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D. T. Valentine's Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York Plan of the City of New York-Made and Swamp LandMap via Boston Public Library

Back it the early days of New York, Manhattan was narrower, swampy and full of things called slips, narrow slivers of harbor left for boats as landfill extended the coastline. This map from D. T. Valentine’s Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, currently on display at the Boston Public Library’s American Revolution exhibition We Are One: Mapping the Road from Revolution to Independence, maps the “made and swampland” of New York City and a bit of Brooklyn (then Long Island) in 1856.

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Grand Central Terminal Armchairs-Wing Chairs-Love Seats-Fiberglass-NYC

As part of the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, red and green armchairs were placed in the dining concourse in 1998, modeled after the luxury wingchairs on the 20th-Century Limited Trains. The insignia on the chairs were the original logo of the terminal, in which Cornelius Vanderbilt placed a secret reference. As reported by The New York Times, the letters GCT in the symbol are formed such that when upside, the T becomes an anchor–an homage to Vanderbilt’s start in the ferry and shipping business.

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The Untapped Cities team is headed on a trip soon, which has us thinking about the secrets of the New York City’s essential infrastructure. If you’re flying internationally especially, but also domestically, you’ve definitely experienced the ups and downs of John F. Kennedy Airport. The next time you’re stuck on the line for security or trying to get out of customs, read up on these 10 fun facts. It just might make your trip a little more tolerable.

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With start of the school year coming up, Untapped Cites is uncovering the hidden and little known past uses of some of New York City’s colleges. Today we look at the main campus of Hunter College, which is housed in four large buildings centered around Lexington Avenue and East 68th Street, following up on our first piece on Vanderbilt Hall at NYU.

Hunter College on the Upper East Side is the epitome of an urban college campus. Ironically, for a college that lacks a quad or even a nearby public park, it is located on part of the site of Hamilton Square, a planned park that never came to fruition.

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Worldport Terminal (former Pan-AM Terminal) at JFK Airport

In the Jet Age, the world’s most famous architects were designing terminals for John F. Kennedy Airport. Many of these buildings would not have the same luck as the TWA Flight Center, the iconic, landmarked terminal that will be turned into a hotel after years of preservation activism and support from inside the Port Authority. It may come as surprise that airline companies have control over the fate of historical buildings, but such is the nature of airport architecture, which is perpetually looking forward to accommodate the new trends and demands of jet travel.

Like in the demolitions of Pennsylvania Station and the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, travel must continue undisrupted in any renovation or construction. As a result, for a period of time, new and old often sit by side at airports offering passengers and flight industry members a chance to reflect. Here are the lost terminals at JFK Airport:

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Eldridge Street Synagogue-Museum at Eldridge Street-Tour-Lower East Side-Chinatown-NYC_15-001

Last month, Untapped Cities partnered with the Museum at Eldridge Street to open up the landmarked Eldridge Street Synagogue for an after hour wine reception for Untapped Cities readers. Before hand, we also hosted a Secrets of the Lower East Side tour created for Untapped in partnership with the Museum, led by Rachel Serkin, Family and Education Program Associate.

Below are 10 of our favorite secrets about this stunning historical space, located in Chinatown/Lower East Side that we learned on the tour. Sign up for advance notice for our next Secrets of the Lower East Side tour with the Museum at Eldridge Street this fall:

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