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.

Side by Side-Robin Hill-Four Seasons Restaurant-Philip Johnson Glass House-Mies Van der Rohe-Farnsworth House_3 copy

Although the Picasso tapestry at the Four Seasons Restaurant is now on display at the New York Historical Society, the iconic restaurant in New York City’s Seagram Building has offered yet another reason to stop by. A new exhibit, Side by Side by photographer Robin Hill launched yesterday, and for architectural fans it’s a must-see. The Seagram Building is a fitting backdrop, as Philip Johnson designed both this Park Avenue skyscraper as well as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. But the juxtaposition of the Glass House and the Farnsworth House–at least in such a formal study–is new.


Level Club-Masonic Clubhouse Hotel-73rd Street-Upper West Side-NYC

We previously covered the history of the Level Club, a former masonic clubhouse and hotel on the Upper West Side of Manhattan–but recently Scouting New York got some great photographs of the lobby. The cornerstone was laid in 1925, but by 1930, saddled with a mortgage of $2.2 million, the opulent 16-story hotel went into foreclosure. But the lofty goals of the Level Club seemed justified in the decade leading up to the Great Depression. Founded with just 22 members in 1920, in less than five years it had a membership of over 5,000 masons including then-United States President Warren G. Harding.


Bishop Falls-Lost Town-Ashokan Reservoir-Catskill Aqueduct-NYC Drinking Water-Drowned TownsBishop Falls, one of the lost towns in the Ashkoan Reservoir. Image via Lost Towns of the Hudson Valley

New York City has some of the best drinking water in the country, but it didn’t come without a price. Most are familiar with the Croton Aqueduct, the first to bring fresh water to the city in 1842–updated in 1890. The Catskill Aqueduct was next (a push after Brooklyn was incorporated into the City of New York), built between 1917 and 1924, bringing 40% of New York City’s water from a series of reservoirs 163 miles from upstate New York. What New Yorkers may not know is that the six reservoirs of the Catskill Aqueduct, including Ashokan Reservoir which is New York City’s largest, were formed by flooding a dozen towns.


William Wall Clubhouse-Manhattan Yacht Club-Sailing Club-Ellis Island-Jersey City-Surf City-Statue of LIberty-004

The Honorable William Wall (aka the “Willy Wall”) is the floating clubhouse of the Manhattan Yacht Club, anchored in the New York harbor just near Ellis Island. The open air bar has incredible views of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty (and neighboring Brooklyn and New Jersey, of course). Indeed, the clubhouse was designed specifically for taking in the sailboat races and you’ll notice it is more of a viewing platform and barge rather than a sleek yacht. (We admit it was a bit cloudy yesterday, but we’ll be back to get more photos soon).


719 Greenwich Street-Greenwich Village-Cabin on Roof-David Puchkoff and Eileen Stukane-NYCPhoto by George Steinmetz via Gothamist

We’re excited New Yorkers are finally getting behind the fascination that are rooftop cottages–could there be any better way to beat the urban jungle, while still staying in it? Yesterday, Gothamist revealed yet another–a cabin sitting in an urban meadow with a porch to take it all in. As The New York Times reported in 2006, owner David Puchkoff was inspired by a visit to Elk, Pennsylvania and just wanted a porch.


The New York City Subway- 468 stations. 1 poster-Alex Daly & Hamish Smyth-Vignelli Standards Manual

This particular Kickstarter definitely doesn’t need more help, and that’s certainly not why we’re writing about it. But designers, transit enthusiasts, and architects are going gaga over this subway poster, inspired by the specifications of the original Standards Manual for New York City subway signage by Bob Noorda and Massimo Vignelli. Last year, this same team, successfully funded a Kickstarter to reissue The Standards Manual. Now, this poster is an affordable way to “get it into many people’s hands,” they write, with the opening price at $35.