Photo of Waterline Square Park by Elizabeth Felicella, Photo of Chinatown by Mobilus In Mobili on Flickr, Photo of Museum at Eldridge Street © James and Karla Murray, Photo of Bryant Park by Jean-Christophe Benoist on Wikimedia
The festival that provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of New York City’s most iconic buildings, public spaces, and cultural institutions returns for its 12th year next month. Held from October 1 through October 31, the Center for Architecture’s Archtober is a celebration of architecture and design, with tours, talks, and events led by experts. While most of the events offered will be in-person, some will still be virtual or hybrid, which proved successful during the pandemic. Ahead, find just some of our favorite Archtober events happening this year, from exploring Art Deco gems of the Upper West Side to taking a tour of Brooklyn’s tallest tower.
“As Archtober celebrates its twelfth year, I am thrilled to see how the festival continues to grow, with over 100 collaborating partners and new program offerings,” Benjamin Prosky, the executive director of AIA New York and the Center for Architecture, said. “This year, the festival feels especially relevant as we celebrate the re-opening of the city.”
Light of Gotham boat tour; Photo by Erik Bardin
AIANY Industrial Waterway Tour to Freshkills Park
Saturday, October 1, 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Back again this year is the only publicly available boat tour of Freshkills waterway. During the three-hour tour, participants will travel along the waterways of the Kill Van Kull and the Arthur Kill into the heart of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, formerly home to the area’s largest garbage landfill and will soon become the city’s largest park. The tour explores the active ports of Bayonne and Newark Bay and delves into the history of the Freshkills Landfill. Tickets include one complimentary drink.
Walking Tour: The Architecture of Bryant Park
Saturday, October 1, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Before it was a lauded public green space, Bryant Park once served as a potter’s field, a reservoir for the Croton Water System, and the site of the Crystal Palace Exhibition. A walking tour led by AIANY guide Joseph Lengeling will explore the rise of the space into an iconic outdoor space in Manhattan as well as the architecture that surrounds the park, including buildings like the New York Public Library, the Radiator Building, One Bryant Park, and more.
Western Bedford Stuyvesant Tour
Saturday, October 1, 2 p.m.
$30/ $20 for members
The Municipal Art Society of New York is hosting a walking tour of the western section of Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Explore architectural gems of this area, like a Carnegie Library, a mansion of “one of Brooklyn’s great retail store families,” and some examples of Art Deco. The two-hour in-person tour will also include information on social movements that have a connection to the neighborhood.
Shuls of Grandeur on the Lower East Side
Sunday, October 2, 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Led by the Museum at Eldridge Street, this tour provides a look at two of the last remaining grand shuls remaining on the Lower East Side. The tour starts at the largest active orthodox congregation in the neighborhood, Bialystoker Synagogue, which has colorful murals and Tiffany-inspired glass windows, and ends at the restored Museum at Eldridge Street.
Architecture and the Lights of Gotham
Tuesday, October 4 and 25, 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
$78-92 for adults
Enjoy a guided tour of Manhattan’s skyline after dark. This two-hour narrated cruise explores the history and significance of illuminating buildings at night, examining architectural landmarks from Times Square to Midtown, including the Statue of Liberty, the Woolworth Tower, the Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center. One complimentary beverage is included.
Photo © Elizabeth Felicella
Guided Tour of Little Island
Friday, October 7, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Here’s an opportunity for a guided tour of one of New York City’s newest, and most unique, parks. Landscape architect Signe Nielsen of MNLA and architect of record Fabian Jabro of Standard Architects will lead a 45-minute tour of Little Island, the offshore park that opened at Pier 55 last May. RSVPs are not required; participants should meet at the top of the North Bridge.
Walking Tour: FiDi’s Skyscrapers, Plazas, and the Impact of Zoning
Saturday, October 8, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Led by AIANY guide Kyle Johnson, this walking tour focuses on the public spaces that were created following zoning incentives to make the neighborhood more pedestrian friendly. The tour focuses on spaces like Chase Manhattan Plaza, 140 Broadway, and One Liberty Plaza, while also exploring the conversion of skyscrapers into residential use.
