Did you know there is a tennis court inside Grand Central? Or that the ceiling is backwards? Untapped Cities is bringing back our popular “Secrets of Grand Central” tour led Tamara Agins from the New York City Department of City Planning and author of our popular series on the secrets of Grand Central. Bonus: the tour ends at the Campbell Apartments, the Gilded Age office and salon of tycoon John W. Campbell, now converted into a soaring hidden bar where you can stop in for a cocktail.
Join us on Sunday, August 16th at 1:30pm, tickets are limited:
The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it. It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises. On this tour, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as preserved icon of past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Together, we will explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or it’s your first time in the Beaux Arts beauty, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.
Check out more Untapped Cities events here, including tours of the Remnants of Penn Station as well as an exploration down into the underbelly of the Woolworth Building.
Image via guggenheim.org
Few buildings in New York City strike a more iconic silhouette than the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A concrete spiral and one of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright‘s most notable creations, the museum sees just as many visitors seeking to appreciate its architecture as it does visitors coming for the art. Built in 1959, the story of its conception and construction married Wright’s avant-garde design instinct with Solomon R. Guggenheim’s taste for art that pushed boundaries. The building, which was renovated in full in 2005, is one of the most popular destinations in the city’s art scene even eighty years after its opening day. Here are the top 10 secrets we found about the place.
Image via Jinwoo Chong for Untapped Cities
When we moved to our current Untapped Cities offices this summer, we noticed some unusual decorations in the lobby. These drawings, composing a little gallery of one-off cartoons and a collection of The New Yorker and Story magazine covers, were not just decorations, as they were. Their unique style actually is that of R.O. Blechman, a cartoonist and animator, whose work was placed in our Lincoln Center-area office building lobby at 157 Columbus Avenue by Landmark West, a preservationist group dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the Upper West Side.
Image via archdaily.com
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Our acclaimed Untapped Cities behind-the-scenes tour of New York City’s Woolworth Building is returning for the fall on September 16th, and tickets are nearly sold out! The tour features an hour-long walkthrough of the historic skyscraper’s gorgeous lobby as well as its expansive basement, areas normally closed off to the public.
The Woolworth Building, built in 1911, is one of those few New York City icons of the past century that has stood the test of time. While so many early 20th century buildings are currently dwarfed by the city’s modern skyscrapers, the Woolworth remains one of the 20 tallest buildings in the city. Once called the ‘Cathedral of Commerce,‘ the building’s unique Gothic-inspired architecture is a sight to behold, both inside and out. This Untapped Cities exclusive tour, exploring areas of the building not on any other public tour, will take visitors deep within the skyscraper’s foundations.
The tour will be led by Lisa Renz, a preservationist working directly on the Woolworth Building and Roy Suskin of The Witkoff Group who manages the building. In addition to a guided visit through the spectacular lobby, we will also visit the cellar level where the bank vault is located and where the former entrances to the subway are, the sub-cellar jam-packed full of machinery, and the boiler room, an immense space that one housed the engine room that once powered and lighted the building.
The original sign of the museum, on the building that now houses the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Image via @rachgarb
This weekend, the city’s art aficionados were treated to an unexpected visit from the past. The original facade of the West 8th Street location of Whitney Museum was visible for just a few days while the building’s current tenant, the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture, refurbishes its own sign that hung over the door. In a week, the Studio School’s sign will return, and the Whitney Museum engraving that has not been seen for 48 years will disappear once more.