattan employees were busy packing up their storied stone building in Midtown and moving the newsroom into a shining new tower just a few blocks away.

It's also a leap into the 21st century?a 52-story, ceramic-and-glass skyscraper filling a city block, packed with the latest technology.

The paper's final page-one meeting in the old building started at exactly 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, with plastic cups ready as weekend editor Marty Gottlieb announced "the last issue of the New York Times in this venerable building."

With early?or "bulldog"?editions of Sunday's paper already out, about a dozen editors reviewed the top news and any changes for later editions. They spoke of the Belmont Stakes, a gap in a thermal blanket on the space shuttle and Pope Benedict's visit with President Bush.

By midnight, the last paper edited in the old Times building would be out. And by Sunday morning, the weekend staff would be at the new building working on Monday's paper.

The new headquarters are still walking distance from the paper's namesake: Times Square. An earlier home of the newspaper, now known as One Times Square, is the building from which the New Year's ball descends each year.

The Times moved from that spot in 1913.

The new building incorporates a transparent-looking tower screened by planes of glazed ceramic tubes that absorb sunlight and transform it into energy.

It offers "Less Stuffiness, Better Ventilation," according to a poster tacked to the wall of the old building.

By Saturday afternoon, the water fountains in the old headquarters were turned off. But there was champagne.

Weekend national editor Jerry Gray proposed a toast to the remaining staff: "Here's to the bulldog! Here's to the best of the past!"


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