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There’s something about architects and businessmen wanting to live in the places they create. And we’re not talking about a live-work studio. We’ve been noticing a historical trend of apartments in grand civic spaces–from apartments atop the Eiffel Tower, Radio City, Bergdorf Goodman, the second Madison Square Garden–to more modern-day expressions of exclusivity–a cabin in a loft in Brooklyn, suburban houses plopped atop existing apartment buildings, an Fifth Avenue apartment full of secret riddles and compartments. Here’s a little about each of these idiosyncratic apartments.

1. Stanford White’s Seduction Lair at Madison Square Garden

Second Madison Square Garden-Stanford White-Apartment-NYC

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Infrastructure is an inevitable part of urban living. Subways and tunnels need ventilation, but the question is often–how to keep these functional spaces contained and away from the public eye? While many subway substations have been gutted and turned into apartments in New York City, other ventilation buildings have been concealed as residential townhouses. Here’s a roundup of these clever pieces of faux architecture in NYC, Paris, London and Toronto:

1. Brooklyn Heights Subway Ventilator

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Xavier Delory-Villa Savoye-Graffiti-Pilgrimage of Modernity-Poissy-France

The iconic Villa Savoye in Poissy, a surburb of Paris, is an epitome of architect Le Corbusier’s design theories, including the Five Points of Architecture. It’s a requisite pilgrimage for architecture students and enthusiasts, where visitors can see where many Modernist architectural maxims of today were realized, from the piloti that raised the building, to ribbon windows, open plan interiors, and roof terraces.

Belgian artist Xavier Delory has embarked on a “Pilgrimage of Modernity,” a quirky tribute of the monuments of the modern movement, he writes. To that end, via Photoshop he’s plastered the walls of the Villa Savoye with graffiti.

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Car accident on Park Avenue viaduct 1940s Round Up of Architectural Accidents Vintage NYC Photography Untapped Cities Sabrina RomanoCar Accident on Park Avenue viaduct, 1940s. Image via Facebook by Hiromi Bruni.

Technology has a bad habit of developing faster than humans do. When people aren’t up to speed about construction, some crazy accidents tend to occur… Who knew it was possible for a car to awkwardly balance itself on the edge of a viaduct while avoiding crashing into the ground below? Can you believe that the Empire State Building is still standing even after a bomber rammed into it creating a 20 foot hole in the middle of the building? Check out the vintage photos which reveal sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

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2561659236_ed7b2030c6_zSource: Flickr.com by h008

Relied on by everyone and utilized on a daily basis, transit systems form the critical backbone for urban life. One would assume that most networks feature user friendly interfaces and streamlined routing, though this isn’t always the case. Below, we try to clarify some of the colloquial nuances of the world’s most well-known networks. Just remember: Subways are like Band-Aids.

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Piscine-Molitor-2014-via-Marhabameg-Twitter-Untapped-CitiesPiscine Molitor reopened, photo via Instagram user marhabameg

Readers may remember the Piscine Molitor as the abandoned public swimming pool in Paris, France which gave its name to the main character in the novel and later movie Life of Pi. Largely abandoned since its closing in 1989, the Piscine Molitor has been declared a National Heritage Site by the French government, though since that declaration the pool has seen more use as a skateboard and bike park than an actual swimming pool. In fact, in recent years it has been far more famous as a graffiti and street art destination rather than a historic landmark.

In 2007, the Mayor of Paris chose the architectural group Colony Capital-Accor-Bouygues to renovate the iconic site. Originally slated to reopen in 2012, the project was delayed until 2014 and finally on Monday, May 19th, Piscine Molitor has opened its doors once again.

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