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Capitol Subway System-New Cars-Russell Senate Office Building-Architect of the Capitol
The enclosed train that runs between Dirksen and Hart. Image via Below the Capitol.

It’s obvious that urbanists have a fascination with the subterranean, whether of the macabre nature like the catacombs of the world, or of the abandoned, or simply being able to eat and drink below the city surface. Sometimes though, we fail to think of underground fascinations of the more mundane kind.

While the freemasons certainly played a role in the construction of Washington D.C., the persisting rumor that the street grid and other buildings are embedded with masonic code is likely myth. Nonetheless, it doesn’t feel surprising that networks of underground tunnels (and even a subway just for those on Capitol Hill) were built beneath the city. More unique than the existence of the tunnels is how they’re programmed. In Washington D.C., they’re like underground cities, with all the things you would need from the outside world, moved indoors. Hallways become streets, marked by the newspaper boxes you would normally find at your corner.

Here’s a roundup of some of the notable underground corridors beneath Capitol Hill:


The 1964 World’s Fair Ruins in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Here’s what the Untapped staff has been reading across the ‘net today:


slipped-down-facade-house-margate-england-alex-chinneckAlex Chinneck’s installation in Cliftonville features a house with a sliding façade. Photo via Dezeen

Here’s a roundup of what the Untapped staff is reading this week:

The Front of this House is Sliding Off (kind of)

Visit the seaside neighborhood of Cliftonville––a coastal area in the town of Margate, England––and you’ll quickly stumble on a surrealist surprise. Amid a row of ordinary private residences on Godwin Road, there’s one house whose façade literally droops to the street. The house, once a dilapidated, weed-ridden shell earmarked for social, is actually an installation by artist Alex Chinneck, despite his signature lack of signs, plaques, or other indications on the art itself. Despite a year of attempting to secure the rights to use the building, the installation itself only took six weeks––and it is remarkably convincing.


The Yards Renderings

New York City isn’t the only city looking to revitalize its Navy Yard. Lining 42-acres of land along the Anacostia River in Washington DC, The Yards is a redevelopment project that has transformed the unused annex land attached to the Navy Yard into an urban open space. Initially urged by the D.C. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the space is the product of a public-private collaboration between the local government agencies and Forest City Washington.


Global Hashtagging Theme Winners!

Global Hashtagging Theme Winners from Chicago, Sydney, Paris and Toronto

Introducing a new twist to our weekly Instagram “Pic” from our Photo Pool. We will be doing a string of theme competitions for the best pictures tagged with #untappedcities on Instagram and Twitter. The theme for this week’s selections was “Around the World,” showcasing the Untapped eye across a diverse host of countries.


4-street view-attractions-new york-untapped cities-wesley yiinSource: Digital Trends

Google has gotten tons of coverage over the past 48 hours for its release of Street View images of the Eiffel Tower. Three such 360 degree panoramas were uploaded, taken from the Tower’s viewing platforms. The images are actually just one part of an online collection by the Google Cultural Institute, which has also amassed three separate exhibits about the construction and history of the Tower.

Many New York art museums are featured as part of Google’s Art Project, including the Met and the MoMA. Although you can definitely access the interior of the Morgan Library and Museum through Street View, the museum is strangely left off of the Google Art Project website.


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