paul-revere-time-capsule-untappedcitiesA time capsule found in the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House building. Image via Hyper Allergic

Here’s what the Untapped Cities staff is reading in the HQ today:

Today’s most popular articles: 

Boss Tweed Cartoon-Tammany Hall-Corruption-Ballot-NYC

These are grim times for New York political bosses. Former Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial ends on Monday. Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ corruption trial has just begun. Former Kings County Democratic Chairman Vito Lopez is dead.

Today is an anniversary celebrating a rare win for New York reformers: on November 19, 1871, William “Boss” Magear Tweed was arrested. Here are some fun and surprising stories you may not have known about the infamously corrupt Boss Tweed:


Nova by SOFTlab Flatiron Untapped Cities AFineLyne

Nova by SOFTlab was the winning proposal for the second annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition held by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID), and Van Alen Institute. The unveiling of the holiday installation kicked off the Partnership’s annual programming with “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” on Wednesday night, with local businesses joining in. Music by The Jazz Gallery filled the air, while attendees enjoyed small bites by ilili Box and sipped hot chocolate courtesy of Shake Shack. The popular Flatiron Prize Wheel was spinning, with a chance to win a prize from local businesses.


Timothy Woodruff house on Stewart Avenue, ca.1908. Village of Garden City, NY, Archives Collection-NYCTimothy Woodruff house on Stewart Avenue, ca.1908. Village of Garden City, NY, Archives Collection

If you close your eyes and picture Long Island’s suburbia, the neatly manufactured streets of Levittown often spring to mind – the manicured lawns, freshly smoothed sidewalks, and neat little cape homes flanking the broad, gently curved streets. For many, this was their Long Island – created during the post World War II era of optimism, and has become the narrative that Long Island, comprised of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, countless villages and unincorporated hamlets that are home to 2.8 million people, has most been anchored to.

What is often overlooked is the fact that Long Island was settled long before Levittown – in fact, areas of European settlement on the Island are so old they predate the United States of America by a century or more. From the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century, Long Island witnessed growth that modeled itself after the preplanned garden cities of Europe. The book Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth Century Planned Communities, a collection of essays edited by Robert MacKay for W.W. Norton & Company, explores some of the more unique areas in the region.


Affordable New York A Housing Legacy Exhibit-Thomas Mellon-MCNY-Museum of the City of New York-NYC-Header

Affordable Housing: A New York Legacy is an impressive, comprehensive exhibit that showcases New York City’s leading role in the affordable housing movement since the 19th century. While we shared with you a walkthrough with the curator, Thomas Mellins recently, here are 10 surprising things you should not miss in this compelling exhibit:


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‘Tis the season for miniature creations in New York City apparently – beyond the annual train show at the New York Botanical Garden and in Grand Central Terminal, the $8.5 million Astolat Dollhouse currently in Columbus Circle’s Time Warner Center, and in 2017 there will be “the largest, most intricate, most technologically advanced” miniature display on the ground floor of the former New York Times building in Times Square. As reported by Crain’s New York, the man who built Mini Israel in Jerusalem hopes to build “Gulliver’s Gate,” a $30 million tourist attraction that will include 300+ mini buildings and 1,000 model trains. These 3D printed miniatures will include landmarks likeGrand Central Terminal, Times Square, and other places around the world. If the rendering is accurate, there’s even the Calatrava train station at World Trade Center which has not opened yet.