Photos via United Palace

Explore a wonder theater built in the 1920s, gain exclusive entry into a historic building that is closed to the public, take part in an interactive horror movie screening at one of the city’s best museums, and so much more on an Untapped Cities tour this week in New York City! Every week Untapped Cities offers a variety of events that enable guests to see New York City from a new perspective. Here is what is happening this week:

Tuesday, October 23rd

Special Access Tour of the Woolworth Building


  • Special Access inside the Woolworth Building, which is normally off-limits to the public
  • Learn about the history of the building, how it was created and has been restored over the years
  • Visit the spectacular “cathedral-esque” lobby and mezzanine of the building, nicknamed the “Cathedral of Commerce”
  • Explore the cellar level where you will see an abandoned bank vault and entrances that once had direct access to the NYC subway
  • Contemplate many Art Deco details including the gorgeous mailboxes and elevators

The Woolworth Building is one of New York City’s most famous off-limits landmarks.  After 9/11 rendered, the building  closed to the public unless you lived or worked in the skyscraper. This one hour tour of the normally off-limits Woolworth Building which will feature not only a visit through the stunning lobby but also the mezzanine and the cellar level where the bank vault still stands. Guest will get a complete picture of the engineering feat and aesthetic masterpiece that this building, once the tallest in the world, really is!

Insider Tour of the Woolworth Building

Wednesday, October 24th

“The Path to a Post-Rikers NYC,” A Conversation at the Brooklyn Historical Society

Akeem Browder, Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images, Courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society

Join the conversation on “A Path to a Post-Rikers NYC” with New York Times reporter Ashley Southall and criminal justice experts including Kalief Browder Foundation Founder Akeem Browder, CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance Executive Director Michael Jacobson, Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Dana Kaplan, and Vera Institute Program Director Insha Rahman at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The speakers will tackle the tough questions surrounding the future of Rikers Island. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and access free behind-the-scenes tours and events in New York City all year long!

Archtober’s First Annual Trivia Night at Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Do you fancy yourself an New York City history buff? Are you well versed in the minutiae of architectural history? Can you just not get enough of the NYC subway system? See if you can best the experts at the first annual Archtober Trivia Night at Housing Works. Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, so 100% of profits go to fund Housing Works’ lifesaving services such as healthcare, job training, and of course, housing. Also, all of the store’s stock is donated.  Signing up as a team is optional. No more than 6 people per team. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free!

Thursday, October 25th

Go Inside the Historic Little Red Lighthouse at Fort Washington Park

Go inside the beloved “Little Red Lighthouse” in Fort Washington Park on an exclusive tour with Untapped Cities Insiders. Led by an Urban Park Ranger, guests will climb the original cast iron steps to the top of the tower. Along the way, learn about the history of this unique landmark and the surrounding area of Fort Washington Park, The George Washington Bridge and the Hudson River. You can sign up for this free tour now if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and access free behind-the-scenes tours and events in New York City all year long!

Interactive Screening of “Scream” with Little Cinema at the Brooklyn Museum 

Donnie Darko Screening, 2016, Photograph by taken by Studio Madness, Courtesy of Little Cinema

Take part an immersive night of Halloween horror at the Brooklyn Museum with an interactive screening of the 1996 cult classic Scream. This screening of Wes Craven’s black comedy will be accompanied by dance performances by The Love Show, audiovisual remixing by CHNNLS (Jay Rinsky), spoken word by Nathan Oglesby, horror trivia, and more creative and interactive crowd activities presented by Little Cinema.

Friday, October 26th

Climb to the Top of the Little Red Lighthouse

Image via Flickrgigi_nyc

Ascend the 48 original cast iron steps to the top of this unique landmark. Located under the George Washington Bridge, the Little Red Lighthouse will open its doors for an exclusive tour with Untapped Cities Insiders. Guests will learn about the history of this historic beacon and the surrounding area from an Urban Park Ranger. You can sign up for this free tour now if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and access free behind-the-scenes tours and events in New York City all year long!

