Five Years, Five Boroughs, One Archtober

For those of us in the architecture and design community, Fall = Archtober.

At a recent press conference, Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, Center for Architecture managing director and Archtober Festival director, announced the breadth of this year’s festival at Archtober Hall (aka 181 Front Street), the festival’s second hub, which will host programming organized by some of this year’s 60+ partner organizations from across New York City.

As at Archtober’s primary hub, the newly-renovated Center for Architecture, Archtober Hall in the South Street Seaports Culture District will also feature a calendar of the month-long festival’s city-wide events. Appropriately, this new location also hosts the  exhibition “Sea Level: Five Boroughs at Waters Edge,” which presents a panorama of New York City from the East River, photographed by Elizabeth Felicella and annotated by acclaimed author Robert Sullivan. At the press preview, Krakauer invited visitors to “take it slow and easy, and look closely at the 1,500 photographs, stitched together to make the two pictures that capture 26 miles of waterfront between Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and Fort Totten in Queens.”

Archtober Hall will also be distributing the popular Building of the Day collectible postcards. The Building of the Day series, 31 buildings in all, have been selected by the Archtober partner organizations, starting with Rockefeller University’s Collaborative Research Center by Mitchell | Giurgola Architects and ending with Andrew Berman Architect’s renovation and expansion of the SculptureCenter in Queens, with many AIANY Design Award-winning projects interspersed throughout. To give us a taste of what’s to come in this year’s series, Tomas Rossant, AIA, founding partner and design principal at Ennead Architects and current president of AIANY, spoke about the architecture and design of the mid-century modern landmark, the New York Hall of Science, a project renovated by his firm. Geoff Lynch, AIA, LEED AP, a partner at H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, described his firm’s Theater for a New Audience in Brooklyn, and Alexander Lamis, AIA, a partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, spoke about his firm’s North Hall and Library at Bronx Community College in relation to the university’s architectural history.

This year, Archtober welcomes 16 new participating organizations, including the cluster of organizations known as the Seaport Cultural District, introduced at the press conference by its director and curator, architect James Sanders, AIA, principal of JS + A Studio. The festival also welcomed back long-standing participants such as Archtober founding partner, the Architecture and Design Film Festival, whose director, architect Kyle Bergman, previewed its many offerings.

Kracauer will once again be spearheading the Archtober Blog, which will be powered by The Architects Newspaper. CultureNow will be delivering Building of the Day podcasts. More information can be found at