As part of NYCxDESIGN, the Center for Architecture will host an Archtober preview featuring five days of building tours across the five boroughs, with a focus on public architecture. This May, we will tour Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed, Elmhurst Branch Library, Staten Island Museum, Public Safety Answering Center II and Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility. Archtober’s Building of the Day series celebrates contemporary as well as iconic architecture in New York City with daily architect-led tours.

May 15





500 Washington Street
New York
NY 10014

Waitlist only

Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed
by Dattner Architects with WXY architecture + urban design
image Image credit: © Albert Vecerka/Esto

The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage, at the corner of Spring Street and West Street, houses three district garages for the NYC Department of Sanitation, accommodating over 150 sanitation vehicles, separate vehicle wash and personnel facilities for each district, and centralized fueling and repair facilities. The double-skin façade wraps the curtainwall with custom, perforated, metal fins to vertically articulate the massing and mitigate sun exposure. A green roof softens views from neighboring buildings, protects the roof membrane, and enhances storm water retention and thermal performance. A benchmark project for NYC’s Active Design program, the garage achieved LEED Gold certification. Dattner Architects designed the project in association with WXY architecture + urban design.

Please note that this tour will be divided into two groups, one beginning at 2:30 and the other beginning at 3:00. You must choose which tour you would like to attend on the registration page.

May 16



86-07 Broadway
NY 11373


Elmhurst Branch Library
by Marpillero Pollak Architects
image Image Credit: © Marpillero Pollak Architects

A new 30,000 square-foot facility fulfills the library and community needs of 80,000+ users speaking more than 57 languages within an expanding immigrant population. The combination of program and green spaces provides a full range of services, making them visible and accessible from the street. The terracotta and stainless steel cladding is complemented by two fully glazed reading rooms, which act as beacons during the day and night: one is in the center of the public park, the other above the main entrance, immersed in the street's bustle. Their subtle differences celebrate the multiple cultural identities of the library’s patrons.  

May 17



1000 Richmond Terrace
Snug Harbor Campus
Building A
Staten Island
NY 10301


Staten Island Museum Restoration
by Gluckman Tang Architects
image Image credit: Bruce Damonte

One of five connected historic buildings at Snug Harbor, Building A is a former sailor’s dormitory, renovated by Gluckman Tang Architects as the new home of the Staten Island Museum. To achieve the environmental conditions necessary for a museum, Gluckman Tang upgraded the building envelope by installing a new liner inside of the neo-classical building’s exterior walls. The replacement of the building’s internal structure allowed for generous galleries to be created at both ends of the building. The project opened to the public in 2015 and was certified LEED Gold.

May 18



350 Marconi Street
NY 10461

Waitlist only

Public Safety Answering Center II
by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
image Image credit: SOM/© Albert Vecerka I Esto

Public Safety Answering Center II (PSAC II), a new facility located in the Bronx, enhances New York City's 911 emergency response system and sets a high standard for sustainability. The 450,000-square-foot building brings together emergency response workers from multiple city agencies-the Police Department, the Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services-serving as a model for interagency cooperation. As a back-up facility to the city's primary call center, PSAC II introduces an important layer of redundancy to New York City's 911 system. Continuously operating and highly secure, the building enhances the city's ability to maintain communication in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency. With its design, SOM confronted the challenge of creating a secure and functional building that also makes a positive contribution to its urban context. Designed as a perfect cube, the structure has few windows due to security concerns. To mitigate the building's potentially monolithic appearance, SOM developed a dynamic, serrated facade of recycled aluminum. The building is surrounded by a wrap-around sculptural berm of wild grasses, which serves as a barrier to protect the faciIity and enriches the aesthetics of the site. The landscape requires no irrigation, which helps to achieve the proiect's ambitious LEED Gold certification.

May 19



472 2nd Avenue
29th Street Pier
NY 11232


Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility
by Selldorf Architects
image Image credit: © Marc Lins

The Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility is a processing center for New York City’s curbside glass, metal, and plastic recyclables which is being undertaken by Sims Municipal Recycling and the City of New York. Selldorf designed the 11 acre master plan which devotes 20% of the site to greenspace and creates distinct circulation systems to safely separate visitors from the truck delivery route. The 140,000 sf facility includes a Tipping Building, where recyclables arrive by barge; Processing Building; Bale Storage Building; and Visitor Center and Administration Building, where students and the public can both view and learn more about recycling. The facility will make a major environmental contribution to New York City by allowing recyclables to be delivered by barge—a strategy which minimizes the distance collection trucks must travel and eliminates 240,000 miles of annual vehicle travel from City roadways. Recycled materials are used throughout: site fill is made from a composite of recycled glass, asphalt, and rock reclaimed from the Second Avenue subway construction; metal buildings are 98% recycled steel; and visitor plazas are finished with recycled glass. Other sustainable strategies being implemented include one of the largest application of photovoltaics in New York City, a forthcoming wind turbine which will generate 10% of the facility’s power, and bioswales for stormwater management.