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.

5 Pointz-Demolition-Logo-Video-Long Island City-Hans von Rittern-NYCScreenshot from video by Hans von Ritter

If you’ve been planning to stop by 5Pointz before it fully comes down, you should do so soon. Since our last photographs inside the demolition on October 13th, a significant portion of the main building has come down. Photographer Hans von Rittern captured a phone video of Meres One’s iconic 5Pointz logo come crashing down on Tuesday by a clumsy yet effective crane. Jump to minute 4 for the real damage.


Woolworth Tower Residences - 31A terrace.jpg

The Woolworth Building has been in the news a lot recently, with the renderings revealed for the new condominiums that are going in, starting at $3.875 million and going up to $110 million for the 7-level penthouse. With our next one-hour tour of the off-limits Woolworth Building coming up on Saturday, November 8th (just a few tickets left!), we thought we would share with you what some lucky residents will get in the upcoming years. And if you can’t make November 8th, the last tour we’ll do this year will be on December 4th.


In New York City, it’s not surprising there are some renown vaults holding all sorts of precious things. These include the gold vault at the Federal Reserve, The New York Times “morgue,” and the Van Cortlandt Park vaults that hid the city’s records from the British during the Revolution. Earlier this year, a new vault opened–the New York City Archaeological Repository, full of objects uncovered through archeological excavations in New York City. Previously, the items were stored separately across 13 different locations, including several universities. Here are some of the unique finds stored in this Midtown Manhattan spot, two floors beneath the street on West 47th Street.

1. A 200-year-old douche

New York Archeological Repository-Douche-Mammal Bone-Feminine Product-1800s-City Hall-NYCImage by Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants


Diamond District-Diamond Lampposts-Business Improvement District-Midtown-NYC

We’ve walked by the Diamond District in Midtown Manhattan so many times, even reporting on the Gold Arcade that’s midblock. But somehow we managed to miss its most symbolic architecture–the diamond shaped lamp posts that mark the entrance to the unique district on 47th Street. One is situated on 5th Avenue and the other on 6th Avenue, and they turn green (when lit up). The lamp posts are the work of the 47th Street Business Improvement District, an organization formed in 1997. The diamond-shaped pylons (as they’re called officially) were part of a lager initiative that included other street lights designed specifically for the block.


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

Today’s most popular articles: Daily What?! Urban Explorer Scales the Roof of Grand Central TerminalCities 101: Who Chooses the NYC Marathon Route?

Roof of Grand Central Terminal-Dark Cyanide-Instagram-Untapped Cities-NYC-Urban ExplorationPhoto by darkcyanide

Last week, we brought you inside the Grand Central Terminal clock, the largest Tiffany clock in the world, with urban explorer darkcyanide and dirtydav1This week, they’ve scaled the roof of the famous terminal showing us how cleverly the building hides its necessary infrastructure. See below for more incredible photos and brush up on the secrets of Grand Central Terminal.