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Cathedral-of-St.-John-the-Divine-in-ConstructionEarly construction of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine circa 1902. Image via Library of Congress

Today, it’s hard to imagine Morningside Heights without the flurry of students hurrying to class at Columbia University. It may be even harder to imagine it without some of its signature architecture: the gothic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest cathedral in the world, Riverside Church, with its former bowling alley, or Grant’s Tomb along the Hudson River. But Morningside Heights got an exciting start in the history of New York City (and America, as it turns out)!


Jim Power, the Mosaic Man, tearing down his beloved mosaics from the lampposts around Astor Place.

Jim Power, the Mosaic Man, tearing down his beloved mosaics from the lampposts around Astor Place with a hammer and a chisel.

We were saddened when the news broke that Jim Power, the famous  “Mosaic Man”  of the East Village has begun tearing his mosaics down.  Today, he explained that he is removing them before the city has a chance to, as Astor Place continues its redesign“This is Mosaic Massacre, 2014,” said Powers.  ”They are planning to move them to Queens, or all over the city – who knows where. They called them ‘historic artifacts’. Well, they weren’t made to be artifacts in Queens.”  Yesterday we had a chance to photograph Jim Powers in action as he removed his works from the Mosaic Trail


Gastro Architecture-Nihcolas Blechman-NY Times-Tropicana Tower-Chrylser Building-NYC

Nicholas Blechman, the art director for the New York Times Book Review has a really fun new series on landmark architecture as food, called Gastro-Architecture. While many of the drawings are from all around the world “The Gherkin” in London and “The Bottle Opener” in Shanghai, several are of New York City. The Apple Store as an Ice Cube, The Chrysler Building as orange wedges (aka “The Tropicana Tower,” The San Remo apartment towers on Central Park West as “Salt and Pepper Shakers, and “The Tostito,” a current project by Blarke Ingels for Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.



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


Boston’s Gem Club will be playing this Thursday at Bowery Ballroom with Agnes Obel.  The Ballroom is  a perfect venue for their brand moody, ambient music.  The classically orchestrated three-piece is comprised of lead singer and pianist Christopher Barnes, cellist Kristen Drymala, and vocalist Ieva Berberian. Barnes has said in the past that he attempts to recreate landscapes through music.  We caught up with Barnes—who once lived in a piano factory in Boston—to find out how the urban spaces in his hometown affect the music that he writes.

1.  How does your city influence your music? (more…)

Brooklyn Army Terminal-Chashama-EDC-NYC

We’ve got an exciting addition to our Untapped Cities event series this fall! We’re partnering with Chashama to offer 4 lucky readers a chance to win a free tour of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park on Saturday, September 20th (details to enter below). The terminal is four million square feet of history, which dates back to the days of World War I.  It is also one of the most stunning architectural places in the city, open to the public only in the last few years.


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