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

  • Fritz Koenig, Sculptor of World Trade Center sphere dies at 92 [NY Times]:  Fritz Koenig hoped to see his monumental “Sphere” — a sculptural symbol of the promise, destruction and resilience of the original World Trade Center — return to its intended site in Lower Manhattan. But the effort to bring the battered artwork home, like every other element of the trade center redevelopment project, was waylaid by battles over political and physical turf. As it stands now, Mr. Koenig’s 27-foot-high bronze sculpture, still badly scarred from the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, is not scheduled to return to the trade center from a nearby park until late summer or early fall.
  • Foreign Visitors to NYC May Decline with Travel Ban, Says NYC & Company [Curbed NY]: NYC & Company, the city’s main tourism agency, released a revised version of its 2017 international travel forecast. According to its projections, the city could see 300,000 fewer foreign visitors this year, which would be the first dip in tourism numbers since 2008. The agency’s initial 2017 forecast was produced in October, before the presidential election; the new numbers “take into account changing attitudes about travel and access to the U.S.,” according to a press release.
  • Retrofitted Mailboxes that Thrwart Phishing Scams Installed Uptown [DNAinfo]: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service plans to install a host of tamper-free mailboxes uptown in a bid to prevent future “mail fishing” scams, officials announced. The seven new mailboxes — which have been retrofitted to seal shut the customary “snorkel,” or drop-down opening and replace it with a slot for letters — were installed at sites throughout Inwood and Washington Heights.
  • How Aaron Burr gave NYC a faulty system of wooden water mains [6sqft]: At the turn of the 18th Century, New York City had a population of 60,515, most of whom lived and worked below Canal Street. Until this time, residents got their water from streams, ponds, and wells, but with more and more people moving in, this system became extremely polluted and inefficient. In fact, in the summer of 1798, 2,000 people died from a yellow fever epidemic, which doctors believed came from filthy swamp water and led the city to decide it needed a piping system to bring in fresh water. Looking to make a personal profit, Aaron Burr stepped in and established a private company to create the city’s first waterworks system, constructing a cheap and ill-conceived network of wooden water mains. Though these logs were eventually replaced by the cast iron pipes we use today, they still live on both under and above ground in the city.

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