moynihan-train-hall-penn-station-governor-cuomo-renderings-som-nyc-2-copyRendering by SOM for the new James A. Farley Station, An Extension of Penn Station

To much fanfare earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced the latest iteration of his plans to overhaul Penn Station by 2021 – and that funding and approvals are already in place. Since the announcement of intentions to rebuild Penn Station in the early 2000s, there has been little opportunity for public dialogue on the pending future of the station.

On Wednesday, November 2nd, Untapped Cities and the Museum of the City of New York will present A Public Summit for the The Future of Penn Station at Cooper Union from 7pm to 9:30pm in The Great Hall. The panel discussion and public forum will go beyond the conceptual renderings and plans for a new Penn Station. Some of New York City’s leading urban visionaries, architects and planners will discuss how to move forward from the current challenging circumstances of Penn Station and then open the event up to an audience Q&A.

The speakers and panelists will be Susan Chin, President of the Design Trust for Public Space; Robert Eisenstat, Chief Engineer at the Port Authority of NY & NJ; Gina Pollara, President of the Municipal Arts Society; John Schettino, Designer of The New York Penn Station Atlas; Tom Wright, President of Regional Plan Association.

Introductory remarks will be given by Michelle Young, Founder of Untapped Cities and Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Whitney W. Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director and President, Museum of the City of New York.


The speakers will look at Penn in the context of the changing West Side, offer lessons learned from rebuilding World Trade Center infrastructure, and share perspectives on making Penn Station easier to use today. Looking to the transit hub’s future, panelists will address the question: What are the standards of success by which a rebuilt Penn Station should be measured? This conversation will seek to move beyond criticizing the current station and focus on identifying elements of a successful long-term vision.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for members of the Museum of the City of New York, New York Transit Museum, the Design Trust for Public Space, the Regional Plan Association. Please contact justin@untappedcities.com for press RSVP. Proceeds beyond costs will be donated to Cooper Union.

Next, check out our popular tour of the Remnants of Penn Station and join us in October! 

bryan-zanisnik-for-socrates-sculpture-garden-untapped-cities-afinelyneMonument to Walken by artist Bryan Zanisnik

The annual Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition (DAF) at Socrates Sculpture Park has opened. The fifteen emerging artists were chosen from an open call process that attracted hundreds of candidates, and reviewed by the park’s 2016 curatorial advisors, Larissa Harris (Curator, Queens Museum, and Amanda Hunt, Assistant Curator, Studio Museum in Harlem. They will be exhibiting their work from September 25, 2016 to March 13, 2017. Here are each of the fifteen winning artists, with photos obtained from Socrates Sculpture Garden website.


dachal-choi-and-matthew-suen-for-socrates-sculpture-park-untapped-cities-afinelyneAQ625: Site on the Move by artists Dachal Choi and Mathew Suen. Image via Socrates Sculpture Park

October is filled with fantasy, from outdoor installations in Socrates Sculpture Park to a miniature Redwood forest growing in Brooklyn. As we fantasize about how we would change our landscape in a growing city, our imaginations take us far away to a Fancy Animal Carnival. In our artistic travels, which will take us from the Bronx, through Manhattan, to Brooklyn, we will stop at a historic chess club for a photographic view of life in Uganda, and finally step onto a restored 131 year old ship returning to the South Street Seaport. Here are 11 installations and exhibits not to miss this October.



There is a beautiful new resident at South Street Seaport and her name is Wavertree. The Wavertree was built in 1885 and has a historical connection to New York City, which is more than the beloved Peking (which left the port in August) could boast. It arrived in New York City in 1895 en route to Calcultta with jute cargo aboard. The ship was acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968 and went through a 16 month restoration, $13 million restoration at Caddell’s Dry Dock and Repair Co. on Staten Island. She returned to port this past weekend and we were given a special walk through with South Street Seaport Executive Director, Jonathan Boulware, and the museum’s historian William Roka. Boulware is a rare breed – an urban explorer and seafaring one, who used to sail large ships similar to the Wavertree. 

Tomorrow evening, the South Street Seaport will be hosting a toast to the Wavertree aboard the renovated flagship vessel with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, oysters bar, cocktails, and period music from the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. Tickets are $250 but you get $100 off with this discount code link! Untapped Cities will also host a behind the scenes tour of the Wavertree where you will get to visit off-limits parts of the ship, including the impressive hull. Sign up for advance notice here:


[Pennsylvania Station.]

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    The Brooklyn Kings Theatre, opened in 1929, was built as one of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters in the New York City area, the most opulent movie palaces in the country. The Loew’s Kings Theatre was modeled after the Opera Garnier in Paris and the palace at Versailles. Flatbush was once one of the premier entertainment destinations in Brooklyn, and the revitalization of the neighborhood was one of the goals from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) with the renovation of the Kings Theatre.

    Closed in 1977, the Kings Theatre had deteriorated extensively over the course of decades. Bats had taken up residence, and the ceiling and wall of the auditorium on stage left had collapsed. Fortunately, the interior could be recreated using a mold of the other side that was still intact.