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Image via Guy Dickinson

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

  • Historic Upper West Side synagogue will officially go condo [Curbed NY]: Congregation Shaare Zedek will retain space on the first three floors. Despite protest from community members, Ornstein Leyton is moving forward with plans to replace the a 179-year-old Upper West Side synagogue with a 14-story residential building, according to The Real Deal.
  • The roof sunbathers of New York’s tar beaches [Ephemeral New York ]: Laying out to work on your tan just isn’t fashionable anymore. But sunbathers glistening with baby oil were once a ubiquitous summer sight on the city’s tar beaches. Tar beaches? That was the nickname New Yorkers gave the tarry black tenement or apartment house rooftop. Tenants would drag up a chair or blanket, maybe a book, radio or Walkman, and a cold drink, then pick a spot in the sun and happily bake themselves while taking a break from the crowds and noise many stories below.
  • The William Lescaze House: NYC’s first modernist residence [6sqft]: These days, it’s pretty common for historic townhouses to receive glassy additions, but this contemporary touch wasn’t always so common. In fact, it wasn’t until 1936 that New York City got its first modern residence—the William Lescaze House.
  • A wake for the last willow trees at La Plaza Cultural [EV Grieve]: The last two willow trees in La Plaza Cultural on the southwest corner of Avenue C and Ninth Street will have to be removed. A recent inspection by Manhattan Forestry confirmed what some members of the community garden had feared: the trees are rotting.

Today’s popular Untapped Cities reads:

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