Did you know there are hidden champagne vaults inside the Brooklyn Bridge? Or that there is a secret staircase right in the middle of Grand Central Terminal? Have you ever seen the now decommissioned subway station that was the very first on the network? You can discover all of these things and more on a behind-the-scenes tour with Untapped Cities. All of our tours are led by expert, license New York City tour guides and our partners at the city’s leading cultural institutions. Check out all of the Untapped events going on this week!
Tuesday, August 6th
Photograph by Jochen Enderlin
- Special Access inside the Woolworth Building, which is normally off-limits to the public
- 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 entrances that once had direct access to the NYC subway
- Contemplate many Art Deco details including the gorgeous mailboxes and elevators
Wednesday, August 7th
This summer, Gracie Mansion is opening its doors to let the public have a glimpse of life inside. Untapped Cities Insiders are invited to join a members-only tour of the home of New York City’s Mayor where you will learn about the history of the house and visit rooms such as the dining room, ballroom, various parlors, the library, and more! In addition to this access, Insiders will also get to a new installation, She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York. The installation consists of sixty works of art tell which tell powerful stories about the persistence of women and were created in the last century by women who were often uncelebrated and undervalued. You can attend 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! Please not, due to security procedures you must register for this tour before Monday August 5th at 3:00pm.
Already a member? Book here!
Thursday, August 8th
Explore the historic Temple Emanu-El sanctuary and museum. When it was built in 1927, the stunning Temple Emanu-El was the largest synagogue in the world. Designed by Jewish architects in a bold Romanesque-revival style, the stately structure seats more people than St. Patrick’s Cathedral. In addition to learning about the beautifully ornate interiors of the sanctuary on a docent led tour, Insiders will also get to explore the artifacts housed inside the Herbert & Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica. You can attend this free tour if you are an Untapped Cities Insider!
Already a member? Book here!
Saturday, August 9th
- 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
- 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
- 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!
Sunday, August 10th
- Hear about the massive civic project that transformed a wasteland into an urban pleasure ground
- Learn about the curious origins of the Central Park Zoo and the corruption scandal that caused a riot
- Uncover the hidden meaning in Bethesda Terrace’s sculptures and the forbidden love that inspired the park’s most famous statue
- See the secret bolt left behind from the creation of Manhattan’s street grid
- Discover the secret navigational device that keeps pedestrians from getting lost on the park’s winding paths
- Discover the island’s early history, from Henry Hudson to the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam. Governors Island was actually the first true New Amsterdam!
- Find out how the Dutch used the island in the 1600’s and the complications encountered with the natives.
- Learn the military history of the Island’s 3 forts, military housing and administration buildings. Governors Island was the longest running military base in U.S. history, from 1794 to 1996. Fort Jay and Castle Williams specifically hold many secrets that will be revealed on this tour!
- See the present and future of the Island awhile traversing the beautiful gardens cared for by the Trust for Governors Island and learning about the sustainable efforts of new organizations that call the 172-acre park home.
- Explore the Hills! The Hills were designed by a Dutch firm in 2016 and provide sweeping views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and lower Manhattan.