This week, uncover the remnants of the World’s Fairs in Queens, discover the treasures of Grand Central Terminal and unearth secrets from the underground subway system. Every week Untapped Cities takes New Yorkers on expert-led tours that venture into the famous and unknown sites of the city. See how you can adventure with us this week:
Tuesday, October 15th
- 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!
Wednesday, October 16th
- 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
Thursday, October 17th
Photograph by Dennis Cahlo, Courtesy of Caveat
Meet goddesses of gore and scream queens this month at a live recording of the podcast Nevertheless She Existed. Hosted at the Lower East Side Speakeasy Caveat, Nevertheless She Existed: Horror Queens will explore “women they don’t want you to know about” in horror. Each month a lineup of female storytellers, comedians, and historians join forces to share the stories of some of the greatest women the world has ever known (but history erased). This Halloween season the storytellers are raising a glass of virgin blood, dressing ourselves in their finest cobwebs, and descending into the Caveat dungeon for a sublimely spooky celebration of women who defined the horror genre. If you are an Untapped Cities Insiders, you can attend this tour for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain free access to behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!Already a member? Book here!
Behind-the-Design Tour of Hunter’s Point South Park with Principal Architects Thomas Balsley and Michael Manfredi
Tour the unique architectural elements of Long Island City’s Hunters Point South Park and take in the stunning city views along the waterfront with principal architects Thomas Balsley of SWA/Balsley and Michael Manfredi of Weiss/Manfredi, the two firms behind the design. Hunters Point South Park first opened in 2013 with Phase I, an active recreation and gathering area with industrial remnants from the park’s past such as old gantries and railroad tracks incorporated into the design. Phase II, a 5.5 acre addition, opened in the summer of 2018 and was designed for passive recreation in landscapes that are naturalistic. The entire park stretches across 11 acres of waterfront surrounded by water on three sides. On this special tour, Insiders will have the amazing opportunity to hear directly from the park’s architects and learn about what went into the design process including the ideas of resiliency and sustainability which are forefront in the design.
Saturday, October 19th
- Uncover the secrets and symbols of Grand Army Plaza, the monumental entrance to the park
- Learn about the park’s ingenious design and the monumental task of transforming it from a wasteland into a pastoral haven
- Hear about the secret tunnels beneath the park’s surface
- Visit the once-idyllic garden that devolved into a symbol of the park’s decay (and is being restored to its former glory!)
- Discover the innovative initiatives to combat storm damage and erosion, including recycling historic elements and employing a squadron of livestock
- See the private cemetery within the park – home to a Hollywood legend
- Stroll Brooklyn’s last remaining forest and discover Olmstead’s hidden tricks to enhance the woodland
- Hear about mysterious happenings inside the park, including mystic rituals and supernatural park-goers
- 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.
The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it. It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises. On this tour, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore Grand Central as a preserved icon of the past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. We will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Together, we will explore the interesting and unique spaces produced for and by it. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or stroll through the Beaux Arts beauty for the first time, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.
Take a ride through the living history of the world’s largest rapid transit system (in area) by weaving in and out of the past and present transit hubs of lower Manhattan. This unique tour is designed to give a comprehensive history of the NYC Subway system, from its groundbreaking in 1901 up through the creation of the three different proprietary lines which were unified into the system we know today. We’ll uncover information and learn about spaces even the most seasoned commuter might not know about.
Sunday, October 20th
- Explore the early Dutch era maritime history through the stories of infamous sea captains Adrian Block and William Kidd
- Walk the less-charted trail along the historic east side slips including Old Slip and Coenties
- Learn about New York’s old buried ships on both the Hudson and East River shores and New York’s old floating churches
- Discover other related sites including the International Merchant Marine Building, The Cunard Building, the Alexander Hamilton Custom House and a stop at the stunning Merchant Marine Memorial by the historic Pier A building
- Visit South Street Seaport for the history of this unique museum, its historic ships and unparalleled views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline
- 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