The Best NYC Architecture and Design Events Happening This October

For the fifth year in a row, the American Institute of Architects New York chapter (AIANY) will present Archtober, a month-long festival of architecture and design activities. Through special tours, lectures, films, and exhibitions, Archtober will focus on the importance of architecture and design in everyday life. The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Cooper-Hewitt (among others) will partner with AIANY to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the distinctive buildings that give New York its character. Here’s a roundup of the best of Archtober events:
Photo courtesy of structural.net

Photo courtesy of structural.net

All month
Various locations
$10
The Building of the Day invites attendees to join daily onsite tours led by architects to celebrate contemporary and iconic architecture in New York City. This year’s selected sites include the New York Hall of Science, the North Hall and Library (Bronx Community College), the Flatiron Building, and the newly opened Whitney Museum of American Art. A full list of sites (as well as information on registering for tours) is available on the Archtober website.
Photo courtesy of asla.org

Photo courtesy of asla.org

October 11, 1 – 4pm
Meet at Gantry Plaza (Long Island City, Queens)
$20 for AIA members | $30 for non-members in advance
Explore the rich historic architecture of Gantry Plaza State Park, a 12-acre riverside park with spectacular views of the Manhattan Skyline. Admire the park’s piers, gardens, and unique mist fountain. While you’re there, take in the park’s restored gantries, which were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges. Register through the AIA website – tickets are $10 less if purchased in advance.
October 14, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Various locations (Flatiron, Manhattan)
Free to the public
Visit the seven participating showrooms for a complimentary cocktail and a one-of-a-kind design crawl. Start anywhere, visit all seven showrooms, and you’ll be entered to win a $500 gift card. Participating showrooms are Grohe,  Duravit, Flatiron Design Collective, AFNY, Hafele, Poggenpohl, and Rich Brilliant Willing – a Google Map is available here.
Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

October 15, 12 – 8pm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Free to the public
The third annual Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Guggenheim aims to enhance the articles related to women in architecture on Wikipedia. The day will start off with a presentation by Arielle Assouline-Lichten and Caroline James, the Harvard Graduate School of Design students behind the petition to award Denise Scott Brownthe 1991 Pritzker Architecture Prize. At 2pm a panel discussion will explore the work of pioneering women in architecture. Wikipedia editing will begin at 3:30pm – new and experienced editors are welcome. Editors will be invited to take a free architectural tour of the museum.
October 16, 6:00-9:00 pm
The Center for Architecture (Greenwich Village, Manhattan)
Teams will compete in a LEGO build competition with three architectural challenges. Participants will randomly draw a building type and an architectural style from a hat, which will create wacky design mandates. Wine, beer, snacks, and a LEGO-inspired cocktail will be served. Register to compete or just stop by to watch the fun!
Photo courtesy of newyork.com

Photo courtesy of newyork.com

October 17-18
Various locations
Free and ticketed events
For two days each October, Open House New York unlocks the doors of New York’s most important buildings. Hundreds of sites across the five boroughs are open to visit, offering the opportunity to meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York. Tours, talks, performances, and other special events will take place all over the city – a full list of events will be available in early October. Joining the roster of sites available to visit are the Google Headquarters in Chelsea, the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia.
Photo courtesy of ohny.org

Photo courtesy of ohny.org

October 21, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
101 Spring Street (SoHo, Manhattan)
Free to the public
The Judd Foundation will host a tour of 101 Spring Street, with opening remarks by specialists at Walter B Melvin Architects, who oversaw the restoration of the building’s façade from 2006 to 2013. Attendees will get an overview of the unique features of the 1870 façade and the methods used to study and restore it.
Photo courtesy of oldkewgardens.com

Photo courtesy of oldkewgardens.com

October 24, 1 – 4pm
Meet at 120-55 Queens Blvd (Kew Gardens, Queens)
$20 for AIA members | $30 for non-members in advance
Explore the rich historical architecture of one of the first residential developments in NYC. Many of the homes still exist today and have been renovated. Visit the new homes, office buildings, and apartment buildings that have taken over Queens Blvd and Union Turnpike, and learn how urban planners were able to preserve nature and allow residents to take shelter among lush lawns, beautiful trees, and healthy air over 100 years ago. Register through the AIA website – tickets are $10 less if purchased in advance.
October 27, 7 – 8:30pm
Museum Auditorium on the Atrium Terrace Level (Financial District, Manhattan)
Free to the public (reservation required)
The architects of Davis Brody Bond LLP, designers of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, will describe the challenges they faced and the design principles that guided them during the rebuilding at Ground Zero. Register in advance to secure your spot.
Photo courtesy of aasarchitecture.com

Photo courtesy of aasarchitecture.com

October 30 – 31, 11am – 6pm
Various locations (SoHo, Manhattan)
Free to the public
Archtober’s closing event will be a 2-day Instagram Design Hunt in SoHo at participating showrooms. Visitors will have a chance to win prizes after finding specified designs and posting creative images on their Instagram accounts using the event hashtag. Sign up for the SoHo Design District mailing list to receive details.
There are multiple architecture and design events happening all over the city each day in October, but these are the ones I’m looking forward to most. Let me know in the comments if I missed any that you plan on attending.

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