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fillmore-east-marquee-nyc-untappedFillmore East marquee in 1968. Image via Record Collector

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has been commemorating locations in the Village with plaques to remind people of famous sites and introduce some that aren’t so well-known. On October 29th, the GVSHP will be celebrating the former Fillmore East with a historic plaque marking the concert hall that was at 2nd Avenue and 6th Street from 1968-1971. In celebration of the site, there will be performances by guitarist Lenny Kaye and founder of the Joshua Light Show, Joshua White. The event will take place at 105 Second Avenue, the concert hall’s former address, now an Apple Bank.

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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.

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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

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Hehe-Railroad-Vehicle-Deisgn-Untapped Cities-NYCThe Métronome (Image via Hehe)

Before The High Line became “The High Line” it was an abandoned railroad track covered in vines and graffiti. It has become one of the most visited and welcome additions to NYC since it first opened. However, some of us do miss the graffiti the city washed away to keep the eyes of tourists free and innocent. Sure, if you look really closely, you can see an old COST and REVS roller, but if  you want to see anything done this decade, all you will get is art that looks like weird birdhouses.

For us who follow the art of the streets, some of NYC’ most creative graffiti pieces are on many of the cities abandoned and active railroad tracks. To venture into these tracks to see what these Picasso’s of the streets have created does come with consequences: the threat of being arrested, getting into a losing fight with a train, or worse, abducted by mole people (just kidding, maybe). So how can a family of four see what graffiti artists do under risk of being incarcerated?

Well thanks to the guys over at Pop-Up City, we may just have the answer for you. Hehe, a French urban design studio is working on a series of vehicles designed to transport urban explorers scared of the risks of urban exploration. Hehe’s goal is to open up these hidden urban museums, but to still keep the seclusion of this hidden world inside major cities. (more…)

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.

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The newly renovated United Nations building on the east side of Manhattan is the first update to the building since it opened in 1952. But an update is perhaps not quite the right term, because architect Michael Alderstein has more accurately restored the building to its original glory. The renovations, totaling $2.1 billion over six years, are predominantly on the infrastructure with the original International style aesthetics left mostly untouched. We recently took a tour of the renovations over Open House New York weekend with the architects, learning among many things that the U.N. has its own police and fire department, as well as postal department. When you enter the U.N. building, you essentially leave America and enter international territory.

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