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Toynbee-Untapped Cities-Anna Brown

With today’s technology, it seems like there is no mystery or question that can’t be answered, or person that can’t be found. But the Toynbee Tiles are one of urbanity’s unsolved mysteries. Scattered throughout nearly two dozen cities in the United States and in three South American countries, these linoleum messages in asphalt have confounded viewers for almost 30 years, after the first one appeared in Philadelphia. The tiles bear the following message:

 TOYNBEE IDEA

IN MOVIE 2001

   RESURRECT DEAD

  PLANET JUPITER

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New York City has historically looked to Europe for architectural inspiration, particularly in the Beaux-Arts and City Beautiful eras. The penchant for monumental arches has its roots in the great works of France, Italy, Greece, England and other countries. The arches in New York City form the gateways to numerous well-known landmarks in the city, but first we thought we would begin with the arches that are now lost.

1. Madison Square Park Victory Arch

Victory Arch-Flatiron District-NYC-UntappedImage via Library of Congress

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Stained glass inside John’s Pizzeria in Times Square

Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today!

The Public Theatre at Astor Place

October promises to be an exciting month for the New York City architecture world, as the festival Archtober begins October 1st. An initiative of The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation based at 536 Laguardia Place in SoHo, this event will give the public the unique opportunity to attend more than 150 architecture and design lectures, conferences, programs, and exhibitions happening at the Center for Architecture and collaborating institutions across the city.

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Brooklyn Army Terminal-Myths-Balconies-Atrium-NYCImage by Andrew Gustafson

Last week, we began our series on the myths of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, letting you know where Elvis set foot on the premises (not where you think!) and clarifying the “abandoned” status of the building. Today, we’re continuing with another myth. Join us for our next tour of the magnificent building on Sunday, October 26th with Turnstile Tours. Tickets here.

1. What is up with those crazy balconies?

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Donald Judd Studio-Anna Brown-Untapped CitiesDonald Judd’s Home and Studio, Image via Urban Omnibus 

Get your fill of art, fashion, and museums with our specially selected pick of this week’s best New York City events!

Monday, September 29th

Owning a quality work of art seems like a far off dream to many, especially in New York’s astronomically expensive fine art market. The Affordable Art Fair from Sept 26-29 seeks to bridge the divide between art appreciation and ownership, inviting “50 local and international galleries to exhibit a huge array of affordable contemporary art, with pieces by established names hanging alongside work by the emerging stars of tomorrow.” Monday is the last day of the event, so head to the Tunnel venue at 269 11th Avenue in Chelsea, the art gallery hub of New York City, between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm. Check out some of the artwork for sale here.

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