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10 Archtober 2017 events you should not miss

Come for the architecture trivia, stay for the pumpkin carving

Archtober 2016.
Courtesy Archtober

In just one week, the month-long architecture and design festival known as Archtober will kick off in NYC, with all sorts of delightfully nerdy events—from walking tours and lectures, to trivia nights and even baking competitions—taking place throughout the entire month of October.

The event, now in its seventh year, is the pet project of the Center for Architecture, and much of the programming will happen at its lower Manhattan headquarters. But many of the events will also take participants to unheralded corners of the outer boroughs, as well as on boat tours around the city. Full disclaimer: Curbed is an Archtober media partner (but we love this lineup regardless).

The calendar of events is, frankly, massive and slightly overwhelming; to help you figure out what, exactly, you should check out during Archtober, we’ve curated this list of 10 don’t-miss events, including Curbed’s first foray into IRL programming. (Yay!) Mark your calendars now.


The AIA Center for Architecture will debut its latest exhibit, an exploration of the myriad ways that construction scaffolding is used, during Archtober. The exhibit will also look at innovations in the often utilitarian piece of street architecture. Oct 2–Jan 18, 2018.

The Great Architecture Bake-Off

We’re not sure exactly how much of a crossover there is between architecture nerds and fans of The Great British Bake-Off, but expect those folks to be out in full force for this event, in which several firms—including Hollwich Kushner, Dattner Architects, and Woods Bagot—will compete to create the best baked buildings. Oct 3, 4–7 p.m.

The World Trade Center Oculus, which will be part of Curbedside’s Lower Manhattan tour with Alexandra Lange.
Max Touhey

Curbedside tours

Allow us a moment of shameless self-promotion: Curbed’s first ever IRL programming will debut during Archtober, with a three-part series of walking tours around New York City, led by recurring contributors James Nevius, Alexandra Lange, and Nathan Kensinger. They’ll take place on three Saturdays throughout October, and tickets are $20 each. Oct 7, 21, and 28 at 1 p.m.

Experiment in Urban Housing: A Tour of Twin Parks, the Bronx

Docomomo NY/Tri-State is the brains behind this tour of the Bronx, which will hit on several modernist buildings constructed in the 1960s and ’70s as part of a larger urban renewal plan for the area. Historian Susanne Schindler will touch on works by Richard Meier, James Stewart Polshek, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, among others. Oct 7 at 1 p.m.

Walking Tour: West Side Story – The Evolution of Lincoln Center

Speaking of urban renewal.… This tour, led by architect John Kriskiewicz, will cover the creation of Lincoln Center—a Robert Moses-era creation that led to the eradication of the neighborhood once known as San Juan Hill—and the architectural innovations within the cultural complex, from buildings by Philip Johnson and Eero Saarinen to Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s recent renovations. Oct 8 at 11 a.m.

Workplace Wednesdays: SHoP Architects

Throughout Archtober, architecture and design firms will open up their studios to curious onlookers, offering a peek at their processes. The tour of SHoP’s home should be a goodie not just because of its location—within the famed Woolworth Building—but also to catch a glimpse at what the prolific firm currently has up its sleeve. Oct 11 6–8 p.m.

Archtober Trivia Night

Start coming up with those clever architecture-themed team names now: Teams will compete in a number of categories—including NYC infrastructure, history, and contemporary architecture—to see who reigns supreme when it comes to New York knowledge. (Bonus: Curbed NY editors Amy Plitt and Zoe Rosenberg will be on hand to help stump participants.) Oct 12 6–8 p.m.

AIA New York Industrial Waterway Boat Tour: Freshkills Park in Staten Island

It’ll be quite some time before the full transformation of Freshkills Park—from enormous landfill to gorgeous public park—is complete, but this boat tour will offer a sneak peek of what’s to come, including the complex engineering and architecture that’s being used to create the new space. Oct 15 at 1:45 p.m.

Pumpkintecture 2016.
Courtesy Archtober

Pumpkitecture! Architectural Pumpkin Carving

We’re not going to be able to come up with a better way to sell this event than the Archtober folks already did: “Who will squash the competition? Who will summon the Brutal ghost of Marcel Booeuer and invoke the spirit of Michael Gravesyard? Will the Crowned Curibita be inspired by Frank-o-Lloyd Wright’s Guggengourd?” Classic. Oct 27 6–8:30 p.m.

“Never Built New York”: Curator’s Perspective with Special Guests

Join Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, the authors of Never Built New York and curators of the new Queens Museum exhibit based on that tome, as they lead a tour of the exhibition and discuss some of the wildest unrealized proposals for New York’s urban landscape. Oct 29 2–5 p.m.