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Untapped Cities and New York Adventure Club took a group of 25 explorers to Execution Rocks Lighthouse this past weekend, one of the most unique locations in the New York City area. The journey to the non-profit-run lighthouse involved the subway, train, and two boats, and then some adventurous climbs to the top. On the tour, led by the Philadelphia couple who run the organization, we learned about the history, the process of running such a unique property, and some of the hauntings that allegedly come with the lighthouse.

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One of the locations you’ll discover on our Remnants of Penn Station tour (next one on July 26th) is the original coal-fired power plant of the station, built as a mirror image using the same Tennessee granite as the lost Stanford White masterpiece. This building on 31st Street is just one of the many pieces (though this is certainly the largest remnant) scattered throughout the station area including eagles, railings, floor tiles and more.

Tickets for our July 26th tour of the Remnants of Penn Station:

Our tour, led by Tamara Agins, a project manager for the NYC Department of City Planning, and Justin Rivers, producer of the play The Eternal Space, about the demolition of Penn Station, is an expert-guided tour by those passionate about the history and future of the station. Rivers will show archival photos, some never published, from his 5000+ image collection of Pennsylvania Station.

Today, the power plant is a significant state of disrepair, with windows. As of 2003, it was reported by The New York Times that the building was used for “storage and backup systems.”

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Different Colored Houses by _ctnrl

New York City is one of the most populated cities in the country, where apartments and houses are equally prevalent to commercial buildings. This week, we showcase the wide range of homes throughout the city.

Hashtag #UntappedCities on Instagram and Twitter if you would like to have one of your photos entered in the running for our weekly “Best Of”column. Also, you can keep an eye on what contributors and readers are checking out by browsing the live feed.

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Back in 2012, the Port Authority gave us solo access to photograph the TWA Flight Center in hopes that coverage could galvanize support for the repurposing of the landmarked terminal at JFK Airport. Now that plans are underway to convert it into a hotel, the Port Authority has partnered with researchers from the University of Central Florida to digitally scan the interior and exterior of the structure in 3D. The scan will begin on Monday and take five days to complete.

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Colossus-Patrick Vale-Illustration-Midtown NYC Skyline

When one watches a video by illustrator Patrick Vale, documenting in time lapse the incredibly detailed line drawings he makes of New York City’s skyline, the sense of the city’s architectural diversity as a whole emerges. Much like its people, the city is put together with a sense of both planning and randomness. Individually, some buildings may not be very aesthetic, but as a whole it becomes the collective of what makes it a dynamic place to live. The question for planners and architects is how to maintain that diversity of architectural design while also pushing forward development at a pace that can sustain the people who want to live here.

For the drawing Colussus, Vale spent an afternoon “on top of a very tall building in New York. The view was jaw dropping,” he writes on his website. In fact, it was the view from the top of Rockefeller Center.

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New York City is one of those places where even built up places get torn down and rise again. But what about the city’s underground spaces? The Lowline project hopes to use a new solar technology to unlock the potential of the city’s underused spaces, below the streets. Specifically, they want to transform an unused former trolley station beneath Delancey Street. As the Lowline founders write, the terminal is “now just a forgotten slice of New York City history, we want to preserve this little gem and use it in a totally new, 21st-century, kick-ass kind of way.”

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