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The row of seven Victorian townhouses facing the east side of San Francisco’s Alamo Square, variously known as Postcard Row and The Painted Ladies, draws thousands of visitors each year to snap iconic photos, but rather than engaging in hit and run tourism, the area’s other architectural treasures and the park itself are also deserving of a look.

Alamo Square, a City park which lies at the summit of a hill west of downtown San Francisco, provides sweeping views of the beautifully ornate houses of Postcard Row with the City’s skyline in the background.

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Bogardus Building-Edward Laing Stores-Washington Market-Murray-Washington Street-Urban Renewal-Demolition-Stolen-NYCThe Edward Laing Stores/Bogardus Building. Image via Library of Congress

In researching about the many wonderful architectural remnants on display at Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks, we came across the Edward Laing Stores, also known as the Bogardus Building. A single metal spandrel panel is on display in the exhibition, but the story behind what happened to this long-demolished building is one of the craziest we’ve heard here at Untapped Cities, including the fact that it was stolen, not once, but twice.

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One of the highlights of the comprehensive exhibition, Saving Place: 50 Years of NYC Landmarks at the Museum of the City of New York, is the collection of architectural remnants from New York City’s buildings, both lost and still standing. From a marble eagle head from the original Pennsylvania Station to original lime moldings from Grand Central Terminal and cast iron medallions from the Battery Maritime Terminal, there is plenty for architecture and preservation buffs to revel in.

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In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the pioneering Landmarks Law in New York City, the Museum of the City of New York opened its newest exhibition,”Saving Place: 50 years of New York City Landmarks,” depicting events in the history of the city that follow the remarkable story of the birth and impact of the landmarks movement. Untapped Cities got a sneak preview of this exciting exhibition, which opened April 21st, with curator Donald Albrecht, co-curator Andrew Dolkart, consulting curator Seri Worden and the Director of the Museum of the City of New York, Susan Henshaw Jones.

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Joralemon Street-MTA Ventilator-Fake Townhouse Brownstone-Brooklyn Heights-NYC-001This townhouse is not what it seems to be...

Brooklyn Heights is probably best known for its charming, tree-lined streets filled with 19th century mansions and churches. But the bucolic neighborhood boasts more than just cobblestone lanes and scenic views of Lower Manhattan. Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City, it also has its fair share of stories and secrets.

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Hanoi pedestrians & motorcyclists in front of City View Cafe

Can Hanoi, an ancient royal capital that has been invaded and ruled by conquerors repeatedly over the centuries, find peace and prosperity as a world city at the start of its new millennium?

It is in many ways the ideal 21st century city—eminently walkable, friendly, entertaining, hip, young, tolerant, and inexpensive. Its old neighborhoods are a Jane-Jacobs triumph of mixed-use economic dynamism and eyes-on-the-street for safety. Retail, restaurants, and business services squeeze into the narrow ground-floor street fronts while residents live in the wildly assorted houses above.

Except for a few hours between midnight and dawn, Hanoians seem constantly on the move—eating, drinking, making things, selling things, playing badminton and chess, laughing, talking, hustling—pretty much all in the same space.

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