In a world where you can virtually tour real estate listings, it’s nice to know that the good, old-fashioned house tour hasn’t gone out of style. And this Saturday, one of the oldest homes in Queens is opening its doors for a tour of its refurbished interior, exceptional gardens, and historic cemetery.
The Lent-Riker-Smith Homestead in East Elmhurst was built circa 1656 by Abraham Riker, an early settler of New Amsterdam. Its current owner Marion Duckworth Smith still lives in the home, which makes the property the oldest private residence in the borough. She and her late husband Michael Smith began restoring the home in 1980, and since then Smith has offered the occasional tour, giving guests a glimpse into the Riker burial ground, which holds the remains of 132 descendants, the interior living areas, and the picturesque gardens, which include a gazebo and workshop designed to look like a gingerbread house.
More on the house’s history and the upcoming tour
It’s official–fall is here. And one of the greatest things about this time of year is the plethora of seasonal activities that come with it. We’ve rounded up some of the best that New York City has to offer this fall, from corn mazes for kids to funeral reenactments for adults.
Check out our full list
As part of the Municipal Art Society’s (MAS) 2014 Summit for NYC, the Jane Jacobs Forum: Projects That Ignite will showcase three unique urban interventions with the potential to positively impact the city. This free session, taking place on Thursday, October 23, was inspired by Jacobs’ passion for livable cities and the ability of all people to change them.
The three projects that will be highlighted are: Startup Box, a social enterprise and tech incubator prototype designed to increase opportunities for South Bronx community members; 9×18, a proposal that considers the city’s parking lots as opportunities to help with the affordable housing crisis; and the Boogie Down Booth, a vibrant public space in a previously forlorn area under the low and loud 2 and 5 trains in the South Bronx.
More on the projects and the event here
Photo © Paul Clemence
The Jewish holiday Sukkot, which began on Wednesday evening, has architecture, construction, and design built into the festival. To observe the holiday, Jews around the world build and decorate temporary “booths” known as sukkahs, and spend Sukkot’s eight days eating meals with friends and family inside them. Depending on one’s level of observance, some individuals sleep in them as well.
When it comes to sukkahs in New York, where backyards are few and far between, institutions and individuals take advantage of the space available to them. This includes having sukkahs in parks or courtyards, on roofs and balconies, and even on the sidewalk dining area of a restaurant. We wanted to highlight a few of the city’s sukkahs with particular interest to either their location, design, or both.
See sukkahs we’ve spotted around the city
The latest art installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture is much more than a futuristic-looking pink amoeba. Oslo-based artist Jana Winderen and Architect Marc Fornes of THEVERYMANY have created this interactive piece, entitled Situation NY, as a way to invite visitors to question the properties of matter and the built environment surrounding us. A vibrating sound piece, it also uses light and form to heighten the experience.
Lots more on the installation ahead
As if we weren’t looking forward to openhousenewyork Weekend enough, a new app to help guide and organize tour goers has us even more excited.
Created through a partnership with dsgnfix, the free, location-based iPhone app “enables users to search, discover, and share design destinations and experiences.” During OHNY weekend (October 11-12) those with the app downloaded will be able to scroll through all of the 150 free Open Access sites, organized by the user’s real-time location.
More on the OHNY Weekend App
In just a few days, Archtober will bring us one of the biggest architecture and design events of the year: Dwell on Design. Curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, DOD will fill 82 Mercer in SoHo with 5,000 renowned creatives ready to showcase and chat about new design ideas, products, and services. There will also be innovative installations and presentations by leading design pundits including Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal at SHoP Architects; Claire Fellman, Director at Snøhetta; and world-renowned architect and DOD keynote speaker Daniel Libeskind. Want to join in on the fun? We’ve partnered with DOD to give one lucky 6sqft reader TWO free tickets to public day on Saturday, October 11th.
To enter, all you need to do is:
- Like Dwell on Facebook here >>
- Sign up for our newsletter here >>
We’re accepting entries until MIDNIGHT, TONIGHT (Monday, October 6th) and we’ll contact the winner via e-mail the following day.
Don’t want to wait to find out if you’ve won? You can purchase event and house tour tickets here. DOD spans October 9th-11th and will be held at 82 Mercer between Spring and Broome. For more information on all the festivities at this year’s DOD, visit their website.
This weekend, all you old-house lovers will have two opportunities to step back in time and explore the elite Harlem enclave known as Strivers’ Row. Located on West 138th to West 139th Streets, between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, the area was once home to prominent, wealthy African-American performers, artists, and professionals who lived in the harmonious row of stately brick dwellings.
Running until Sunday, October 5th is an exhibit at Macy’s called “Strivers’ Row Style: Uptown Comes Downtown,” which will feature vignettes by various designers of what the interiors of these historic homes would have looked like during the heyday. Also on the 5th is the Strivers’ Rome Home Tour, which lets participants inside eight of the distinctive residences and four historic churches.
More on Striver’s Row and the upcoming events
, Tue, September 30, 2014
Eldridge Street Synagogue. Image courtesy of ohny
You can probably guess that we’re pretty excited about the 12th annual openhousenewyork weekend, taking place this year on October 11th and 12th, so of course we couldn’t wait to share the just-announced guide to the spaces on this year’s roster.
Tour goers will have access to 300 sites and tours in all five boroughs, including private residences, new buildings, and sites of architectural, cultural, and historical significance. Some of the sites we’re most looking forward to touring are the TWA Flight Center at JFK, Kickstarter headquarters, the Manhattan Micro Loft, and El Barrio’s Artspace PS109.
More on these sites and the entire OHNY Weekend
, Fri, September 26, 2014
An upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, New York: Assembled Realities, will showcase more than 40 works from Taiwanese artist Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao. His large-scale panoramas push the boundaries of traditional documentary photography by mixing several exposures of the same location taken over the course of many hours. The photographs that result are hyper-real and complex and provide a fascinatingly accurate depiction of the frenzy that is New York.
More on the exhibit and Liao’s work