Art Deco on the Upper Upper West Side Tour
Sunday, October 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$30/ $20 members
In this tour, traverse blocks of the Upper West Side and take in the neighborhood’s Art Deco icons. From Emery Roth’s Normandy Apartments and Harvey Wiley Corbett’s Master Building to the Broadway Fashion Building to one of Manhattan’s last surviving Horn & Hardart automat buildings, the tour is a comprehensive look at the neighborhood’s Jazz Age architecture.
Hungarian & German Yorkville Tour
Saturday, October 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$30/ $20 members
Historian James Russiello and MAS will follow the Hungarian and German migration patterns of the Upper East Side and the history of development in the neighborhood, now considered one of the city’s most affluent.
Manhattan’s Chinatown: An Historical Walking Tour
Saturday, October 29, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Taylor Zhou, a former docent at the Museum of Chinese in America, takes tour-goers through the historic Chinatown neighborhood, highlighting the people and businesses that make it so special. This is an in-person program and an RSVP is required.
Building Community Capacity Through Farming (virtual)
Friday, October 7, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
In this panel discussion, learn about the use of urban farms as a way to address food insecurity in New York City. Hear from the New York Botanical Garden’s Bronx Green-UP initiative that led to a network that connects BIPOC-led farms upstate with local non-profits and NYCHA developments. The discussion will focus on organizing, gardening, and community building.
Soul of the City | Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s
Thursday, October 13, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by the Museum of the City of New York, “Soul of the City” is an evening of songs and stories that celebrates the 1960s music scene of the Village. Musician and writer Richard Barone will lead the event, which will also include performances from Steve Addabbo, David Amram, Carolyn Hester, Terre Roche, and Suzanne Vega. The event is part of a new series at MCNY that features intimate concerts and discussions from local artists.
RIHS Lecture: A Queer History of the Women’s House of Detention (virtual)
Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hugh Ryan, the author of The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison, explores the story of the Greenwich Village jail that held thousands of women and trans people from 1929 to 1974. The Women’s House of Detention “incarcerated many women simply for the crimes of being poor and insufficiently feminine,” according to the event page.
H.P. Lovecraft at King Manor
Saturday, October 29, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Author David J. Goodwin will lead a discussion on horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s visits to New York City, including the King Manor Museum in 1925, and his fascination with the city’s diverse architecture. The talk takes place in person at the King Manor Museum in Jamaica Queens and is free to attend.
Courtesy of Bartell-Pell Mansion Museum
Building of the Day
The festival’s popular “Building of the Day” series of architect-led tours will be fully in-person this year. To meet demand, the series will feature two different building tours on Saturdays. See some of the buildings and projects that will offer tours below:
- The Brooklyn Tower
- New York Public Library Van Cortlandt Branch
- Battery Maritime Building
- SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
- City Harvest’s Cohen Community Food Rescue Center
- New York Public Library Charleston Library
- Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park
- The Brant Foundation New York
- Covenant House New York
- Waterline Square Park
- Irish Arts Center
- The Carolina
- Front and York
- Higgins Engineering & Science Center
- Battery Playscape
- Columbia University Business School & The Square
- Brooklyn Public Library Brooklyn Heights Branch
- Flushing Town Hall
- Queens Public Library Steinway Branch
- Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
- Greenpoint Library
- Queens Museum Panorama
- Mandala Lab
- Hudson Commons
- David Geffen Hall
Archtober Guide to NYC Map
After debuting last year, the Archtober Guide mobile map returns this year, allowing users to experience the city through the eyes of an architect. The digital Archtober Guide to NYC map highlights architectural sites, cultural institutions, and parks, as well as nearby neighborhood eateries.
This year, Archtober partnered with Bloomberg Connects, a free app that will provide an archive of all present and past projects featured during the festival. The Archtober Guide on Bloomberg Connects, which will launch on September 16, will feature images of projects and interviews with the architects and designers behind them.
Find the full lineup of Archtober 2022 events, programming, tours, talks, activities, and more, here.