Deco and Beyond: Architecture Talks and Tours Coming Up in NYC

By Alison Durkee

New York City’s skyline is packed with architecture marvels from past and present. Learn more about the city’s architectureand the broader architectural worldat these upcoming talks and tours.

Christian Ostrosky/Flickr

Get a South American perspective on architecture on May 14 with a lecture on Art Deco in Buenos Aires, or take a more zen approach on May 31 with a session on mindfulness in Japanese architecture. On May 18, learn about architecture from prolific architect David Rockwell himself, as the Rockwell Group head appears in conversation with fashion designer Isabel Toledo.

Architects in New York City have created grand and intricately designed buildings throughout the course of the city’s historybut as these structures begin to age, there’s an important role to be played in restoring and preserving. Learn more about the restoration process behind one landmarked building, the 1908 South Bronx Job Corp Center, at a talk on May 10, or delve into 35 years of inspecting and preserving the city’s ornate facades at a lecture on May 15. To discover more about how one New York City icon has continued into the 21st century, head to the General Society Library on May 16, where former Radio City dancer Rosemary Novellino-Mearns will share how she led the effort to save Radio City Music Hall from destruction in 1978.

Of course, sometimes the best way to discover New York City’s architecture is to get out and see it for yourself. Head downtown for a tour of Lower Manhattan’s Jazz Age architecture on May 13, or spend that same afternoon discovering the city’s oldest thoroughfare on a tour of the Bowery. Further uptown, take a tour of the Upper East Side on May 12, which will look past the neighborhood’s glamorous turn-of-the-century buildings to delve into numerous modern structures designed by some of the 20th century’s top architects. On May 12, Brooklynites can also get a new perspective on the city’s architecture with a walking tour of Crown Heights, while a May 31 tour with architecture historian Matt Postal will turn its attention to the borough’s historic waterfront. Those hoping for a different kind of view of the city’s waterfronts, meanwhile, can hop onboard a boat with the National Lighthouse Museum May 19 to circumnavigate the isle of Staten and discover the New York and New Jersey shorelines.

O Palsson/Flickr

Another way to learn about the city’s architecture this spring is through the Center for Architecture, which will be spotlighting the city’s structures with special Building of the Day tours from May 14-18. The daily tours will offer special looks at five NYC buildings: the Wythe Hotel, Stapleton Library, Bronx Post Office, Queens Theatre in the Park, and Hearst Headquarters. The center will also host a number of broader outdoor walking tours, including looks at the West Village, Lincoln Center, and Roosevelt Island, along with daily boat tours to get a new perspective on the city’s skyline. Those wanting a more indoor-based architectural education, meanwhile, can head to the center for current exhibitions on social housing in Europe (through May 19) and a showcase of new architectural practices and firms (through July 7).

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