Untapped Cities is excited to announce the Behind the Scenes NYC Tour Series in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to provide special access to some of the city’s most exciting development projects. Over the next six months, a monthly tour will bring Untapped Cities readers and New Yorkers to projects such as the newly renovated Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, raw spaces at the Brooklyn Army Terminal untouched for 40 years, the Hunts Point Produce Market, the Harlem Corn Exchange Building, and Staten Island’s North Shore.
The tours will be led by NYCEDC experts who have spearheaded the redevelopments, as well as the community partners for the projects, offering insider insight into the past, present and future of these sites.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Salt March before, photo by Julienne Schaer
With all the activity along Brooklyn Bridge Park these days, it can be hard for visitors (and even some newer residents) to recall what the New York City waterfront looked like even just a decade ago. After all, it was only in 2011 that the city’s comprehensive waterfront plan, Vision: 2020 was passed. But this document was a culmination of various waterfront redevelopment projects already in place, some from the mid 1980s, a manifestation of both grassroots and governmental push to rethink New York City’s “last borough.”
March 10th, 2015 will mark the 5th anniversary of the popular Brooklyn Bridge Park and the organization has shared with Untapped Cities before and after photographs of the piers and greenway, a reminder of how the changes that have come to this area of Brooklyn. The captions are written by Maureen Lynch, Communications Manager for Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Coney Island Brewing Company. Image via Wikimedia Commons by Amuggle
In 2011, the Coney Island Brewing Company opened up to much fanfare, selling (really small) batch brews–in fact, before it closed in 2012, it was the smallest commercial brewery in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. Only one gallon of beer was produced per batch, out of a space in Sideshows by the Seashore which they were allowed to use rent-free. According to World Record Academy, the equipment consisted of “Bunsen burners, hot plates, and old-timey mechanisms that cast a Prohibition-style moon-shine vibe over the entire operation.” But despite the nano-batch production, Coney Island Brewing Company was actually part of Schmaltz Brewing Company, which produces the equally fun line of HE’BREW beers. Sadly Hurricane Sandy flooded the property and Schmaltz sold the line to Alchemy, a subsidiary of Boston Brewery who makes Sam Adams.
Armory Hall at Fordham University. Image via Fordham.edu
New York City’s historic armories can be seen all around the city, and are currently used for all kinds of purposes in addition to some that retain their original function. They were built between the 18th and 20th centuries for New York State volunteer militia, serving as storage of arms and housing. These monumental fortresses were meant to remind the public of the military’s might and ability to maintain domestic law. Thankfully for us, the militia took great care in designing their fortresses and we have been left with remarkable armories that remind us of an important time in our city’s history. Some still function as National Guard posts, but many have been repurposed since the mid 20th century.
Here is a list of the remaining armories in the five boroughs of New York City.
Hunts Point Landing, image via Urban Engineers
Far from the hordes of people that crowd New York’s more popular beaches are a host of lesser known parks offering waterfront access and panoramic views. The city published a map of all of New York’s public waterfront space, but we’ve picked out some of the most interesting from each of the five boroughs. Check them out before the summer weather disappears for good.
Brooklyn’s Chabad-Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish spiritual center. Photo: Andrea Robbins and Max Beacher
The New York Observer has a remarkable story about a particular building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, home to the Chabad-Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish spiritual center that has doubles in more than a dozen places around the world. Located at 770 Eastern Parkway, it’s an example of a building that holds such a strong symbolic hold that the followers of this religious group have replicated it as they’ve spread. The original building is the de facto headquarters for the Lubavitch and was once the workplace of Grand Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.