For the first time since moving back to Los Angeles, New York has given me a reason to create a huge urge to go back; well at least just for the month of October. Obviously excluding the friends have back in the city (which I miss hanging and going out with), in the month of October New York City is literately opening up its doors to the public. It is Architecture month or should I say Archtober in New York where everyday of the month there is a different site that opens its doors to visitors for special tours and presentations. The reason I never heard about this or just never noticed Archtober was, because I was so caught up in football practice and sleeping whenever I had the chance. During football season reality does not exist. You are pretty much in zombie mode going to meetings, working out and practicing daily, and any free time we had was spent going to eat, then play some video games (sprinkle a LITTLE homework in there) and finally, go to sleep! It really is a shame I couldn't take full advantage of such an opportunity being an architecture major, but my commitment to football was just and more important at the time. Anyway, My friend Vanessa sent me a link on twitter reminding me about Archtober and it is sad I can't be there. Obvisouly people that are into architecture, art and design love this month, but I believe a reason people choose to live in New York is to become residents of the city with the most famous skyline in the world! Even if it is not your cup of tea I highly encourage that you look at the calendar and pick a couple buildings to visit. From a distant we always see the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, The Standard Hotel and a couple museums, but wouldn't it be cool to get a true experience of such monuments by getting cool tours and info?!?!?! I don't know about you, but I am really nerdy when opportunities like this pop up in the city! Check out why these structures were chosen and became important. Like every person, every building has a history so I encourage the people in New York to get to know the city in a different way. And if you are not in New York City I listed a couple websites specific for the month that post information throughout Archtober. So you should also take advantage to read up on the site visits going on throughout the month!!
Today is day 3 of the month, but so far Archtober opened the doors of Spruce Street School, PS 397 by Swanke Hayden Architects and the newly finished Barclays Center in Brooklyn by SHoP Architects. On a side note, I wish I was in NY for the Barclays Center tour since sports architecture is my favorite. Enough about me though, this years month long event includes 2 classics: Saarinen’s TWA building and Mies’s Seagram Building, and also 2 old favorites: Grand Central Terminal and Gracie Mansion. The other selections cover all five boroughs and are AIANY award winners. Last year selections included popular social spots like the Standard, the unique Sperone Westwater Gallery with its cool movable gallery "elevator" and the odd looking glass structure at Columbus Circle known as The Museum of Arts and Designs. (see image below)
I have had an opportunity to see some cool buildings throughout my time in New York, and it really is incredible to get to know the city in a structural and academic perspective. New York's architecture is awesome and it is great to see the final projects of some of the brightest minds in the field. These tours allow you to get into the mind of the architects and designers of such buildings, and it will probably help you satisfy your curiosity on why certain buildings have a certain look or shape to them. Below is the link to the official blog for Archtober which also includes last years selections. They include photos, basic information and analysis of the structures from the various tour. Even if you are not in New York, read up on the blog and check out the cool site visits going on throughout the month!:
Here is the link for the Archtober official website which includes links to the calendar listing the multiple tours on each day, information to get tickets for certain tours ( a lot of them are free) and a general history of why October is Architecture month and the mission/reason why different organizations come together to make this possible. Like I said, I am jealous I am not New York for this because everybody should take advantage of this opportunity!