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Present day Macy’s on 34 st covered in billboards Manhattan NYC Vintage NYC photography Untapped cities Sabrina romanoImage via Flickr by Phil Davis

The big, red billboard next to Macy’s in Herald Square is a familiar site for most New Yorkers. It is so familiar that New Yorkers probably don’t notice that the billboard is actually a separate building not connected to Macy’s. Macy’s has never even owned that building which puts a notch in the corner of the department store. Today, we’ve pulled up vintage photographs from the Library of Congress that show evolution of that corner building and its gradual concealment, the result of an intense business rivalry and real-estate battle.


Did you know that ruins can be landmarked? The Colosseum in Rome and the pyramids of Egypt may be the most well-known ancient relics but they are definitely not the only ones. We did some digging and compiled this list of lesser-known landmarked ruins from around the world. Surprisingly, there is even one in New York City!


demographics-new-york-JIA-untappedcities-nick-realeA demographic breakdown of NYC reveals that which you probably already knew: few people live in parks.
Image Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)

If you’ve ever wondered who, if anyone, lives in NYC’s larger parks, allow the Department of City Planning’s official population record of Joint Interest Areas (JIAs) to put your questions to rest. As defined by the Department of City Planning, JIAs are, “public parks, waterways, major government installations, and similar land uses which are not located within bounding community districts,” though they take up large enough plots of land to be independent of the city’s 59 communities. There are currently 12 such areas with population records, including surprising places like Central Park, LaGuardia Airport and JFK Airport, and the Queens Gateway National Recreation Area.


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.