Every week, Untapped Cities offers a slate of behind-the-scenes tours designed to help you rediscover New York City. From uncovering the secrets of an iconic setting, to discovering a little known, off-the-beaten-path site, each experience will show you something you never knew before. This week, join a curator led walkthrough of one of NYC’s most unique museums, uncover the secrets of Grand Central Terminal, see a site-specific art installation in abandoned hospital and more!
Tuesday, June 18th
Curator Led Walkthrough of the American Folk Museum’s Exhibition “Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art”
Join American Folk Museum curator Elizabeth Warren for an after-work walkthrough of the museum’s latest exhibition, Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art.Curated by Warren, the exhibition contains around 100 works of art, created by self-taught artists, that tell the story of New York City as the center of America’s financial and commercial world. During the approximately 50-minute tour, Insiders will have a chance to see a wide variety of folk art made in New York City between 1760 and 1920. The exhibition is divided into two parts. “The Art of Business” includes paintings, quilts, sculpture, and signs that either depict or relate to businesses that operated in the five boroughs of New York during this time period. “The Business of Art” encompasses works that were the products of businesses that were producing what we today call folk art: pottery, portraiture, show figures, carousel animals, weathervanes, and furniture. The tour will include lots of behind-the-scenes information about the works on view and historical facts and trivia about New York City. You can attend this free tour if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain free access to behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!
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Saturday, June 22nd
- 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
Inside the Chambers Street station in Lower Manhattan
- 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
- 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!
Sunday, June 23rd
- 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)
- 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
- 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