Editor Note: With the news that Harlem’s long abandoned PS is finally going to be converted into a Boys and Girls Club and apartment rentals, we turned to our resident Abandoned NYC columnist here at Untapped Cities to share with us images of his exploration into the space.
School’s out forever; at least at P.S. 186. This aging beauty has loomed over West Harlem’s 145th Street for 111 years—but it’s been vacant exactly a third of that time. The Italian Renaissance structure was considered dilapidated when it shuttered 39 years ago, and today its interiors feel more sepulchral than scholastic.
Windows gape on four of its five stories, exposing classrooms to a barrage of elements. Spongy wood flooring, wafer-thin in spots, supports a profusion of weeds. Adolescent saplings reach upward through skylights and arch through windows. Infused with an odor not unlike an antiquarian book collection, upper floors harbor a population of hundreds of mummified pigeon carcasses—the overall effect is grim. You’d never guess this building had an owner, but sure enough…
Herald Square is today known for many things. There’s the flagship Macy’s department store and the pedestrianized part of Broadway that extends to Times Square. And it serves as an epicenter of the retail corridor that now runs from 5th Avenue to 7th Avenue. Some may remember the song, “Give My Regards to Broadway,” from the George M. Cohan musical Little Johnny Jones with the iconic line, “Remember me to Herald Square. ” But written in 1904, “Give My Regards to Broadway” references a very different Herald Square than the one we’re familiar with today.
The Charles Street farmhouse turns west on 14th Street, in 1967
We previously featured this little farmhouse that could at 121 Charles Street in Greenwich Village, which was moved in 1967 from the Upper East Side to save it from demolition. Last month, news broke that it might be razed for condos–something that the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation warned was a “misguided” assumption. GVSHP executive director Andrew Berman writes,
Here’s what we’re reading at the Untapped HQ today:
Ten stories beneath the bustling platforms of Grand Central Terminal lies a basement so secret that had you ventured down their some years ago you would have risked being shot on sight. The trigger-finger guards on duty would have had no qualms about protecting the basement’s prized contents–a series of rotary converters–at all costs. But today, at a time when these converters have long since been shut off, the Science Channel has taken a bold journey down the freight elevator to this once strategic location in order to better understand its significance.
Dandy in the underworld
I’m sure brunch is a respected weekend meal in other cities…but in New York, it’s a holy sacrament. Under normal circumstances, it would be absurd to wait over an hour for fancy eggs and a Bloody Mary. But somehow, this is an acceptable practice on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Most places aren’t so busy until around 1:00, so if you can manage to haul yourself out of bed before noon you won’t be in brunch limbo for very long. (more…)