Secret of the FDR Drive-Robert Moses-NYCImage via Library of Congress/C.M. Stieglitz

It could be argued that Robert Moses shaped the physical landscape of New York City more so than any other person in the twentieth century. By the end of his tenure, the “master builder” and city planner had constructed 658 playgrounds and 13 bridges, as well as a number of highways, beaches, and the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Today. he leaves behind an architectural legacy, but as Robert A. Caro’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography The Power Broker, critically points out, Moses had a tendency to embark on large-scale projects beyond the funding approved by the New York State Legislature. His ideas were not always welcomed with open arms, yet he had no problem dismissing public opposition to his work and or displacing hundreds of thousands of residents.

These seven controversial proposals are examples of projects he never had the opportunity to build in New York City:


Third Avenue Elevated Line in the Bronx, November 1973 – January 1974

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

Today’s popular articles: 

Rooftop-Reds, Winery, Brooklyn-Navy-Yard, Brooklyn, New-York, Wine
Don’t store away your shorts just yet. Rooftop Reds, the world’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard, is biding farewell to summer with a last hurrah that will bring together ribs, roses and beer. The rooftop barbecue will take place this Sunday, from 4-8 p.m.



The marble lobby of the iconic Grace building on 42nd Street (that curved building along Bryant Park) has turned into a playful garden of colorful “flower clusters.” Entitled Beauties, the seven site-specific sculptures, created by artist John Monti, are an eye-popping entrance to a New Yorkers serious workday. People entering through the revolving doors were taking a sudden pause before flashing a quick smile, and a quick cell phone shot of the fantastically colored installations, now sprouting in their lobby. Even the security guards seemed to be enjoying the play-things, and the reactions from those on their way through the grand African mahogany paneled lobby. Below are a few photos of Beauties.


metrograph-ludlow-independent-theater-new-york-city-untapped-cities-susanxu9Metrograph on 7 Ludlow St.

Metrograph sits inside an unassuming brick building near the corner of Ludlow Street. It is easy to walk straight past the independent cinema without so much as a second glance; there is no colorful awning or neon sign to give you the hint that you’re in the right place; movie times aren’t obviously displayed by the entrance. If you were expecting to walk into the atmosphere of a traditional theater, complete with the smell of buttered popcorn and cardboard cutouts of movie previews, you’ll soon learn that Metrograph is anything, but.


The Palmrya Triumphal Arch replica in Trafalgar Square in April, will come to New York City. Photo via Flickr by Garry Knight

It’s official! The Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) has officially announced that the replica of Palmyra’s Triumphal Arch – at 25 feet tall and 30,000 pounds of Italian marble – will be constructed in City Hall Park (the previously unannounced location) by Monday, September 19th. The original arch as destroyed by ISIS in 2015 but through painstaking digital work using numerous photographs, a 3D model was constructed for production.

The arch is built using Egyptian marble quarried from the same location in Carrara, Italy used by Michelangelo and Da Vinci in the Renaissance and its installation in New York City is made possible with the support of The Mayor’s Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management. There will be an official unveiling at 1pm on Monday, September 19th and there will be a mobile app-based augmented reality experience for the public available from the time the arch opens.