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The Public Theatre at Astor Place

October promises to be an exciting month for the New York City architecture world, as the festival Archtober begins October 1st. An initiative of The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation based at 536 Laguardia Place in SoHo, this event will give the public the unique opportunity to attend more than 150 architecture and design lectures, conferences, programs, and exhibitions happening at the Center for Architecture and collaborating institutions across the city.

1. Building of the Day

Donald Judd Studio-Anna Brown-Untapped CitiesDonald Judd’s Home and Studio, Image via Urban Omnibus 

We are excited about the “Building of the Day” project, which will feature daily site tours of led by the architects of New York’s most interesting spaces and structures. The first day of the line-up will begin with a tour of The Public Theater at Astor Place led by Ennead Architects, the masterminds behind the space’s major renovation. Other exclusive tours include the stunning offices of the crowd funding platform Kickstarter, Red Bull Studios New York, and artist Donald Judd’s Home and Studio. You can follow and RSVP for any of these tours here.

2. Afternoon Yacht Tours from the AIA

Anna Brown-Schooner Pioneer-Untapped CitiesThe Pioneer, Image via Wikipedia by Lian Chang

If you are looking to see the architecture of New York from a different perspective, Archtober offers several different boat tours as part of its program. You can sign up for an afternoon yacht trips led by architects from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, and circumnavigate the island while exploring the ‘starchitecture’ of the West Side, skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, and the icons of the East River. The South Street Seaport Museum is also giving rides on a historic sailing ship, called the Pioneer, that used to carry cargo along the Delaware River in 1885

3. Sustainable Architecture and Industry Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard


One of the The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s abandoned structures, the Admiral’s Row House

Even bicyclists can get their ride on, with a Sustainable Architecture and Industry tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard on October 4th that spotlights its history and transformation from an abandoned naval yard into an urban, sustainable park.

4. Municipal Art Society Tours

The Municipal Art Society will be giving some great tours including Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue Bazaars, Bronx Grand Concourse, Art Deco Central Park West, Rockaway Beach, The Founding of the Met, MoMa and the Whitney, Gowanus Canal, Oscar Wilde’s NY, Latin Music of the South Bronx, Forest Hills to Corona, Queens and more. The annual MAS Summit for NYC will also take place on October 23rd and 24th at the Time Warner Center.

5. A New Terminal Under Grand Central: The East Side Access Project

Join architect Frank Prial Jr., AIA, MTA Program Manager Douglas Tilden, MTA Associate Director of Planning Jack Dean, LIRR Chief Planning Officer Elisa Picca, Edith Hsu-Chen, Director for Manhattan Borough at City Planning, and moderator Maxinne Leighton, Ass. AIA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. for a talk about the East Side Access Project, one of the nation’s largest transportation infrastructures on October 6th.

6. Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon at the Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim will host a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (#guggathon) on Tuesday, October 7th  to support contributions to Wikipedia’s content on museum architecture. Agenda includes remarks from notable architectural scholars and an architectural tour of the Guggenheim. Attendees should bring their own laptops and power cords. No prior Wikipedia experience required.

7. World Trade Center Public Realm Tour with American Society of Landscape Architects 

This tour on October 8th will focus on the World Trade Center District’s public realm design. Led by Andrew Lavallee, Principal at AECOM, this tour will explore the history and design of the District’s outdoor spaces including streetscapes, utilities, plazas, the emerging Liberty Park atop the district’s Vehicle

8. Gaudi’s Unfinished Masterpiece: The Sagrada Familia Church 

A lecture series begining October 9th at the City College of New York. Gaudí’s masterwork, The Sagrada Família Church in Barcelona is a design across time. Gaudí redesigned the church & oversaw the construction through the late 1920’s. The work both by Antoni Gaudí & the current team have produced an astonishing level of design.

9. Dwell on Design New York

Dwell on Design NY, curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, debuts at 82 Mercer in SoHo October 9 and 10, with 5,000 members of the design elite gathering for innovative installations and onstage discussions centering around contract design, public space, urban infrastructure, and more.

10. Heavy Metal: Factory Tour of Ferra Design at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Experience precision metal fabrication informed by old world craftsmanship at Ferra Designs. Participants go behind-the-scenes on this immersive tour on October 10th, from design offices to factory floor to new product design studio, 50A. Ferra uses cutting-edge technology, whether creating iconic pieces of art or sophisticated architectural interiors.

11. City by Numbers: Big Data and the Urban Future

To help make sense of Big Data as it relates to our built environment, and to provide insights into how we understand, experience, and create cities, Pratt and Places will present a symposium titled “City by Numbers: Big Data and the Urban Future” on October 11th at Pratt.

12. 1048 Fifth Avenue: From Mansion to Museum

Andrew Dolkart, Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation gives as lecture at the Neue Gallerie on October 15th.

13. AIA Featured Boat Guide Tour of Freshkills Park

This 3.75 hour AIANY boat tour on October 18th will travel to Staten Island to offer a limited “backstage pass” to see the transformation of the region’s largest garbage landfill into Freshkills Park. The cruise will enter a network of tidal kills to explore the unprecedented land reclamation project. Guides from NYC PARKS and AIANY will provide Insightful narration about Staten Island’s northwest shore.

14. Reading the Streetscape: Meatpacking District

Image by Brian Rose

Discover how to “read” buildings for information about the City’s growth and development and look at the city’s architecture from a design perspective in this 2-hour walking tour on October 18th.

15. Guided Tour of Governors Island: New Park and Public Spaces

The Trust for Governors Island has completed construction on the first 30 acres of new park and public spaces and they are now open to the public! Ferry departs at 4pm from the Battery Maritime Building on October 21st for the tour.

16. Remains of the Stay: Old Hotel Tours at Schermerhorn Row

Experience a private tour on October 22nd in the currently closed galleries of historic Schermerhorn Row. Take a personal tour of the Old Hotel and Fulton Ferry Laundry that still remains and is preserved by the Museum. See where sailors, longshoremen, and other travelers laid their head upon arriving at the Seaport from 1850 to about 1920 and you can still see today.

17. The Art of Dining: How Master Chefs and Designers Collaborate

Distinguished chefs Daniel Boulud and Lydia Shire join famed hospitality designer Adam Tihany on October 23rd for a conversation moderated by Elle Décor’s Editor in Chief Michael Boodro about the relationship between design and dining.

18. Architecture for Humanity New York: Giving Back Through Architecture and Design

Architecture for Humanity NY organizes volunteers for a Day of Impact on October 25th. This event will engage through short-term projects in the NYC boroughs. AFHny will extend resources and collaborate with like-minded organizations to aid in areas of need and provide sustainable design solutions.

19. Louis Kahn Contemporary: Talk and Tour of Four Freedoms Park

In 2012, FDR Four Freedoms Park, the posthumous work of the great architect Louis Kahn, was completed. At this event on October 26th, William Whitaker, Curator of the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak about the project, its architect and the challenge of monumental expression.

20. Architecture and Design Film Festival

The Architecture & Design Film Festival is the nation’s largest film festival celebrating architecture and design. This year’s festival from October 15 to 19 at Tribeca Cinemas will showcase more than 30 films, panel discussions, book signings and Q&A’s with design leaders and film makers from around the world.

Additional events include film screenings, exhibition openings, neighborhood walking tours, and much more. You can view the calendar and RSVP for events on Archtober’s website.

Which Archtober event are you most excited for? Share your thoughts with Anna Brown at her Twitter handle @brooklynbonanza

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