Photograph by Jochen Enderlin
Every week Untapped Cities takes you behind-the-scenes of New York City’s most iconic locations and hidden gems. This week, walk through the shimmering cathedral-like lobby of what was once the tallest skyscraper in the world, ride through once bustling subway stations now abandoned, attend costume parties in honor or art and George Washington and discover more ways to explore and engage with the city this week with Untapped Cities:
Monday, May 6th
Image Courtesy of the METa Gala
Attend the METa Gala, a one-night-only event a The Williamsburg Hotel created to raise funds for a New York City art exhibition of young and emerging artists. This “Camp” themed costume party will feature live musical performances and immersive art installations of different forms. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this party for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long! If you are not an Insider, the first 50 Untapped Cities Readers to buy tickets will get 10% off Regular and VIP entry tickets by using the code “METAUNTAPPED” at check out.
Wednesday, May 8th
Party like it’s 1789 at the Second Annual George Washington Inaugural Ball at Federal Hall National Memorial. This black-tie affair commemorates the 230th anniversary of the historic event which took place at the site. Guests will get to enjoy historic food, drink and period entertainment including. If you have it, 18th century attire is also encouraged for this one-of-a-kind evening. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this party for free!
Gain access to the a private social club started in 1889 by renowned actor Edwin Booth. On our Special Access tour of the Players Club, guests will view architectural work by Stanford White, 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, view the Players Club’s impressive art collections, and get an up-close look at Mark Twain’s poker table!
Saturday, May 11th
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
- 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
- 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, May 12th
- Walk the city’s original coast line
- See the remains of Manhattan’s first City Hall
- Discover the original Dutch fort, wind mill and battery
- Trace the streets of Manhattan in 1667 with Manhattan’s first map in hand
- Physically touch history as we spend time finding out why Bowling Green has its name and why it’s been so important in our city’s history
While Ellis Island has become one of New York City’s top tourist attractions, drawing over two million visitors per year, the 29-building South Side hospital complex is hidden in plain sight, just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall. Looking at its desolate, skeletal frame now, it’s difficult to imagine its backstory as one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. Join us for our upcoming behind-the-scenes hard hat tour, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, where we’ll uncover its many, buried secrets while exploring the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and and more off-limits places that are usually closed to the public.