Bialystoker Synagogue-Willet Street Episcopal Church-Tour-Lower East Side-Untapped Cities-NYC-003

One of Untapped Cities’ exclusive tours is a visit inside the normally off-limits Bialystoker Synagogue on the Lower East Side. This landmarked building, which was built in 1826, encapsulates what we love about New York City – many layers of history, quirky details, and hidden places within a building you might just walk by and never notice.

Below, here are some of the secrets of the building you’ll learn on our tour, which also includes a walk to other historic sites along East Broadway. Get tickets for the tour here:


Aquatrium-Arch Out Loud-Aquarium East River-NYCNYCAquatrium by Lissoni Architettura

What if there was a submerged aquarium off the Long Island City waterfront in Queens? The organization Arch Out Loud holds visionary competitions to push the boundaries of architecture and its open design competitions respond theoretically to a changing world. The latest was the NYC Aquarium and Public Waterfront open ideas competition. Though the competition is not a response to a current city or developer initiative, it certainly has roots in conversations going on in New York City. There was, after all, a partially submerged aquarium proposed as part of the Big U (Dryline) Project.


911 Memorial-World Trade Center-Downtown Manhattan-NYC

The National September 11 Memorial opened in downtown Manhattan in 2011 to honor the 3,000 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon, along with the six people who were killed in the World Trade Center bombings in February 1993.

We bring you the top 10 secrets of the memorial, ranging from the design, the costs, to the rules & regulations. When you’re done, take the official guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial for more. (more…)

LOMEX-Lower Manhattan Expressway-Robert Moses-NYCProposal for the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX) that would connect the East and Hudson River crossings via Library of Congress.

As part of Lower East Side History Month, a condensed pop-up version of the exhibit about the never-built Lower Manhattan ExpresswayIn the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway and the Battle for Downtown, will be at the miLES – Allen Street Storefront until May 15th. If you missed the first installation at the NYC Department of Records building, now is your chance to see it. The exhibit, which includes video, renderings and artifacts, will even include the recreation of the LOMEX that you can walk under.


The Hallett Nature Sanctuary was once one of the best kept secrets of the immensely popular landmark, Central Park. Located on the southeast corner of the park, close to the Plaza Hotel and other notable destinations, the 4-acre Hallett Sanctuary has been closed off for 69 years, the result of an experiment by the NYC Parks Department and Robert Moses to see what would happen to the biodiversity and landscape of an area of Central Park was left to its own devices. Moses, in particular, hoped it would become a bird sanctuary.


American Irish Historical Society-Headquarters-AIHS-991 Fifth Avenue-Townhouse-80th Street-Mary King Townhouse-NYC

The American Irish Historical Society (AIHS) is housed in a magnificent Gilded Age townhouse on Fifth Avenue, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The society has an active schedule of public art and music events which provide the curious a glimpse into this stunning building. We recently took a grand tour of the townhouse as preparation for the next Brownstone 360 from the Metropolis Ensemble, an immersive food and art event to take place this upcoming Monday, was underway. Through our visit, we discovered the many secrets of this historic building at 991 Fifth Avenue, part of the Metropolitan Museum Historic District.

Sign up for advance notice for an upcoming Untapped Cities tour of the Historical Society: