10th annual Archtober kicks off in NYC with virtual and in-person design events

September 29, 2020

Little Island May 2020 © CityRealty

New York City’s annual month-long celebration of architecture and design returns to the five boroughs this week. In its 10th year, Archtober offers hundreds of architect-led building tours, lectures by design experts, and exploration of lesser-known wonders of New York’s built environment every day during the month of October. Like everything else, this year’s festival will look a bit different because of the coronavirus pandemic, with virtual talks and tours, self-led activities, and socially-distanced in-person events.

Andrew M. Cuomo, shirley chisholm state park, parks
Shirley Chisholm State Park; Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Flickr

“New York City and New Yorkers have shown their resiliency through the pandemic and resulting financial crisis,” Benjamin Prosky, executive director of AIA New York and the Center for Architecture, said in a press release. “We are proud to have an opportunity to celebrate the incredible strength of our city and its built environment, and the institutions large and small that contribute to its rich and vibrant cultural landscape.”

Archtober’s “Building of the Day” series, which includes architect-led tours of famed NYC buildings and spaces, returns with a virtual format. Participants will be able to explore spaces like the Hunter’s Point South, the Domino Sugar Refinery, the High Line, the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, Little Island, the Weeksville Heritage Center, Shirley Chisholm State Park, and many others, led by the people who designed these iconic sites.

There are still a number of in-person events happening this year, like paddle tours with the Bronx River Alliance, a tour of 19th-century mansions in Flatbush, family-friendly art projects at Wave Hill, and an architecture boat tour of Manhattan.

Taking place on October 17 and 18, Open House New York Weekend, which gives tours of places typically off-limits to the public, has been reimagined as a hybrid of online-only experiences and self-guided outdoor tours. Another notable event of the weekend is a 36-hour, five-borough outdoor scavenger hunt that will send teams racing around the city deciphering clues and taking photos, with prizes awarded to the winning teams.

See the full line-up of Archtober events here.

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