A view of Park Avenue. Image via Wikipedia
Park Avenue in Manhattan is one of the most well-known avenues in New York City, as it is home to iconic structures such as the Waldorf-Astoria, the Pan Am building, and Grand Central Station. However, many New Yorkers may not know that they can also find a hidden train track, the Seventh Regiment Armory which became a cultural institution, and a Founding Father’s pistol along Park Avenue as well. Here are ten secrets about Park Avenue to keep in mind the next time you find yourself in the area.
On July 31st, join Untapped Cities and the non-profit NYC H20 on a special tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir, built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water. The system became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950s and was decommissioned in the 1980s. Since then, nature has taken its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin, forming 50+ acres of a natural oasis on the border of Brooklyn and Queens.
The tour is led by Matt Malina, the director and founder of NYC H20. NYC H2O’s mission is to educate and inspire New York’s citizenry about its incredible water system. The remnants of the Ridgewood Reservoir experiment can still be seen within Highland Park, land purchased in 1891 to protect Brooklyn’s water system. A few years ago, walking paths were installed around the basins, two of which have been drained. Along this walk, you will discover the brick foundations that supported the walls of the reservoir and a former gatehouse. You can also find the abandoned force tubes that once pumped water from various collections points up into the reservoir.
Photo by S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman.
On June 28th, Open House New York held one of its “Projects in Planning” panels, which highlights specific development projects taking place in New York City. This time, they hosted the team behind the New York Wheel, a 630-foot ferris wheel under construction on the Staten Island waterfront.
New York City buildings are constructed using a number of architectural styles, from the Gothic Revival style of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to the New York Public Library built in a Beaux-Arts style, and everything eclectic you can think of. José Guízar, a visual artist from Mexico, illustrates this variety of architectural styles in his project, Windows of New York. Guizar moved from a town outside of Mexico City to New York and became fascinated by Manhattan’s windows. On his website, Guízar says that each of the windows “that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the streets.”
We’ve got an exciting month ahead for tours and events – and are excited to reveal new tours for August soon! Here’s what we have in store for you this month, ranging from an exclusive visit into the Gilded Age mansion that houses the Irish Historical Society and a tour of the West Village’s disappearing neon signs to our classic and most popular tours like the VIP tour of the Woolworth Building, the Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam tour, and our wine tasting and tour at Rooftop Reds.
Here’s what’s coming up: