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KeithHaring-CityKids-StatueOfLiberty-UntappedCities-AFineLyneCreated over a three-day period at the Davits Center by Haring and 1,000 youngsters for the charity CityKids Foundation. The banner measures 90′ x 30′ and is six stories in height. Image via CityKids Foundation

In 1986, Keith Haring got together with the CityKids Foundation as part of the Statue of Liberty’s 100th anniversary celebration to create “Kids Speak on Liberty,” a portrait of the statue that became known as The Liberty Banner. Coinciding with the 25th year of Haring’s passing, the banner, which has traveled the world, has been unveiled for the first time in more than two decades this in New Jersey’s Liberty State Park by CityKids Foundation President and Founder, Laurie Meadoff, the Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation, Julia Gruen, and other notables.

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Groundswell-Art Mural-Rose M. Singer Center Rikers Island-The Freedom Within-NYC

The Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers Island is the women’s barracks of Rikers Island, opened in 1988 as a $100 million state-of-the-art correctional facility under Mayor Edward Koch. Despite forward-thinking initiatives like job training programs in horticulture, nursing, sewing and cooking (there is even a restaurant called The Rose Garden that was designed by prison staff), the women’s prison has seen its fair share of problems, most recently a lawsuit alleging a “pervasive culture of rape” by correctional officers.

Yet, in a rare instance of positive news recently, Groundswell, a New York City organization for community public art, in partnership with the NYC Department of Correction and Department of Education, worked with the female inmates to produce a mural inside Rikers Island titled “The Freedom Within.” The mural was dedicated in a ceremony on June 12th.

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rockland psychiatric center photos abandoned-NYC-Untapped Cities-james garcia-14

The semi-abandoned Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY, formerly Rockland State Hospital, was one of the many asylums built during a particular time period in American history that sought, at least at first, to approach mental illness with spaciousness and tranquility. Opened in 1931, like most, it fell as treatment evolved from an agrarian philosophy to the use of more controversial methods. In addition, several unique cases of negligence and patient death marred its reputatio. Untapped Cities reader James Garcia, a filmmaker and paranormal investigator, shared his photos of the center’s abandoned complex with us.

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neighborhoodxconstantine-NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via medium.com

Neighborhood names evoke a specific sense of place.

The best names connect places to their geography and history, and emphasize the qualities that make a place unique. This is especially important now, when bland, placeless design is making many cities feel homogenous.

In most cities, neighborhood boundaries are generally not well-defined, and neighborhood names change over the years as people try to change the associations around places. Just looking at New York City: native place names gave way to Dutch names, which in turn became English names. And historic names gave way to names created and promoted by real estate developers and urban planners.

There are three reasons why neighborhood names change. To distance themselves from a troubled past, to be associated with a more desirable area, or to establish a grandiose vision for an area.

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Top 10 NYC Street Art 2015 So Far-Untapped Cities-Christopher InoaTop Ten Street Art Murals for The First Half of 2015

For the past six months, the artists living all around us in New York City have done their part in trying to make the city a little more beautiful. Through the very cold of winter, to the rainy spring, to what appears to be another sweltering summer, the artists listed here have not only successfully painted murals that are exquisite artistically, but have also inspired us to keep exploring, keep finding and keep documenting great art. In this roundup of top 10 street art murals for the first half of 2015, we’ve combined new art uncovered this month as well as favorites from our monthly column: (more…)

pier 54 arch white star history-NYC-Untapepd Cities- jinwoo chong-2

Chelsea Piers was once one of New York’s busiest shipping centers at the turn of the 20th century. Not only a popular docking point for passenger ships but a commercial center for travelers and foreigners who docked there throughout its history, the place, opened in 1910, was the city’s first port, a culmination of 30 years of discussions and 8 years of construction. On its opening day, the liner Oceanic sailed through a colored ribbon, marking the official opening. Today, several of the piers remain in operation, though one, Pier 54, remains sadly inactive, though plans to rebuild it completely are still being negotiated.

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