Posts by michelle young:

Articles By: michelle young

Michelle is the founder of Untapped Cities. Michelle can usually be found in New York (where she grew up), Paris, backpacking in South America or Southeast Asia, or in-transit between. She’s traveled to 40+ countries, has an obsession with buses and shoots with a Canon SLR camera. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library and is currently working on a book on the history of Broadway for Arcadia. She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, where she is an adjunct professor, a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Art & Architecture, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. Follow her on Twitter @untappedmich.

Echo Vault-Manhattan-Abandoned-Unused Subway Station-NYCEcho Vault. Photo via Gothamist

We know you guys love to read about New York City’s abandoned subway stations, reveling most recently in a Fun Map of these subterranean fascinations. But what about subway stations that were built but never used? An article today about from Second Avenue Sagas about the 7 line extension station at Hudson Yards, awaiting passengers as the rest of the mega development is completed, reminded us of these. Here are 5 never completed or barely used subway stations in New York City:


NYC as Tron Map-Github-Tangrams-2

Thanks to a tweet from the Muncipal Art Society, we can’t stop staring at this map of New York City as Tron. Those familiar with the science fiction film Tron by Steven Lisberger will remember Jeff Bridges inside the mainframe of a computer. This article shows screenshots of the interactive map found on Github by New York City based lab Mazen using its Tangram engine, but click through to spend a few minutes starting and zooming around a computerized New York City.


Dead Horse Bay-Brooklyn-Vintage Bottles-Landfill-Garbage-Beach-Jamaica Bay-NYC_18

On a cold start to spring this past Saturday, over 20 explorers headed to an Untapped Cities tour of Dead Horse Bay in south Brooklyn with Will Ellis, author of Abandoned NYC to learn about the history of the area, as well as go antique hunting for bottles and other discarded materials. The landfill was in operation from the 1930s to 1940s, and as Will pointed out, even though the landfill was capped in 1953, erosion from each successive tide regularly eats away at the shoreline where you can see refuse waiting to be sifted out.


New York Public Library Stacks Cross Section Illustration-Bryant Park-Steven A Schwarzman Building-

In three days, the New York Public Library is holding a public meeting to discuss the renovation of the main branch at Bryant Park at 42nd Street and the Mid-Manhattan Library. Last year, following extensive public protest, the contentious plan to move the stacks off-site was shelved (no pun intended). Still, the organization The Committee to Save NYPL believes there are still some unanswered questions about the renovations, which they detail here.

Untapped Cities reader @TOPOS_lab has shared with us a cross-section illustration of what the stacks look like underneath Bryant Park. Next time as you sit taking in a summer film at Bryant Park or having lunch on the lawn, remember that 1.5 million books are beneath your feet (in addition to the remnants of bodies from an old burial ground).


Here were the 5 most popular articles on Untapped Cities this past week:

1. Fun Maps: The Abandoned Subway Stations and Lost Subway Lines of NYC

Lost Subways-Abandoned Subway Station-Planned IRT Line over Manhattan Bridge-NYC

We expounded on a map from WNYC on the abandoned subway stations and never built lines in New York City.


Harkness House-Fifth Avenue-Vintage Photograph-NYC-2

Recently, the New York Adventure Club visited the Gilded Age Harkness House on 75th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Italian Renaissance-style mansion was completed in 1908 as a wedding gift for the son of Stephen V. Harkness, a businessman in Ohio who had invested in Rockefeller’s oil business. Though the building is considered understated in its core design, the detailed ornamentation at the top of the building and the layout of the interior give hint to the nature of the family, who more reserved than their peers like the Vanderbilts.