Every week Untapped Cities brings you behind-the-scenes of some of New York City’s most iconic sites, and into the most exciting off-limits locations. This week, join us for our first Remnants of the World’s Fair tour of the season, go behind the curtain at the opulent United Palace theater, visit the home of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and discover more ways to explore the city!
Wednesday, May 22nd
Go inside the historic home of founding father Alexander Hamilton on a private ranger guided tour. The Hamilton Grange National Memorial inside St. Nicholas Park is the only home that Hamilton ever owned and it sits on land that once belonged to him. On this tour, guests will gain access to the period decorated rooms that the Hamilton family used while living in the home in the 19th century. You can join this free tour if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long.
Thursday, May 23rd
Courtesy of the Center for Jewish History, Photograph by Gemma Solomons
Hear from Parkland Dad, Fred Guttenberg at the Center for Jewish History as he sits down with Matt Gutman, ABC News Chief National Correspondent, for a conversation about speaking out, fighting back, and challenging elected officials to do more about gun control. Fred Guttenberg never planned on leading a public life, but he saw no choice after his 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed along with 16 teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Determined to make a difference, Fred is now devoting his life to urgently advocating for stricter gun control and public safety laws. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free.
Saturday, May 25th
- Discover the hidden-in-plain-sight remnants of the 1939/40 and 1964/65 World’s Fairs with playwright and Untapped Cities tour guide, Justin Rivers
- Visit the monument to a 5000-year time capsule
- View the original guidebooks from each of the World’s Fairs
- Get a comprehensive history of the past, present, and future of Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, with Insider information from our partners involved with the preservation of the New York State Pavilion
- Each guest will receive reproductions of World’s Fair Maps from both 1939 and 1964
- 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
- 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!
- 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 26th
Let us take you back to the halcyon days when 42nd Street was the Deuce, Eighth Avenue was the Minnesota Strip, the Great White Way was a red light district, and the Crossroads of the World was XXX-rated. We will see former peepshows, grindhouses, adult book stores, dive bars, hotsheet hotels, sex clubs, porno theaters, and massage parlors–not to mention all three locations of the New York Times. We will discover the personalities who made Times Square what it was: the King of the Peeps; the reclusive genius behind the McDonalds of Sex; the woman who built a gay and S&M porn empire; the slumlord with two suitcases filled with gold and five wives; and the Catholic priest who flew too close to the neon sun and crashed and burned.
- Learn about about the largest sex emporium in New York City (and maybe the world), the freak show where Diane Arbus found her inspiration, as well as the last remaining hot sheet hotel and live peep show in Times Square
- Discover the dirtiest hotel in America, the oldest building on 42nd Street (it’s not what you think), and the most dangerous block in New York City
- Visit sites for classic films like Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Taxi Driver (1976)
- 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
Photograph by Jon Ortner, Courtesy of United Palace
Explore the stunning United Palace Theater, 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 join this free tour if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long.
- Discover the history of the United Palace Theater
- Learn about the theater’s restoration and transformation into cultural venue
- See up close the sumptuous details in the lobby and the auditorium, with a look backstage as well
- 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