Posts tagged with "Lower East Side":

Placeholder Alt Text

The Anthology Film Archives moves forward with library and cafe expansion

From the outside, the Anthology Film Archives appears to be a modestly sized brick building cornering the busy streets of E. 2nd St. and 2nd Ave. in the Lower East Side. But inside the classical masonry cube exists one of the most enticing gems in the independent film world. The Anthology, equipped with one of the largest film archives, is a crucial cultural institution that supports young filmmakers as well as independent cinema research and education. Now, more than 30 years after its last transformation, the building is finally getting the makeover it was always destined to have. New York City–based Bone Levine Architects has been collaborating with the Anthology for the past four years to devise the best strategies for expanding the building to accommodate new programming and update the existing facilities. “We want to get the Anthology in shape for the next 50 years so this institution has viability,” stated Kevin Bone. The final proposal for the renovations was recently approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and construction is set to be complete by 2020. The brick building, originally constructed as a municipal courthouse in 1919, was reopened as the Anthology in 1988 after the institution moved from its former location in Soho. The initial transformation from courthouse to cinema was led by architect Raimund Abraham (1933-2010), although his plans for the full revival of the art house were put on halt, until now. Kevin Bone of Bone Levine Architects, who worked as an associate to Raimund Abraham, told The Architect’s Newspaper that in 1988 “a lot of our ambitions were cut back in beginning [because of a limited budget]. It was ‘let’s make the basic building function the best as we can.’” Thirty-five years later, the building's transformation is finally happening. Primary features of the renovation consist of a one-story addition that will house the expanded library, a new roof terrace area, and the development of the site's alleyway space as a cafe. The firm settled on cladding the additional story with coated copper panels and a bronze wire mesh screen. “We felt that the notion of an architectural metal addition was the most appropriate so that the artifact, the masonry artifact... was best left as a pure artifact and the additional elements were clearly identified as belonging to their own vocabulary.” This juxtaposition is also carried out in the development of the alleyway connecting the Anthology with its neighboring warehouse. Greatly inspired by Abraham’s original designs, the 12-foot-wide alley space is going to be encased in a glass and iron cylindrical form. “In Raimund’s case that cylinder became a stop, that was a filler within that void between the two buildings... and was not intended to be an opening to the building.... We wanted to reverse that language and make this cylinder a kind of lantern that can be illuminated, and provide a secondary entrance into the Anthology facilities and into [the] cafe.” The isolated entrance allows the cafe to be distinguished as a separate space and opens it up to the public to provide “some badly needed public space.” The approval from the LPC for the Anthology expansion was particularly uncertain due to the visibility of the renovations on a historic building. Bone praised the LPC for “recognizing that historic buildings that are occupied by cultural institutions might need to transform to remain viable and that may require a slightly more courageous strategy towards the architecture… we are really happy to be a part of that.” Although the building is only in its fifth year of being a historic landmark, the architects are committed to preserving the Anthology’s authenticity and respect the cinema’s historical structure. “The integrity of the Anthology is impeccable,” stated Bone, “[and] that was part of [the designs]. What could we do for ourselves, on our own, that is exclusively devoted to the mission of the Anthology Archives.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Politicians to sue if New York City approves three new riverside towers

