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Introducing a column by Janos Marton of janos.nyc, writer, urban enthusiast, and political expert, a former counsel to the New York State Moreland Commission who made a splash this past fall blasting Governor Cuomo for his interference in the anti-corruption panel.  Reviving the Untapped Cities column, “Today in NYC History, Marton will be exploring, daily, historical events in New York City history that have resonance today. 

New York City Bar Invitation 1870Invitation lawyers received to the founding session of the City Bar. 

“Bench and bar settle deeper in the mud every year and every month. They must be near the bottom now.” – George Templeton, 1868.

Late 1860s New York City was in the firm clutches of the Tammany Hall political machine, run at the time by the notorious Boss Tweed. Tweed operatives were prominently placed throughout the government and judiciary, and corruption in the legal system had become a source of derision and despair among lawyers and regular New Yorkers alike. On February 1, 1870, the Bar of the City of New York (“City Bar”) was founded to bring integrity back to the legal system.

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Penn Station-Door to Nowhere-Amtrak Terminal-Auntie Anne Pretzels-NYC

Penn Station, even the current incarnation, is full of fun secrets–the subject of our upcoming tour on the Remnants of the Original Penn Station. Yesterday, we discovered a new curiosity: this door to nowhere in the Amtrak terminal. This is a question for all you intrepid Untapped readers out there. What is this door for?

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art-of-style-kit-mills-stockholm-style2-untapped-cities

It’s too blizzardy in New York for fashion right now. Luckily, I was in Stockholm last week eating a bunch of fried herring and observing a whole lot of cool street style and am here to tell you about it and relieve your snowy boredom.

Though the sun : darkness ratio isn’t as extreme in mid-January as it is around the solstice, the hours of daylight in Swedish winter are still precious. Therefore, we spent a lot of time during the day wandering around the streets of Söder, land of a thousand coffee shops and little art galleries and vintage stores.

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Sweet Toof, Cern, Brown Boys, Shiro, Yes One & False

Welcome to the first installment of our monthly showcase of the top five New York City graffiti and street art pieces found on the city’s walls, rooftops and tunnels, an expansion of our popular semi-annual column, curated by Untapped Cities Street Art columnist, Christopher Inoa.

Lucky for us, the graffiti and street artists of New York are not taking a break just because it’s January. The temperature may be below freezing, but the men and women who pick up spray cans and paint brushes are not letting something like the cold stop them from making the streets just a bit more colorful. Fresh off a great 2014, the new year has already given us great murals to admire. To catch you up on what’s been going on in, here is the first of the monthly column. Happy hunting!

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New YOrk State Pavilion-Abandoned Observation Towers-Flushing Meadows Corona Park-Queens-Robert Fein-NYC-002Looking towards the Tent of Tomorrow from the first deck

Robert Fein is one of the passionate members of the 3000+ group People for the New York State Pavilion on Facebook, supporting the preservation of the wonderfully Space Age structures in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park by Philip Johnson. In our previous coverage of this unique architectural landmark, we featured Fein’s then and now photographs of the pavilion when it was in use for the World’s Fair of 1964 compared to the deterioration state captured earlier this year. Now, he’s shared with us new photographs from inside the observation towers (made famous in Men in Black), following up an earlier exploration done by an Untapped Cities contributor.

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Whitlock's Folly, also known as the Casanova MansionWhitlock’s Folly, also known as the Casanova Mansion. Photo via Museum of the City of New York. 

Hunts Point, a well known neighborhood on the Southeastern tip of the Bronx, has become known as a major hub for food distribution, housing one of the largest wholesale food markets in the world. However, many forget that the neighborhood housed what was regarded as one of the finest private residences in America, a lost mansion now known as Whitlock’s Folly.

Formerly located at Oak Point on the Long Island Sound, the mansion was constructed in 1859 by a wealthy southerner named Benjamin Morris Whitlock. A sprawling fifty acre estate complete with one hundred rooms, the mansion was said to have cost around $350,000, equivalent to roughly $10 million dollars in 2012 money. Thanks to a tip and slideshow by Untapped reader Paul DeRienzo, we’re able to share with you some great information about this mansion, once called haunted by local kids in the Bronx.

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