At Untapped Cities, we’ve been fortunate to gain access into some normally off-limits places and share them with you. This year, Untapped discovered a unique way to enter a fabled New York City landmark. Unlike Open House New York, which advertises itself as a means to explore areas of the City normally closed off to the public, there is another annual tradition that allows for the same end, though quite unintentionally.

The Halloween pop up store has become a yearly tradition in New York City. Almost every block, in certain neighborhoods, possesses one of these ubiquitous retail premises. While the vast majority of them occupy run of the mill properties, a few are housed in unique locations.  Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York posted photographs of a Halloween pop up store occupying the former Jefferson Market, which had been located in the same space from 1929 until it closed in 2008. Our favorite find this year is one located at 23 Wall Street; the former J.P.Morgan Bank Building.

The gutted interior of 23 Wall Street

23 Wall Street, which was the site of the bombing was constructed in 1914 was the J. P. Morgan & Company bank headquarters. When it was completed the Real Estate Record and Guide claimed that it was “a rival to the Parthenon.”   The interior consisted of a large pentagon shaped room with 30 feet high ceilings and domed skylight that was 35 feet wide. The vault was constructed of four inch nickel steel walls and contained a 50 ton door with ‘anti-oxyacetylene cutter burner proof sections.

The building is most famous for being the site, and bearing the scars of, a possible anarchist attack in 1920. While its façade was landmarked in 1965, its interior was left unprotected. There have been numerous places for the building but so far, none have been realized. Currently, the building is the location of a Halloween pop up store which allows visitors to get a taste of the building’s former opulence. While the interior has been pretty much gutted, there are still remnants of what was once the house that Morgan built.

Tenants for 23 Wall Street have included the Financial District’s outpost of the Apple Store, however nothing has come to fruition. It has been rebranded  The Corner.  The Corner will allow visitors to “[s]tep into the center of refined Old New York. ” Additionally, the space provides “[a]n underground speakeasy, accessed through a golden door that thousands of uninitiated pass by every day.” It will be interesting to see whether the building’s next tenant will be able to recreate the its mythic past which has since been gutted.

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