Upon entering the Chambers Street subway station in TriBeCa you might not notice the above mosaic before you. Decades of travel cover the tracks, the floors, and the formerly vivid tiles. Under the layers of grime is a reproduction of King’s College, which later became Columbia University. A Columbia Magazine article by Untapped Cities editor Benjamin Waldman highlights this subway art find and the backstory to Columbia’s history.
With ridership on the Red Hook-Lower Manhattan Summer Ferry surpassed 100,000 this summer, the NYCEDC announces it will extend service through the month of September. The ferry makes three stops on weekends: Wall Street/Pier 11, Van Brunt Street in Red Hook and IKEA in Red Hook, with free transfers on the weekend to the East River Ferry. “The Red Hook Ferry service has helped to promote the ongoing recovery of the Brooklyn waterfront following Hurricane Sandy, while also encouraging economic activity in this important commercial corridor,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball.
Even in the City of Light, there are abandoned metro stations. While this isn’t surprising given Paris’ vast underground catacomb network, the contrast between pristine Paris and the abandoned stations is striking. Fortunately, like New York City’s abandoned subway stations and unused levels, intrepid urban explorers have long been photographing these stations for the lay people to view.
While researching about the disappearing and reappearing Rikers Island on MTA subway maps, we came across this website that has compiled the covers of New York City subway maps from 1924 to 2012. We screenshotted the scrolling website into one jpg file (click image below, then click it again when it opens to enlarge).
It’s pretty neat to see the changing evolution of graphic preferences, going from more text (pre-1950s) to illustration (1960s), stylized graphics (1970s), line maps (1980s and 90s), literal map (late 90s), to today’s recognizable “The Map”.
What do you want to change about your city? In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a group of citizens started the #betterKL movement, an initiative to crowd-source constructive ways to improve the city they live in. The grassroots movement sought to move the focus from quotidian gripes about urban life to ideas about how to make the city better. ”Don’t just live in the city, live for the city,” the BetterCities manifesto urges.
You can get a glimpse of the Bloomingdale Trail, an abandoned railroad line in Chicago, on a Blue Line Train from O’Hare to the Loop. The Blue Line comes in to the city at an angle, and so you’ll only able to observe the verdant path for a few seconds before it disappears behind passing buildings. In a year though, if all goes according to plan, the trail will be open and accessible to the public. This month, The Trust for Public Land helped us get access to the trail to share this story with Untapped Cities readers.