Rediscover New York City this week on a behind-the-scenes tour with Untapped Cities! Explore locations both infamous and obscure on our expert led tours, and gain access to special events from the city’s leading cultural institutions. This week, learn how citizens are creating public parks, hear about fake news from the early 19th century, uncover the secrets of Grand Central Terminal, discover hidden pieces of art in the subway and more!

Monday, February 4th

“Grassy Grassroots: Citizens Creating Parks,” A Conversation at The Brooklyn Historical Society

In a time of accelerating real estate development and a pressing need for equitable access to green space, discover how everyday citizens are organizing to bring vacant land and unrealized landscapes into the public realm. Join The Trust for Public Land Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development Adrian Benepe, The Tanks at Bushwick Inlet Park Co-Founder and Executive Director Stacey Anderson, NYCH2O Founder and Executive Director and Ridgewood Reservoir project leader Matthew Malina, and Bronx River Alliance Outreach Manager Joseph Sanchez as they discuss grassroots park creation in a conversation at the Brooklyn Historical Society moderated by urban planner and MacArthur Fellow Damon Rich. Welcoming remarks will be given from Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long!

Wednesday, February 6th

Special Access Tour of the Members-Only Players Club

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn about the history of the Club and its members
  • Visit the room in which actors met secretly in 1913 to form the Actors Equity Association, and walk inside Edwin Booth’s bedroom, where you can find the skull that was used in his famous 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet
  • Visit the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library, which contains a vital collection of books, plays, theatre magazines and other artifacts of 19th and early 20th century American and British theatre history
  • View the Players Club’s impressive art collections, including portraits by Everett Raymond Kinstler, Edwin’s theater costumes, and more
  • Get a close look at Mark Twain’s poker table.

Insider Tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park

PANIC!! Crises, Hoaxes and Fake News that Rocked 19th c. New York Presented by Landmark West!

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress

Join social historian Tom Miller (aka the “Daytonian in Manhattan” blogger) for a hoot of an evening of hoaxes, tall tales, ultra-fake news–and the masses who fell for it all. In 19th century New York City, just about anything could happen, even things that…couldn’t. At this lecture presented by Landmark West, Miller will reach into his mesmerizing bag o’ history and to pull out tales of giant man-bats, sapphire temples and city streets overrun with wild animals. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long!

Thursday, February 7th

“The Swindler of Brooklyn Heights: The Family History of the Greatest Con Man of the Gilded Age,” a Book Talk at BHS

Image Courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society

Join author Geoffrey C. Ward as he reveals his family’s dark history at a Brooklyn Historical Society book talk on his new book A Disposition to be Rich.  At The Swindler of Brooklyn Heights: The Family History of the Greatest Con Man of the Gilded Age, Ward tells the story of his great-grandfather Ferdinand Ward, a man who was once considered “the Young Napoleon of Wall Street,” but became “the most hated man in America.” If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long!

New York City’s Secrets and Lies at Caveat

Photograph by Carly Hoogendyk, Courtesy of Caveat 

Can you tell the difference between a secret and a lie when it involves New York City history? This month, storytellers at Caveat are spinning tales about “What Lies Beneath”: covert operations, secret lives, and the hidden goings on literally happening right now under the daily hustle and bustle of these streets. Four expert storytellers will dazzle you with secrets of our shining city’s past, but one of them is telling a fake story. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long!

Saturday, February 9th

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Photograph Courtesy of Jochen Enderlin 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Tour the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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!

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Underground Art in the Subway Tour

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn the secrets behind the much-loved brass figures at 14th Street and 8th Avenue
  • See how an artist framed the 14th Street Union Square station to preserve its history
  • Engage with a very playful art installation at 23rd Street
  • See the forgotten terra cotta tiles in Fulton Center and learn about their history

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of NYC Subway Art

Sunday, February 3rd

Tour the Remnants of Penn Station

Penn Station-Vintage Photograph-McKim Mead White-Train Station-Remnants-Tour-NYCImage via Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: 

  • 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

Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

See all upcoming Untapped Cities Public Tours and Insider Events!

 ellis island abandoned hospital, Grand Central Terminal, penn station, subway, tours, underground art, Untapped Cities Tours

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