Today, the book Broadway by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young launched, published by Arcadia and featuring nearly 200 vintage photographs chronicling the history of the world-famous street, along with contemporary photographs by Untapped Cities contributors. We’ve asked Michelle to share with us 10 of the most surprising vintage photographs she came across in her research. Check them out here and buy the book on Amazon. Join in for a book talk and signing in New York City at WeWork with Michelle on May 26th, free tickets here.
Verandah Place in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Historic District is a charming little street that seems to transport one back to the neighborhood’s mid-nineteenth century origins. Rather than being frozen in time, however, its attractive character is due not only to the small scale of its quaint rowhouses, but also to the adjoining park that was created in the 1960s and which both altered and enhanced its historic context.
Atop the Queensboro Bridge. Photo by @hakimms
Bridges have always been popular amongst New York City’s urban explorers, but the recent frequency of expeditions is noteworthy, and has even caught the eye of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Urban exploration has became a rite of passage of sorts for certain New York teenagers and Instagram has given them an outlet for creative expression, along with the fame associated with such public declarations. The arrest of @Demidism for his photo atop the construction of 432 Park, seems to have only encouraged more to emerge.
Times Square will soon be adorned by a forested landscape nestled within its brightest urban-scape. A wildly successful Kickstarter for a PopUp Forest aims to transform Times Square into an urban oasis in the summer of 2016, with towering trees, native wildflowers, and ferns installed overnight amidst the glitter and glow.
The story of New York City’s ballrooms form one facet of the city-wide story of a changing entertainment industry and real estate market. Many of the iconic music venues survived Prohibition, only to be taken down by the advent of radio and television. The large spaces necessitated diversification of events and venues, causing their musical cache to fall as real estate pressures were rising. This list of New York City’s ballrooms include those lost, those still standing and those converted, as well as new ballrooms adapted from other types of spaces. Not all were music venues, but all have a unique story to tell as part of the city’s history. Here are 12 historic ballrooms:
Lower Broadway c. 1908-1913. Image via Library of Congress as seen in the book Broadway by Michelle Young
Here at Untapped Cities, we have a soft spot for vintage photographs–and not just for the nostalgic aspect. It’s also because what earlier photographers chose to document and what they chose to leave out give weight to the importance of certain moments in history and the consequence of the buildings that awed their aesthetic sensibilities. Releasing next week (but available for pre-order now on Amazon), is the new book Broadway by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young about the history of Broadway as a street in New York City. Reproduced below is a modified excerpt from the forthcoming publication.