Saturday, October 26th

Tour the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal


  • Learn about the secrets of one of NYC’s most iconic buildings
  • See Grand Central’s hidden tennis courts
  • Peek into the entrance of the glass walkways
  • Learn about the design flaw as large as Grand Central Terminal’s main atrium
  • Discover a multi-million dollars jewel hidden in plain sight and more!

On this tour, guests will learn about Grand Central as it was in the  booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it as you reveal the secrets hidden in plain sigh all over the beautiful Beaux-Arts structure. Take the time to appreciate the wonderful aspects of the station that commuters hurriedly rush past everyday.

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Underground Tour of the New York City Subway


  • Explore City Hall Park as the birthplace of the NYC subway system, including elements of the famed, decommissioned City Hall Station you can see right in the park
  • Learn about the comically short route of the mythical “Subway before the Subway,” Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit System
  • See the architectural ghosts of the now nearly forgotten, and partially abandoned, Chambers Street station then nicknamed the “Grand Central of Downtown”
  • Use the 6 train as your own time machine as you ride through abandoned subway stations
  • Discover the remnants of Union Station as you learn about a hidden art installation thousands of riders walk by everyday

Take a ride through the living history of the world’s largest rapid transit system (in area) by weaving in and out of the past and present transit hubs of lower Manhattan. This unique tour is designed to give a comprehensive history of the NYC Subway system, from its groundbreaking in 1901 up through the creation of the three different proprietary lines which were unified into the system we know today. We’ll uncover information and learn about spaces even the most seasoned commuter might not know about. Using the 6 train as our own ten-car time machine, we will ride through and see three abandoned ghost stations that 4, 5, and 6 riders unknowingly pass through everyday: Worth Street and the famed City Hall Station. We will not stop inside these stations.

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Tour the Remnants of Penn Station


  • Get a comprehensive history of the past, present and future of Penn Station
  • See over a dozen indoor and outdoor old-station remnants hidden in plain sight
  • Learn insider navigation tips for one of the most cramped and complicated transit hubs in North America
  • See never-before-seen old station photos from the collections of three photographers who photo documented Penn’s life and demolition
  • Each guest will also receive a framable, reproduction ticket of the first commuter ride into Pennsylvania Station from 1910

There are two things most commuters don’t realize about Penn: First, there used to be a gorgeous Beaux Arts station that was demolished in the mid-60’s. Second: Parts of that old station can still be found today. They’ve just been buried under the arena that landed on top of them. On our tour of the Remnants of Penn Station, we’ll take you back inside this central transportation hub to discuss the past, present and future plans for the structure. Although Amtrak only acknowledges one remnant remaining, tour participants will learn about station history and discover remnants of the McKim, Mead & White building located in plain sight.

Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

Sunday, October 28th

Behind-the-Scenes Tour o the United Palace Theater

Photos via United Palace

Explore the stunning United Palace Theater, a 3,400-seat entertainment palace originally built as one of the five Loew’s Wonder theaters in the New York City metro area.  Originally known as the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre, the United Palace has long served as a cultural hotspot for residents of the north Manhattan community. Designed by architect Thomas Lamb (Cort Theatre, the former Ziegfeld Theatre) and styled by Harold Rambausch (Waldorf Astoria, Radio City Music Hall), the landmarked theater looks almost identical to its original form thanks to various restoration projects throughout the years. Today, the United Palace is a transformational venue that fuses culture, spirituality and entertainment. You can sign up for this free tour now if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and access free behind-the-scenes tours and events in New York City all year long!

See our full list of Untapped Cities Insiders Tours and our upcoming Public Tours.

 Archtober, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum, Grand Central Terminal, housing works bookstore, little cinema, Little Red Lighthouse, manhattan, New York City, NYC, rikers, Rikers Island, subway, united palace theater, woolworth building

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