Do you have Summer Fridays? Or you love getting into places before everyone else can? This Friday, we’ll be visiting The Hills, the new park on Governors Island on a tour led by the Governors Island Trust. Once open, The Hills will certainly be popular and crowded, and for good reason. There will be 40 lush acres of green space with four new hills up to 70 feet above sea level.
On this tour, you’ll learn about the Island’s history from military base to open green space and get an inside look at the recent and ongoing transformation of the barren landfill on the south island. You’ll get an unbelievable view of the New York harbor, lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty from the summit. We’ll hear about the engineering feat behind the construction of The Hills, which will include New York City’s longest slide, a granite “scramble” made of old blocks repurposed from the old island seawall, and the planting of nearly 3,000 new trees.
Earlier this month, we tracked down the incredible private subway car of August Belmont Jr., the financier for the first subway line in New York City at the Shore Line Trolley Museum in Connecticut. Another find in this amazing museum, which has over 100 vintage trolley and subway cars, is the horse drawn trolley car, the Horsecar 76. It’s believed to be the oldest preserved streetcar in the world. This adorable trolley was tucked in the back of one of the museum’s brand new storage barns, built 17 feet above the 500 year flood plain.
Hidden in the outskirts of Brooklyn lies a landmark that largely remains unknown to the public. In quiet Marine Park, the Lott House is a hidden gem built starting in 1720, expanded to its current from in 1800. At its peak, the Lott family owned over 200 acres worth of land, according to the Historic House Trust. Much of their property would be sold off in the 1920s, with the neighborhood later becoming known as Marine Park.
But this very old Brooklyn house is filled to the brim with history: it is even recognized as a possible stop on the Underground Railroad by Heritage New York, according to Alyssa Loorya, president of Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants. One closet has a hidden compartment that may have been used to hide runaway slaves.
Bowery Boys Greg and Tom. Image courtesy of Benjamin Stone Photography
Grey Young and Tom Meyers are “The Bowery Boys,” the voices behind the popular podcast series that provides thousands of listeners with fascinating stories of New York City history. Today marks the release of the Bowery Boys’ new book The Bowery Boys: Adventures in Old New York which gives readers the entire story of Manhattan from top to bottom, neighborhood to neighborhood.
For a sneak peak into this colorful book, Untapped Cities is excited to share an excerpt from Chapter 4. Below you will find the history surrounding Hanover Square and the Great Fire of 1835, along with points of interest in Manhattan’s East Financial District. (more…)
Photo via City-Data
In the present day, few outsiders would dare to venture into the Grand Concourse section of the Bronx, due to its notorious reputation as a dangerous neighborhood. But the area known as the “Champs-Élysées of the Bronx” is steeped in a rich cultural history, from its dark past as part of the Bronx Slave Market to its Paris-inspired roads. To find out why there is a German fountain in Joyce Kilmer Park, or why Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage was moved, read our top ten secrets of the Grand Concourse in New York City
Renwick Smallpox Hospital
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