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilperson Margaret Chin are pushing the Department of City Planning (DCP) to conduct additional reviews of three waterfront towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood. The pair said they will pursue legal action against the city if it doesn't stop the developments. Developers have set their sights on the Chinatown-adjacent area in recent years with a series of high-rise residential buildings. The 77-, 69-, and 62-story towers would sit less than a block away from the FDR Drive, near the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges from which Two Bridges gets its names. JDS Development Group, the same firm behind the troubled supertall on Central Park, is backing the 77-story, SHoP-designed skyscraper at 247 Cherry Street, which will rise next to an under-construction 80-story tower, Extell’s One Manhattan Square, designed by Adamson Associates Architects. Two Bridges Associates is planning a double tower (69 stories each) with a shared platform at 260 South Street, and Starrett Development wants to build its 62-story structure at 259 Clinton Street. Last year, Brewer and Chin, whose district includes the proposed towers, asked DCP to assess the development via a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a seven-month review that goes through the community board all the way up to the mayor for public comment, revision, and further assessment before the development is approved or denied. Here, though, current zoning allows the towers to be built as-of-right, so no scrutiny through ULURP was legally necessary. The developers of the tower trio are only required to do environmental review for their project, though they did hold voluntary community reviews (which were interrupted by protests). In response to community concerns, DCP is considering the projects together, instead of individually. "While the modifications sought for the Two Bridges sites do not trigger ULURP—in other words no new density or waivers are needed—a thorough environmental review which offers multiple opportunities for the public and elected officials to participate is being conducted," said DCP spokesperson Rachaele Raynoff, in an email to DNAinfo. "Moreover we are ensuring a coordinated review by the project applicants that looks at the cumulative effects of these three developments at the same time—an extraordinary but important measure that is not ordinarily required. This coordinated review will help produce the best possible outcome for this neighborhood. Much as we appreciate the desire of the community to do so, there are no grounds under which a ULURP could legally be required in this instance." Though there are many neighborhood groups across the city saying "no" to tall buildings, the political geography of downtown Manhattan lends the Two Bridges controversy a special edge. Restrictive zoning and landmarking shields wealthier and whiter neighborhoods downtown from skyscrapers, but those protections are missing in the Lower East Side or Chinatown, a condition that jeopardizes affordability and encourages what some see as out-of-scale development. Though activists are working to mitigate displacement, since 2002, Chinatown has lost more than 25 percent of its rent-regulated apartments. Now, neighbors are worried the developments will stress already over-burdened infrastructure, block natural light, and engender displacement in the low-income neighborhood by causing property values to spike. At One Manhattan Square, for example, prices for two-bedrooms start at almost $2.1 million.
Placeholder Alt Text

Carriage Trade gallery exhibit delves into America's disturbing psyche

New York City's Carriage Trade gallery has had two homes in its short history and both were small spaces that director Peter Scott packed with intelligent, thoughtful exhibits. Scott is an artist who curates exhibitions as part of his practice and they have always had a strong organizing idea, engagement with issues of relevance, and connections to the current generation of New York artists. Now relocated to the Lower East Side, at 277 Grand Street, the gallery’s first show American Interior is a response to the recent Trump election. Theorizing that the U.S. media and psyche have avoided looking honestly into its character and habits that led us to the election of Donald Trump, Scott highlights images that open up to interiors that Americans would rather not highlight. These images take on a recognizable but haunting specter, he writes, because the “media increasingly saturates day-to-day life, [and] politics adopts its techniques, shaping reality to suit its goals.” The exhibit features recognizable but creepy domestic interiors, racism in its uniquely American expressions, and views into the American psyche. Taken on their own, many are striking—even seductive—images but together they raise the specter of a frightening uncomfortable reality we don’t like to see or admit on a daily basis. The exhibition American Interior runs through June 3, 2017. Carriage Trade is located at 277 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York, 10002.
Placeholder Alt Text

An expansive bronze-colored rainscreen covers Peterson Rich Office's latest Lower East Side project

Ten years ago, around 60 art galleries populated the Lower East Side. Today, that number has increased five-fold. Two architects, Nathan Rich and Miriam Peterson, have witnessed the area’s cultural shift and are now working on two significant projects in the area under their firm, Peterson Rich Office (PRO), which they cofounded in 2011.

“Most of the current galleries only come to between 13 and 18 feet wide,” explained Rich, discussing the gallery and residential block due to be built on Grand Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets. “What’s interesting about this new building is that there is going to be a gallery space that’s about 45 feet wide. Spatially it is more akin to what you see in Chelsea.”

Rich and Peterson agreed that this gallery-residential building at 282 Grand Street—and their work on the forthcoming location of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin—are a response to rising costs in Chelsea, where many galleries are being forced to relocate.

PRO secured work in the Lower East Side after bumping into project partners Vito Errico and gallerist Marc Straus—the latter having a long family history of building ownership in the area. Not able to afford Straus’s artwork, the pair offered its services instead.

“Because of Straus’s history in the neighborhood, it was very important to us to do something that is conceptually contiguous to that history,” said Rich. PRO conceptualized the building as a new tenement, retaining the proportional vernacular of 19th and 20th century tenement buildings common in the vicinity.

