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Franklin Delano Roosevelt-FDR-Bank Holiday-Great Depression-NYC

“My friends, I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking…”

The United States was in the darkest days of the Great Depression on March 6, 1933, when recently elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared a “Bank Holiday,” shutting down the entire U.S. banking system for more than a week. A few days later, Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act. A week later, Roosevelt conducted the first of his legendary “fireside chats,” speeches made directly to the American people over radio. These acts, taken together, calmed down a panicked public and restored confidence in the American financial system.

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Abandoned Bergen Street Lower Level-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-002

In Brooklyn, an abandoned level below the Bergen Street station is a favorite spot for urban explorers, one of many New York City subway stations that have abandoned platforms. Renovations to the station, which serves the F and G trains, in the early 1990s damaged the lower platform, which had been used from time to time over the course of the station’s existence since 1933. Silver doors on the upper level conceal open staircases that go down to the lower level.

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Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives-Dennis Riley-Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation-NYC_10

This week, we got a special tour inside the archives of the Brooklyn Navy Yard by Dennis Riley, the archivist. A visit through any archive brings to light the historical context in which an institution was formed, but the Brooklyn Navy Yard archive is particularly unique, because much of the content was simply left behind by the U.S. Navy when the yard changed ownership to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. Riley, who has been with the Navy Yard for a little over a year, has really continued the effort of previous archivists and bring to light some of the amazing artifacts in side. “This is the stuff that makes the link,” between past and present, Riley tells us. Here’s a recap, with photos, of some of the most unique pieces we saw. You can check out an official exhibit in BLDG92

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Eldridge Street Synagogue - NYC - Lower East SideThe Museum at Eldridge Street. Image by Peter Aaron.

Come discover the history, architecture and the magical sanctuary of the landmarked Eldridge Street Synagogue, a beautiful house of worship built by Eastern European immigrants in America, in an After Hours Tour and Wine Reception run by the Museum at Eldridge Street. The tour will take place on 12th March, 2015 at 6:30 pm, and while it’s not an official Untapped Cities event, Untapped Cities readers can use code “ESAH” for a special 50% discount on tickets. Click here to buy tickets. The tour promises to lead attendees down secret architectural and historical paths in the Synagogue.

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In 1964, a father and son were renovating a former speakeasy in the East Village into a theater when they came across two unopened safes in the basement. The speakeasy had been sold eagerly for a very cheap price and the entertainment business then was closely linked to mobsters. To touch their belongings meant death. Opening it with the former owner, $2 million dollars were found inside. What happened next has shaped the lives and the theater for the next sixty years.

Join us for a tour and cocktail at this former Prohibition speakeasy on Saturday, May 9th at 3pm, which includes a guided walk through of the Museum of the American Gangster. You’ll see the original safes that were discovered, the former escape routes for the mafia, and more. There are only a few tickets left, so grab them now!

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