Boundless Brooklyn Water Tower Craft-NYCBoundless Brooklyn DIY water tower, customized by The Drif

While it might be a dream of many to have their own water tower on a New York rooftop, Boundless Brooklyn has fun customize-your-own mini water towers through 100% recyclable kits you can get online. They’re lasercut in Brooklyn from chipboard and can be painted using acrylics. At the Brooklyn Museum last Thursday and at several upcoming events, street artists are teaching us average citizens how to tag our own water towers. Also available: the famous Kentile Floors sign, modeled after the one in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Broundless Brooklyn. Boundless Brooklyn was started by two graduates of NYU’s ITP program who seem to love water towers just as much, if not more, than we do.


Mysteries-New-York-Brooklyn-Carroll-Gardens-Dennet-Place-Doors-Untapped Cities-Nasha Virata

Carroll Gardens has it’s fair share of quirky establishments and we’d like to add Dennett Place to the list, nestled right next to the industrial Gowanus neighborhood. It’s really more of an alley made up of two to three storey attached houses. Unlike other similar streets however, these houses are sometimes jokingly called “Hobbit Houses.” The ground level of each house has its own roughly four-foot tall miniature door.


Cathedral of St. John the Divine-Untapped Cities-Bhushan Mondkar-3Cathedral of St. John the Divine by Bhushun Mondkar

On September 27th, nearly 30 intrepid Untapped Cities readers did a vertical climb of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a still unfinished Gothic church in Morningside Heights and the largest cathedral in the world. Here are the photographs from the attendees. From the winding stone staircases to a view of Manhattan, a climb above the barrel vaulting of the church, and a massive Phoenix exhibit by Xu Bing, it was a great exploration into one of the city’s landmarks. See the list of the next Untapped Cities explorations here.

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.


Children-Flying-Kites-Park-Staten-Island-Field-Manhattan-Skyline-Untapped Cities-Nasha VirataPhoto from FreshKills Park Alliance

 Since 2009, Untapped Cities has covered the transformation of Staten Island’s Fresh Kills from the world’s largest garbage dump into FreshKills Park, the second-largest in the city and roughly three times the size of Central Park. The deliberate change of the name Fresh Kills to FreshKills may seem a bit odd but it doesn’t compare to the amazing fact that New York City is replacing a giant pile of trash–the largest man-made structure on earth–with a park over the course of 30 years.


Like everywhere else in Manhattan, the Upper West Side and Manhattan began as bucolic farmland, settled with farmhouses and later large mansions away from the commercial fray downtown. Grand mansions were built from the Revolutionary era through the Gilded Age, by a variety of characters ranging from robber barons to respected surgeons. Famous names like Boss Tweed, John James Audubon, A.T. Tewaert, CKG Billings and Charles Ward Apthrop once graced these halls, but their homes all fell to the same fate–the wrecking ball.

1. Charles M. Schwab Mansion

Charles M. Schwab House-Riverside Drive-Demolished-NYCImage via Library of Congress


Old Times Square-Long Acre Square-Cobblestone-NYCTimes Square, then Long Acre Square. 

We’ve been doing a bit of research about Times Square these days, in a forthcoming book about the history of Broadway that we’re working on. The Library of Congress has as great repository of vintage photographs and we’d thought we’d share the striking evolution of Times Square from 1898 to today.