Covering approximately 20,000 square feet, the building will house 20 condos within seven stories, climbing to 80 feet. Aside from two penthouse apartments on the roof, the dwellings will all be one-bedrooms with around 550 square feet of space.

“The spaces are highly efficient, much like the original tenement buildings were,” said Rich. “Efficiency was the driving concept. They’re efficient, both spatially and environmentally.” The tenement typology is further referenced through a perforated aluminum rain-screen facade system, which doubles-up as a shading device and louvered panel for air exchange. According to the architects, the facade will be coated with a bronze colored Kynar paint, emulating the surrounding yellow and red street signage.

Rich continued: “The screen became a way to achieve this environmental efficiency. There’s also a language of sheet metal and cast iron used for awnings and fire escapes on traditional buildings that we wanted to reference with something that was much more contemporary.”

“By using windows as opposed to a curtain wall and trying to relate the scale of those windows and openings to the adjacent building, we’re trying to create something that’s part of the existing fabric but that is also new.”

Peterson, meanwhile, discussed why PRO proposed a full build-out of the site, which is currently occupied by a low-rise 19th century building housing a Chinese grocery store. “We basically found that the existing building was not suitable for renovation,” she said. “After looking into the project we found tenants had been removing masonry walls without properly replacing them structurally. We said to ourselves, ‘This is no longer made to last.’”

PRO also wants to set an example for future development in the Lower East Side—a movement that has already began. “Developers are not, as a blanket, known for always doing sensitive design or building things that have consideration beyond the status-quo,” Peterson said. “We are hopeful that working with architects such as ourselves to design a building that everybody is proud of will also inspire the next wave of development to abide by those principles.”

The building, due to break ground this spring, is slated to be complete in fall 2018. PRO’s new relocation of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin on 130 Orchard Street is set to open fall this year.

Placeholder Alt Text

Department of City Planning rejects residents' move to trigger ULURP on Two Bridges towers

The Department of City Planning (DCP) rejected a request from elected officials for a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for the Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan's lower east side. Previously, The Architect's Newspaper reported on the profusion of skyscrapers set to blossom on the waterfrontL+M Development and the CIM Group (Two Bridges Associates) are planning a residential complex near JDS Development Group'SHoP-designed 77-story tower, while Starrett Corporation may build a riverside 60-story tower. Rounding out the developments is Extell’s One Manhattan West, an 80-story luxury condo that will be open to residents in three years. In a letter to City Planning Commission chair Carl Weisbrod, city council member Margaret Chin asked for reform of the ULURP process for three planned towers along the East River. The ULURP would have sent developers' plans back to the neighborhood's community board, borough president, and ultimately the city council for review. Weisbrod responded August 11 to say that, because the towers are going to be built as-of-right, DCP sees the developments as "minor modifications" not the "major modifications" that would trigger a ULURP, The Lo-Down reports. He added: "I agree that the development contemplated here is significant when each proposed development is considered individually, and that the potential impacts to the surrounding neighborhood require unique consideration when the three proposed projects are assessed cumulatively.” The developers have agreed to a "coordinated review" of the proposals, Weisbrod continued, and the city will mandate an Environmental Impact Statement with the applications. Chin released a statement following Weisbrod's memo:
We are disappointed by the decision not to treat this as a major modification to the Large Scale plan, but are encouraged by the requirement of an Environmental Impact Statement that will address the cumulative impact of these planned developments in the Two Bridges neighborhood. We look forward to working with City Planning, other elected officials, and the community to mitigate the impacts of development, and to make sure the community’s voices are heard.
Weisbrod's full memo and Chin's response can be found here.
Placeholder Alt Text

