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Victori TheatreThe Victoria Theatre, photo taken on July 29, 2016, a day after the fire

Last week, a fire erupted inside the historic Victoria Theatre on 125th Street in Harlem. The fire, which began on the first floor, quickly spread to the third floor. Preservationists held their collective breath for a building which began life in October of 1917. Designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb, it was said to be one of the largest and most beautiful theaters in the New York area, built at a cost of $250,000 with a seating capacity of over 2,400.

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On Thursday, August 25th at 6:30pm, join us for a Behind the Scenes NYC Tour of the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, a state-of the-art recycling facility located at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT). The facility is the result of a public-private partnership between New York City and Sims.

Completed in 2013 using sustainable design practices, the reactivated site processes all plastic, metal, and glass collected by the Department of Sanitation and helps traffic the City of New York’s recyclables while creating jobs for the local community. Eadaoin Quinn, Education Coordinator at Sims, will take Untapped Cities readers behind the scenes of the recycling plant, which currently occupies 11 acres of SBMT. Join us for a 90-minute tour and get a insider look at the City’s recycling process. Tickets are limited.

Operated by Sims Municipal Recycling, the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility is New York City’s principal recycling center receiving approximately 20,000 tons of residential metal, glass, plastic and paper every month. The facility features advanced sorting equipment, award-winning architectural design, interactive educational displays, a 600kW solar panel array and NYC’s first commercial-scale wind turbine.

The Untapped Cities Behind the Scenes NYC Tour Series is produced in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to provide special access to some of the city’s most exciting development projects.

Here is an aerial picture of the SIMS recycling facility:

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Check out more Untapped Cities Behind the Scenes tours.

Images: Atema Architecture

With a recent report noting that stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) continue to pose challenges to New York City’s efforts to clean its waterways, it was timely that architect Ate Atema presented one strategy – the creation of “Street Creeks” – that could help address these problems at last week’s “Cities for Tomorrow” conference hosted by the New York Times.

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The Four Seasons Restaurant, in its iconic original incarnation at the Seagram Building closed on July 16th. Tomorrow at 10am, Wright’s auction of its mid-century interior decor and serving items will begin in the Pool Room of the restaurant. Fortunately, because the building is an interior and exterior landmark, the interior will remain in its fundamental form.

The interior of the restaurant was designed by Philip Johnson with tableware and cookware by Garth and Ada Louise Huxtable, special-ordered Knoll furniture, and custom designs by Johnson, Eero Saarinen, and Mies van der Rohe, who designed the Seagram Building.

Here are some highlights from the upcoming auction:

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The Pierre Hotel Rotunda RoomRecently restored Rotunda room at The Pierre Hotel

The newly renovated Rotunda Room in The Pierre Hotel, was unveiled on July 12th. This oval, central room within the 86 year-old hotel has been used for everything from wedding ceremonies, film shoots, to afternoon tea. But it wasn’t until 1967, when The Pierre became a co-op with 75 full-time residences and a hospitality company running the 189 guest rooms, that artist Edward Melcarth (1914-1973) was commissioned to paint the famous trompe l’oeil Rotunda Room murals. His Renaissance murals had a few surprising images standing alongside mythical figures, and included prominent people in New York society, who were not all pleased with their image being painted on the hotel walls.

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Untapped Cities and the NYCEDC will host a special tour of the normally off-limits Seaview Hospital on Staten Island on August 13th at 11 am, a landmarked property that that still functions as a city-run long term care facility, as part of our Behind the Scenes NYC Tour Series.

Sea View Hospital was once the pride of the city’s health care system, built at great cost to combat tuberculosis. In fact, it was the most expensive city-owned health care facility. On this walking tour led by Munro Johnson, Vice President of Development at NYCEDC, see how abandoned buildings and active ones sit side by side at this historic hospital. Climb to the top of the abandoned Children’s Hospital, frequently featured in television shows like Gotham and Boardwalk Empire, step inside the network of tunnels that connect the buildings at Sea View and inside some of the abandoned spaces within the buildings. Learn the development plans for this unique site, the preservation efforts that have already been undertaken and are underway, and how the site connects to the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Here are some additional images of what you will see on this tour:

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