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Recently we profiled ten pre-war apartment houses in Washington Heights. Now, we cross the Harlem River to the South Bronx to check out ten more pre-war gems and highlight the details in a borough that is often overlooked in terms of architecture.

Similar to Washington Heights, the neighborhoods of the South Bronx went through a development boom when subway lines providing direct service to Manhattan were extended into the borough in the early decades of the twentieth century. As they developed, these neighborhoods were populated by varying strata of the middle class, with much of the new population living in apartment houses.

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Racing Extinction-Empire State Building-Projection-NYC-Travis Threlkel-Louie Psihoyos-009Photo by Obscura Digital SF

Last night, 20,000 lumen projectors illuminated the south side of the Empire State Building with images of endangered animals for the installation Racing Extinction, a project that could not have been more timely following the shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, who got a special memorial callout. Here are some striking photographs from Instagram and the Untapped Cities community:

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1d75df2a5 (1)Image via CityLab

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

 

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trinity church secrets wikipedia-NYC-Untapped CitiesTrinity Church circa 1900. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Churches all around the world bear the name ‘Trinity Church.’ The most unusual by far happens to be a small Russian Orthodox Trinity Church made of Siberian pine wood on the tip of King George Island in Antarctica. The most famous, arguably, is Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Once the tallest building in the city, the church, actually three churches of the same name that were built on the same ground, is one of the most well-endowed and recognizable sights in New York City. In another time, it was the first thing sailors and voyagers saw when pulling into New York Harbor. Today, though it is dwarfed by buildings, it holds a place in the Financial District that is closely intertwined with history. Here are 10 of the most enticing secrets we dug up about it.

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Capuchin Monastery of St. John-Penn Station-31st Street-NYC

Monasteries may not be an institution synonymous with New York City, but as we’ve shown, they are certainly a presence. Still, most retain a bucolic presence, even within urban or industrial zones. One exception is the Capuchin Monastery of the Church of St. John which sits on 31st Street just next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. In this ramshackle stretch of no man’s land you’ll find a loading dock to MSG, the forgotten power station of the original Pennsylvania Station, and an unabashed homeless presence.

Not surprisingly this portion of 31st Street has come up in the city’s redevelopment plans several times. As of January 2015, Amtrak hoped to demolish the entire block and replace it with a rail station for New Jersey commuters, to be called Penn South.

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Staten Island-North Shore Development Tour-New Stapleton Waterfront-Ironside Development-Untapped Cities-NYCEDC-NYC

Just days after the New York Daily News proclaimed that “Staten Island wants to be the new Brooklyn,” 20 intrepid Untapped Cities readers met at the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island at 10 am on a Saturday for a Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of the borough’s north shore developments with the NYCEDC. It’s not lost on residents, community leaders and small businesses on this traditionally forgotten boroughthat Staten Island could be the new frontier. Combine rising rents in other boroughs with substantial city investment and redevelopments plans for Staten Island (plus space), and you’ve got the makings of a new destination, those involved hope.

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