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Photograph of the metal lined section of the tunnel.

Photograph of the metal lined section of the tunnel.

When was the last time you traveled through a tunnel into Manhattan? Perhaps it was during your subway ride to work, on a train from Penn Station, or even in a taxi coming back from a night out on the town. We take tunnels for granted these days, but prior to the 20th century, only one tunnel existed; a small tube built in 1892 by the East River Gas Company to supply gas to Manhattan, which is still in use today.

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During the 19th and 20th centuries, the City of New York took the initiative to improve inter-borough connectivity by building several bridges. What were huge engineering feats at the time are now landmarks of the city. We’ve collected some vintage photographs showing different aspects of how the bridges were mid-construction.

1. Brooklyn Bridge (East River Bridge)

Brooklyn-bridge-construction-nyc-untappedImage via Wikimedia Commons (c. 1872-1883)

We all know that the Brooklyn Bridge is important. But, did you know that upon completion in 1883, rumors of collapse sparked a stampede  that killed 12 people? New Yorkers love their bridges, especially this one that paved the way for connecting the five boroughs.

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x-defaultWhitney Studio. Photo via New York Studio School

Today, the Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village was named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A birthplace of the Modern American Art movement  the Whitney Studio served as the studio and private salon for the sculptor and arts patron, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and as the first site of the Whitney Museum of Art. Whitney was the oldest daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, whom you may remember from his over-the-top French chateau mansion on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.

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Brooklyn Army Terminal-Exterior-NYC

This is the final installment of our 3-part series on the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We’ve looked into where Elvis would have walked when he embarked, whether the place is abandoned, and what the deal is with the balconies in the main atrium. We hope you’ll join us for our upcoming Brooklyn Army Terminal tour on Sunday, October 26th, tickets below.

Brooklyn Army Terminal – that’s part of Industry City, right?

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We previously rounded up 8 beautiful historic districts in Manhattan that were smaller than a block and we decided it was time to look at all of New York City. All the boroughs except Staten Island have historic districts smaller than a city block, as defined by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. We’ll go in order, from the smallest number of houses in the district.

1. Hardenbergh/Rhindelander Historic District, Upper East Side, Manhattan

Hardenbergh Rhinelander Historic District-Upper East Side-89th Street-Lexington

This little historic district is really just a corner at the northwest corner of 89th Street and Lexington Avenue. In addition to this set of 6 buildings along Lexington Avenue, the district includes one narrow townhouse at 121 E. 89th Street. According to Ephemeral New York, Henry Hardenbergh, who designed the homes, “also designed the Dakota and the original Waldorf-Astoria on 34th Street.”

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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.

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