A Guide to NYC’s Archtober Festivities

Museum at Eldridge Street
Museum at Eldridge Street | © Peter Aaron

Home & Design Editor

The eighth annual Archtober returns to New York City with a month-long celebration of architecture and design.

Featuring hundreds of exhibitions, talks and films, Archtober celebrates design and the built environment across the five boroughs for the entire month of October. Here are Culture Trip’s picks for the best events, lectures and tours – so mark your calendars early.

Center for Architecture in New York City

Monday, October 1

Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture
Center for Architecture

Friday, October 5

Brooklyn Navy Yard: Inside Industry at Ferra Designs
Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92

Led by Turnstile Tours beginning at BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, visitors get a behind-the-scenes look at Ferra Designs’ technology-driven, architectural interiors.

Tunnels leading into caverns underneath Grand Central Terminal that will house a future concourse

Saturday, October 6

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal
Central Terminal
Untapped Cities

Grand Central Terminal is not only an architectural wonder in the heart of Manhattan, it’s also brimming with juicy secrets and treasures, including a multi-million dollar jewel hidden in plain sight and a little-known, concealed tennis court. For more tantalizing secrets, check out this story on NYC’s most fascinating abandoned subway stations.

Sunday, October 7

Walking Tour: Remembering the Future: Architecture at the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair
AIA New York

Strap on your walking shoes, folks. AIA New York is offering a walking tour (rain or shine) through the best designs from the New York World’s Fair. Led by John Kriskiewicz, AIA, the tour examines “Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion, Wallace Harrison’s Hall of Science, and modern sculpture by Peter Muller Monk, Jose de Rivera, and others, while exploring that memorable, controversial exposition.”

New York State Pavilion, Philip Johnson, 1964

Saturday, October 13

Walking Tour: Architecture on Cooper Square, Bond St., Lafayette St. and the Bowery
AIA New York

AIA New York takes guests on a walking architecture tour of the recent and historic structures located on Cooper Square, Lafayette Street, the Bowery and more. Learn about the landmarks and stylistic breakthroughs of the area, led by AIA guide Alex McLean.

Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14

Open House New York
Various locations

One of the biggest highlights of the month would have to be Open House New York. For one weekend only, hundreds of architectural sites, historical buildings, and cultural institutions open their doors to the public. Thousands of New Yorkers and visitors pour in for this yearly event – so be sure to get tour tickets early.

Visitors can tour The Shed for Open House New York Weekend

Monday, October 15

Architectural Tour at Gracie Mansion
Historic House Trust of NYC/Gracie Mansion

The official residence of the Mayor of New York City, Gracie Mansion is a heartwarming architectural treasure that dates back to the 18th century. Overlooking the East River in Carl Schurz Park, the Historic House Trust of NYC takes visitors on a guided tour through this historic home.

Still from ‘Do More with Less’ showing at the Architecture & Design Film Festival, 2018.

Tuesday, October 16 – Sunday, October 21

Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF)
5-11pm (various times)

October 16 marks the 10th anniversary of the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) in New York City. Check out the full line-up of international premieres, short films and design-centric classics here to get briefed on what titles you can expect from this year’s festival. (Individual movie times and dates TBD).

Friday, October 19

Hidden History of the South Street Seaport’s Architecture
South Street Seaport Museum

Head down to South Street Seaport to uncover the rich architectural secrets of this designated historic area in Manhattan. “From rat pits to a warehouse built by one of the most famous American architects of the 19th century, the buildings of the Seaport have a big story to tell,” reads Archtober’s official site.

South Street Seaport Museum

Sunday, October 21

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway
Untapped Cities

Explore NYC’s underground lifeline with Untapped Cities’ highly-rated tour. Highlights include the “architectural ghost” of Chambers Street station, The World Trade Center Oculus and a peek inside “the birthplace of the subway system” at City Hall Park.

October 24, Wednesday

Archtober Trivia Night
Center for Architecture/ Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby St

So you think you know New York, eh? Test your architecture chops at the official Archtober Trivia Night at Housing Works Bookstore in SoHo.

October 28, Sunday

Walking Tour: Renovating the Financial District: Skyscrapers, Plazas, and the Impact of Zoning
AIA New York

Starting out in front of Trinity Church at 75 Broadway, AIA’s walking tour explores the history behind the Modernist buildings of the Financial District, including buildings by Philip Johnson, SOM and Frederic Schwartz.

AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Cruise

AIA New York/Classic Harbor Line
(Various times, all month long)

AIANY’s Around Manhattan Architecture Tour with Classic Harbor Line offers a sweeping tour of New York City’s architecture – minus the crowded streets, subway stops and neck craning. Tours will be given all month long at various times, departing from Chelsea Pier 62. For more information on what to expect, check out this story.

Manhattan’s skyline
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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