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atlantic yards pacific yards brooklyn new york city untapped cities cookfox architectsA rendering of the newest Atlantic Yards building, via COOKFOX architects

Here’s what we’re reading at the Untapped HQ today:

New York


cathedral st john the divine exterior nyc morningside heights untapped cities“Cathedral of St. John” by Kripaks via Wikipedia

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine sits like an uninvited guest from the times of sexist Knights and flying buttresses. Arguably the strangest building in New York City, we at Untapped absolutely adore it. So come and join us for a vertical tour of St. John the Divine and stand atop the unfinished yet still somehow the largest cathedral in the world.  (more…)

Look-State of Subways-NYC

With much speculation and hype, the State of the Subways Report Card is the NYC transit equivalent of the State of the Union Address–with the former evoking just as much backlash in opinions from people with conviction as the latter. Nonetheless, the Straphangers Campaign has released their Summer 2014 version of the report card, complete with a mixed bag of surprises and ratings that challenge users’ preconceived notions of certain services. The big one this year: the 7 train tops the list of 19 services, while the C has moved on up from its nearly guaranteed position at the bottom of the barrel to the glorious rank of 18.


Eldorado Apartments-Central Park West-Emery Roth-NYC-004Eldorado Apartment, Central Park West. Photo by Untapped contributor Luke Kingma on Instagram

There was a time, not too long ago, when the ubiquity of the smartphone and Instagram wasn’t part of our daily lives. The urge to document every moment and broadcast it to the world allowed urban explorers to truly take in the spectacle of a moment, lock it in memory, and move on. No need for likes, hashtagging, and retweets.

That moment came for me one summer evening when a group of us were invited to a birthday party of someone who lived in the top two floors of the iconic Eldorado apartment on Central Park West, next to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.  It was probably 2008, we were young, and pretty reckless. We were all in an indie rock band in Brooklyn at the time. Cliche, yes, but with plenty of opportunities to get in trouble.


Cornelius-Vanderbilt-II-House-Fifth-Avenue-NYCThe Cornelius Vanderbilt II Mansion on 57th Street and 5th Avenue, now demolished

Our new series with 6sqft, a publication on architecture, real estate and neighborhoods in New York City explores the mansions of Fifth Avenue.

New York City’s Fifth Avenue has always been pretty special, although you’d probably never guess that it began with a rather ordinary and functional name: Middle Road. Like the 1811 Commissioner’s Plan for Manhattan, which laid out the city’s future expansion in a rational manner, Middle Road was part of an earlier real estate plan by the City Council.



Dutch Place Names-Map-NYC-Long Island-2-3

Constantine Valhouli, who was responsible for an awesomely comprehensive map of 200 New York City song references, now has an impressive new map in the works. The new map is called Early NYC Place Names and it aims to catalogue the original Native American and Dutch names of familiar locales around the city.