Yearly Celebration of New York’s Streetscape Showcases Downtown Design Highlights
New York’s annual celebration of urban design, Archtober, is now underway, with more than 100 events scheduled throughout the five boroughs. Organized by the Center for Architecture, the festival is in its 13th year. For the 2023 iteration, multiple events are slated for Lower Manhattan, including retrospectives of local history and tours of newly created spaces.
Small Skerry, Big Ideas
This Saturday, October 6, a free guided tower of Little Island conducted by landscape architect Signe Nielsen and architect Fabian Jabro will recall how the plan for this popular new public space began as a proposal to revive a pier destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, before morphing into an award-winning public park that has welcomed over 3.5 million visitors. No RSVP is necessary. Join the group at the Hudson River Park near West 13th Street under the covered area of the South Bridge, starting at 12:30pm. For more information, click here.
The Fine Print
This Sunday, October 7, the South Street Seaport Museum will host Typography and Job Printing in the 19th Century Seaport, a walking tour that recounts the history of hand-press printing near the waterfront, where passenger lines and freight shippers produced their tickets and manifests. The tour begins at the historic Bowne & Co. Stationers, 211 Water Street, at 3pm. Participation is free, but registration in advance is required. For more information, click here.
The Rest Is History
The South Street Seaport Museum will conduct a Hidden History of the South Street Seaport’s Architecture walking tour on Sunday, October 14, evoking the legacy of some of the oldest still-standing structures in Manhattan, from taverns to warehouses, built by the most famous American architects of the 19th century. The tour begins at the museum, 12 Fulton Street, at 3pm. Participation is free, but registration in advance is required. For more information, click here.
In a Major Quay
Hudson River Park and OLIN Architects will lead a Tuesday, October 17, tour of Pier 26, the immersive, 2.5-acre melange of woodland forest, coastal grassland, maritime scrub, and a rocky tidal zone, which also features fields, lawns, boardwalks and seating areas. Gather at Pier 26 in the Hudson River Park (near North Moore Street) at noon. Participation is priced at $10. For more information, click here.
Verticality Began Here
Skyscraper National Park: Origins in Lower Manhattan is a Saturday, October 21, tour offered by the Municipal Art Society that makes the case for New York’s claim to be the birthplace of the modern high-rise. The walk starts at 11am and will include the site of the original Equitable Building, as well as early examples executed in a range of styles and materials between 1869 and the First World War. Milestones will include the Potter Building, the Wallace Building, and the Woolworth Building. Participation is priced at $30. For more information, click here.
A Stroll in the Park
On Thursday, October 26, the Municipal Art Society will take a serious look at fun with a tour of the Battery Playscape, an innovative playground in the Battery. Led by designers from BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse, the firms behind the project, attendees will get an insider’s perspective on how the innovative playground came to be. The tour begins at 10am. Enter the Battery from State Street, near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Participation is free, but registration in advance is required. For more information, click here.
Complementing Archtober is the annual Open House New York festival, coming up October 20 through 22. This is the 20th anniversary of a special weekend of public access to places across the five boroughs that are hidden or usually closed. The lineup of talks, tours, and self-guided explorations will be released on October 5, and the lottery to snag tickets will be open Tuesday, October 10, at 9am through Thursday, October 12, at 9am. Tickets are free—and will go fast.