Every week Untapped Cities provides special access to iconic and little known New York City destinations through our behind-the-scenes tours, as well as entry to special events from some of the city’s leading cultural institutions through our Untapped Cities Insider program. Check out all of the exciting experiences offered this week:
Saturday, December 22nd
- Explore the over 100-year-old contagious disease hospital, which has been abandoned since 1954
- See an exhibition by the world-renowned artist JR, who has placed life-sized historic photographs of Ellis Island immigrants on interior walls of the hospital buildings
- Visit the Laundry Building, where 3000+ pieces of laundry were washed and sanitized daily
- Discover the kitchen, autopsy room and other usually off-limits places
- Get special access inside the original morgue and long abandoned FBI offices
Join Untapped Cities’ newest tour to discover the maritime history of New York City! New York is New York because of its situation on one of the world’s best harbors. For the first three and half centuries of its life, this city was defined and sustained by its maritime operations. However, in the past few decades most of the 8 million people who call New York City home or the 60 million people who visit annually barely even give a second thought to the harbor, bays, rivers, or boats that used to define and supply this popular set of islands. New York’s maritime roots are often overlooked and ignored. Take a journey back through lower Manhattan with Untapped Cities guides Justin Rivers and Mandy Edgecombe to experience New York as the world’s greatest ports of call.
- Explore the early Dutch era maritime history through the stories of infamous sea captains Adrian Block and William Kidd
- Walk the less-charted trail along the historic east side slips including Old Slip and Coenties
- Learn about New York’s old buried ships on both the Hudson and East River shores and New York’s old floating churches
- Discover other related sites including the International Merchant Marine Building, The Cunard Building, the Alexander Hamilton Custom’s House and a stop at the stunning Merchant Marine Memorial by the historic Pier A building
- Visit South Street Seaport for the history of this unique museum, its historic ships and unparalleled views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline
- 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!
Photograph by Carly Hoogendyk, Courtesy of Caveat
Enjoy a night of hidden holiday science and history as told by the city’s best researchers and storytellers. Did you now that Saint Nick is the Patron Saint of New York City? Or the ancient origins of the Winter Solstice? Learn the backstories of your favorite holiday traditions, from the nordic mythology behind Santa’s reindeer to the birth of Santa on West 23rd Street! This festive evening of holiday history will be hosted by local historian, tour guide and freelance writer Lucie Levine with stories from Christa Avampato and Dustin Growick. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today!
Sunday, December 23rd
The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it. It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises. On this tour, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as a preserved icon of the past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Together, we will explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or stroll through the Beaux Arts beauty for the first time, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.