Most Popular Non-List Articles
Most of what we publish here at Untapped Cities are not lists, in fact. Here are 10 pieces that made an impact this year:
Photo by Rembert Browne
Sometimes in New York City, you’ll come across a subway entrance to nowhere. We took a look at where these come from.
Arguably the most famous of New York City’s abandoned subway stations, City Hall station was originally the jewel of the new IRT subway system when it opened in 1904. It was decommissioned after World War II because its curved platform was too short for the new longer trains. You can visit the station only a few times a year, on a tour for members of the New York Transit Museum. Our article shows that exploration with numerous photographs of the station.
We went on a research trip to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. While there, we discovered a veritable underground city, along with a subway that has been dubbed the “shortest and most exclusive railway in the world,” because it’s only accessible to Congressional members and approved guests. You can also get a ride during an official tour of the Capitol.
In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Paris erected a temporary monument in the shape of the Twin Towers. This year, this gesture (and thus the article) was remembered again as New York City showed its support for Paris after the attacks in November.
Floor plan of Kennedy Onassis’ apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue
The Kennedys are probably the closest thing America has had to a royal family and readers continue to be fascinated by the massive floorplan of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue. A video in this article gives an overview of the place and Jackie’s time there after JFK’s assassination.
Though just one of many abandoned psychiatric centers dotted throughout the east coast, Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg is particularly notable because the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black films at a different portion of the site. James Garcia from My Haunted Diary and a contributor to Untapped Cities took a trip up there to document the place for us.
A documentary series from Vocativ featured Will Ellis, Untapped Cities’ Abandoned NYC columnist going into the bowels of Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital on Long Island. After you see it, follow-up with two other videos about the same place.
One of the city’s most fascinating finds is this secret train platform underneath the Waldorf-Astoria, accessible also via Grand Central Terminal. Daniel Brucker, manager of Grand Central Tours at Metro-North Railroad, confirmed on a special tour that Franklin D. Roosevelt did indeed use this track, and that the train car that still sits there did belong to the President. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum would like to get it back, but logistically it’s rather problematic!
Nothing quite gets people like a fun map, and one that’s judgmental to boot. This series of maps by Joe Larson hits a lot of stereotypes on the nose.
We were one of the first publications to do an in-depth piece about this private community on Long Island within Yaphank still run by the German Settlement League. Before WWII, it ran a pro-Hitler summer camp and had streets named after Hitler, Goebbels and Goering. Armed with the officially approved town street map from 1936, we went to Yaphank to get photographs. We later did an interview for a segment on National Geographic about the town. Then came the news in the New York Times later this year that discrimination against non-Germans was persisting in the settlement, whihc led toa subsequent related lawsuit.
Next, check out 7 NYC Tunnels where Subway Trains Go to Sleep. Stay tuned for our compilation of our favorite stories we wrote this year.