Every week, Untapped Cities brings you unique behind-the-scenes experiences at New York City’s most iconic landmarks and locations that are off the beaten path. This week, uncover the secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge, tour inside the landmarked Woolworth Building with the architect’s great-granddaughter, visit an art museum at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center and more!
Monday, April 15th
Spend an evening with George Chauncey, author of the trailblazing book Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Chauncey’s book shattered the myth that gay life existed only in the closet before the 1960s, and in this presentation, George Chauncey on Gay Male Culture in Post-War NYC, the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University will go beyond the material covered in his book to examine New York City’s post-war gay culture and politics. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free!
Thursday, April 18th
Take a visit to The Living Museum in Queens, an extensive exhibition of art created by patients of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center who are using art as therapy. The Living Museum contains an eclectic mix of work from over 60 artists inside what was once the cafeteria building of Creedmoor’s sprawling, over 100-year old campus. You can join this free visit if you are an Untapped Cities Insider!
Saturday, April 20th
- Discover the Brooklyn Bridge’s secrets, including its old Cold War fall out shelter, the hidden champagne vaults, the bridge jumper survivor’s support group and so many others… *NOTE: we will not be going inside the shelter or vaults.*
- See an abandoned park hidden in plain sight as you explore the perimeter of the Manhattan anchorages of the bridge
- Uncover the hidden statue of the family of engineers who built the bridge
- Locate the site of the nation’s first White House
- Cross the bridge span, which offers one of the best vantage points in New York City
The abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex—once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center)—has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Now, Untapped Cities is bringing you behind-the-scenes for a unique exploration of the abandoned facility; on this experience, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public.
Photograph by Jochen Enderlin
- Access the Woolworth Building, which is normally off-limits to the public, with building architect Cass Gilbert’s great granddaughter, Helen Post Curry
- 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 former direct access to the NYC subway
- Contemplate many Art Deco details including the gorgeous mailboxes and elevators
- 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 Jochen Enderlin
- 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
Sunday, April 21st
- Discover all 26 site-specific collages by the world-renowned artist JR inside the abandoned hospitals on Ellis Island from the exhibition “Unframed – Ellis Island.”
- All artworks are life-sized archival photographs of immigrants taken on Ellis Island that reactivate this long forgotten complex. There is even one you will see pasted by actor Robert de Niro.
- Access 10 locations in the abandoned hospital complex that are completely closed off to the public and open exclusively to attendees of this tour, including the second floor of the general hospital and the visually stunning “Blue Room”
- Get to know the stories behind each of the photos and learn the history of the abandoned hospitals on a tour led by an expert in JR’s art on Ellis Island
- Receive a framable 24′ x 36′ poster of one of JR’s most notable pieces at Ellis Island