Located on Lenox Avenue between 146th and 147th Streets in Harlem

Located on Lenox Avenue between 146th and 147th Streets in Harlem

Harlem’s Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot has come a long way since 1890, when it was a two-story trolley barn. Modified as a bus depot in 1939, renovated in 1990 and was named in honor of Mother Clara Hale in 1993.  Even with the 1990 renovation, the facility wasn’t accommodating the needs of the MTA or the community, with buses forced to idle on Lenox Avenue for lack of room, and so many buses on 147th Street that often the cars couldn’t get by. The building was demolished its entirety to make way for a more modern facility.

The $262 million project was a joint effort of the MTA and surrounding community, addressing not only the needs of the MTA but also the concerns of the people who live in the area.  MTA Arts & Design joined in the effort, choosing artist Shinque Smith to do a large-scale mosaic piece titled “Mother Hale’s Garden” for the facade facing Lenox Avenue.  There was a concentrated effort to employ locals, from the guard service to engineering and cleanup.


This week, we’re looking at all your amazing photographs of fall, nature and the great outdoors. We may write about cities, but we do appreciate the glimpse of outdoor exploration you’re showing us. Hashtag #UntappedCities on Instagram and Twitter if you would like to have one of your photos entered in the running for our weekly “Best Of”column. Also, you can keep an eye on what contributors and readers are checking out by browsing the live feed.

Sun Peeking Out by jen.yc




Get to know Untapped Cities contributor Marta Elliott who has written about NYC’s real and fake mews, about anarchist history in NYC, and about a hidden bakery in Tribeca:

What’s your “day job”?

By day, I’m a student at NYU who likes to walk everywhere to learn about this ever-evolving city. I’m formally studying Architecture, Urban Design Studies, and Literature, but my curiosities span all 22.7 square miles of this island.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?

My favorite Untapped spot in New York is the tiny park on 7th Avenue with the wonderful architectural birdhouses by Vincent Mele. McCarthy Square is just a small bit of a park on a busy avenue, but I find this place really peaceful. There’s never more than 2 people sitting on the benches, enjoying the birdhouses, and taking a break from walking. The park doesn’t pretend to be “a green escape from the bustling city,” it just embraces the cars rushing by and the retail surrounding it. The manifestation of Mele’s craftsmanship is there for such simple enjoyment that I can’t help but stop in this park whenever I have the time.


Verrazano-bridge-construction-nyc-untappedHappy 50th birthday Verrazano Bridge! Photos of bridge under construction.

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

Today’s most popular articles:

Louis Armstrong-Secret Reefer Marijuana Tapes-Louis Armstrong Museum-1

In one of our favorite lesser-known museums in New York City, the Louis Armstrong Museum, are secret tapes of the music legend talking about being busted for smoking pot, and telling his manager he will refuse to play unless he fixes it so he can smoke as much as he wants without going to jail. The tapes were recorded by Armstrong himself on a reel-to-reel recorder at his home in Corona, Queens. From December 1950, until his death in 1971, Louis documented his life ‘for posterity’ on to 750 tapes, totaling thousands of hours of recordings, now owned by Louis Armstrong House Museum. He tells dirty jokes, rails against racism, practices his trumpet, and fights with his wife. And he talks at length about his regular marijuana use.


Hot Tea-UUGGHH-Street Art-Untapped Cities-NYC-Art-Installation-Bowery-Jay MaiselHot Tea’s UUGGHH (Screenshot via Vimeo)

NYC street artist Hot Tea—an artist whose work mostly consist of forming geometric words and shapes using yarn—is not happy with the rapid change that has come to New York City. He is tired of seeing historic buildings transformed into condos, and he is tired of the city’s identity being tossed away like yesterday’s Jets roster. One night walking through the city, the artist walked past the historic building on 190 Bowery owned by art collector and photographer Jay Maisel, and made his opinion known: “UUGHH” read on the exterior.