04/09/14 12:00pm


For the architectural historian and Modernism enthusiast, the quasi-abandoned beachfront resort of Futuro and Venturo structures just north of Taipei is an essential and little-publicized pilgrimage. Located in the picturesque coastal Wanli district, the complex offers a glimpse into a bygone era’s optimistic futurism all the more bittersweet considering the site’s current dilapidated condition.


11/26/13 4:00pm

Covington HousesTypical mid-century homes in Covington, Virginia

What is a “mill town“? A town near the type of old-fashioned gristmill you see on postcards or oil paintings at a flea market? Not really, though in their time, these would have probably qualified, too. The mill towns of the twentieth century through the current day are moderate-sized (sometimes large) cities built around one or more factory that forms the basis of the local economy.


09/13/13 9:00am

This week we’re continuing from our last installment of Don’t Forget to Look Up, where we walked from 5th Avenue at Washington Square Park to 34th Street. This section of the avenue passes through bustling midtown, and we see a complete shift from the upscale residential buildings of lower Fifth Avenue to this intensely commercial area populated by both massive department stores and chic boutiques. When you need a break from block after block of window shopping, just take a look at these buildings’ upper floors and you will be amazed by what you see.

 Empire-State-Building-Fifth-Avenue-NY-Untapped-Cities-Alexandra-Hay.jpg350 Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building


09/06/13 9:00am

We’re excited to announce the return of the series Don’t Forget to Look Up after a one year hiatus. Last summer, we walked the length of Broadway highlighting the architectural gems you might miss if you forget to look up. This time, we’re talking 5th Avenue. 

The stores! The gilt! The glamour! As charming as the standard associations that Fifth Avenue calls to mind might be, this is far from all there is on one of New York’s most celebrated thoroughfares.

We’ll begin our jaunt in Greenwich Village. Looking north from the Washington Square Arch, Fifth Avenue unfurls before you over 135 blocks, ending 7 miles away at the Harlem River. As we head uptown, we’ll see the shift from residential to commercial uses–a transformation that has characterized Fifth Avenue since shortly after it first appeared on the 1811 Commissioners’ Plan of Manhattan.


Lower Fifth Avenue is primarily populated with upscale apartment buildings, including 39 Fifth Avenue, completed in 1922 and designed by Emery Roth. Colorful terra-cotta tiles enliven the brick facade, while a row of arches with patterned columns call to mind a Renaissance loggia.


09/04/13 12:00pm


Even though Berlin’s Eisfabrik (Ice Factory) has National Heritage status, it’s already in the process of being demolished. Some of the surrounding cold stores have already been demolished in January 2011. Regular commuters between Kreuzberg and Mitte, or frequenters of Berlin’s Sage ClubTresor or KaterHolzig clubs have witnessed the decline of these abandoned buildings for years. According to the Irish Berliner, the ice factory is “one of Germany’s oldest, which managed to survive two world wars, several fires and countless parties but is about to meet its fate at the hands of developers to make way for luxury apartments.”


07/12/13 10:00am

"Urban Patterns" Photo by @bhushan_nyc “Urban Patterns” Photo by @bhushan_nyc

This week’s #untappedcities Instagram “pic” of the Week goes to architect @bhushan_nyc for this stunning shot “looking up” at Stone Street towards William St. For those who know Stone Street, this juxtaposition of history and modernity is subtle yet impactful.