07/25/14 2:00pm

Capitol Subway System-New Cars-Russell Senate Office Building-Architect of the Capitol
The enclosed train that runs between Dirksen and Hart. Image via Below the Capitol.

It’s obvious that urbanists have a fascination with the subterranean, whether of the macabre nature like the catacombs of the world, or of the abandoned, or simply being able to eat and drink below the city surface. Sometimes though, we fail to think of underground fascinations of the more mundane kind.

While the freemasons certainly played a role in the construction of Washington D.C., the persisting rumor that the street grid and other buildings are embedded with masonic code is likely myth. Nonetheless, it doesn’t feel surprising that networks of underground tunnels (and even a subway just for those on Capitol Hill) were built beneath the city. More unique than the existence of the tunnels is how they’re programmed. In Washington D.C., they’re like underground cities, with all the things you would need from the outside world, moved indoors. Hallways become streets, marked by the newspaper boxes you would normally find at your corner.

Here’s a roundup of some of the notable underground corridors beneath Capitol Hill:

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07/25/14 12:00pm

other-bridges-of-nyc-round-up-5

We all love our iconic, innovative, and picturesque bridges (insert photos of the Brookly, Manhattan, and Queensboro Bridges here), but New York City is home to far more bridges, each with its own unique story to tell. Below, we round up some of the city’s “other” bridges, who have made the cut either for their obscurity, their interesting history, or their other distinguished features. (more…)

07/25/14 10:00am
"Audrey Hepburn" by Tristan Eaton, located at Caffe Roma on Mulberry and Broome St.

“Audrey Hepburn” by Tristan Eaton, located at Caffe Roma on Mulberry and Broome St.

For nearly 2 years,  the L.I.S.A. Project NYC has been bringing wonderful street art to Little Italy and the surrounding areas, to create downtown Manhattan’s first mural district.  A 501(c)3 non profit organization, The L.I.S.A. Project NYC works in collaboration with the Little Italy Merchants’ Association.  We recently had the pleasure of interviewing L.I.S.A. Project NYC founder and curator, Wayne Rada.

UC: How did the L.I.S.A. Project NYC get started?

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07/25/14 9:00am

japanese house prospect park south brooklyn new york city untapped cities museum of the city of new yorkA Postcard of the Japanese house ca. 1915. The house has since been re-painted red-orange with teal beams. Image via Museum of the City of New York, via Old Images of New York

Urban legend tells that this Japanese house was built special for the Japanese Ambassador, and it was shipped over piece by piece from Japan. Neither of those stories are true. What is true, however, is that somebody actually lives in this Japanese style house south of Prospect Park in Flatbush-Ditmas Park. It was built in 1903, and currently, the house has landmark status and it is valued at over $1 million. (more…)

07/24/14 4:00pm

Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading today!

07/24/14 2:00pm

Tickets for our upcoming Untapped Cities tours are going fast. Our Edgar Allan Poe Greenwich Village tour is already sold out, but there are two tickets left for the August Woolworth Building tour (and more dates in October, November and December), plus new tours added of a real Prohibition Speakeasy and an adventurous Vertical Tour of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Read more about these tours and get tickets below:

Tour of the Woolworth Building Lobby and Cocktail Event – August 23rd at 12pm

Untapped Cities will be offering readers the chance for intimate, hour-long tour of the normally off-limits Woolworth Building lobby led by Lisa Swyers, a preservationist working directly with the archives of the Woolworth Building. In addition to a guided visit through the spectacular lobby, we will also visit the basement level where the bank vault is located and where the former entrances to the subway are. Other locations, as seen on previous Untapped Cities tours, will be dependent on building access on the particular day. Untapped Cities works directly with the tour guides to provide additional access not necessarily available on regular tours of the building. Following the tour, we will lead guests to an optional cocktail hour at the historic Fraunces Tavern.

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