City analyzing two plans that would curb an explosion of skyscrapers on the LES

Residents of Two Bridges have come up with two plans to slow and manage development in their Lower East Side Neighborhood. Development in the neighborhood has boomed in recent months. In April, JDS Development Group revealed plans for a SHoP-designed 77-story tower, while L+M Development and the CIM Group (Two Bridges Associates) are planning a residential complex nearby. Starrett Corporation may build a 60-story tower on an East River parcel it owns, while Extell Development's One Manhattan West, an 80-story luxury condo, is expected to be complete in 2019. In light of this unprecedented high-rise explosion, residents and the pols that represent them have advanced two proposals that address the development in their neighborhood. One plan, initiated by the Chinatown Working Group proposes a neighborhood rezoning to cap building heights at 350 feet. It would require residential buildings to offer below-market-rate housing (possibly through MIH). The plan would also mandate harassment certification from potential developers, DNAinfo reports.
“We want rezoning, even though it may be a one-and-a-half to two-year process,” said Trever Holland, president of the Two Bridges Tower Tenant Association told The Lo-Down, which first reported the story. ”We need to look forward—we can’t just say even though the zoning plan may take a while to implement, we’re not going to pursue that.” Elected officials, spearheaded by Councilwoman Margaret Chin, delivered a plan in letter form to the Department of City Planning that suggests skyscrapers planned for the waterfront should not be built as-of-right but should be viewed as “major modifications," not "minor modifications." This distinction would trigger a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process, the months-long back-and-forth between larger stakeholder groups that include the community board, Borough Board, Mayor de Blasio, and the City Council. Chin argues that all four development sites should be considered together for these changes to occur. Residents are concerned that the neighborhood's existing infrastructure cannot adequately accommodate an influx of new residents. Moreover, the neighborhood's character could change if more high-rises are built. State Assemblywoman Alice Cancel is calling an emergency meeting of constituents to come up with a plan to stop the developments.
The Chinatown Working Group's plans are being workshopped by the Department of City Planning; the department concluded the plan was too broad and unfocused and is now reviewing three sections of the plan, although there's not community consensus on this approach. The plan as it's being revised by DCP emphasizes a rezoning that would encourage the development of more affordable housing via MIH, which is tied to the development of market-rate units.
Placeholder Alt Text

Tenement Museum expansion underway at 103 Orchard Street

Scaffolding has been erected around 103 Orchard Street as part of the Tenement Museum's forthcoming expansion. Currently home to the Sadie Samuelson Levy Visitors Center on the ground floor, The Tenement Museum had been looking to expand for a while and will do so into the upper levels of the building. The Museum will also stay in its original home just down the road on 97 Orchard Street. Speaking with The Architect's Newspaper today, the museum's communication manager Jon Pace said the museum was scheduled to open in July of next year and that construction work was "on course." In a press release from 2014, the museum stated how it served 200,000 visitors per year but was forced to turn away "many others due to space limitations." The new space will be used to display re-created homes of past residents, combining "technology and immersive environments" in the process. Focus will also be set on Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, as well as Puerto Rican and Chinese immigrants who ventured to New York's Lower East Side post-World War II. The upper floors of the building will also host a visitor center, gift shop, and classrooms.
Though bought in 2007 for $7 million, scaffolding was only put in place on July 5 this year, some nine years after. Work on 103 Orchard Street currently concerns the building's facade, with particular attention being payed to the roof. Here work is being done on the parapets and cornice. Pace said this was slated to run through until fall and that "phase two" of the construction will start with the interior with the elevator being extended to the fifth floor. "Whether it was Asian immigrants, Irish or German émigrés, or recently arrived European Sephardic Jews, the [Lower East Side's] tenements housed generation after generation of new arrivals to our city," Rep. Velazquez (D-NY) said in a press release in 2014. "The museum tells their story and by allowing it to grow, we can ensure visitors continue enjoying this local historic gem." Pace meanwhile said that further details of the exhibits are set to be released in the next few weeks.

"Our new facilities will help us tell some of America's best untold stories," said Tenement Museum President Morris Vogel. "We have aspirations to show how and why New York, and the U.S., became what it is today." Vogel added: “Now more than ever, the Tenement Museum's mission and work is deeply relevant. The story of our nation’s immigrants is America’s defining narrative, and the joys and challenges of establishing new lives and new communities continue for present-day immigrants around the world. We’re proud and excited that we’ll soon be able to explore a wider range of these stories for a larger audience.”

Placeholder Alt Text

New York City and NYCEDC announce conditional approval of world's first subterranean park

Last week New York City deputy mayor Alicia Glen and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) president Maria Torres-Springer announced that the city has selected the Lowline to officially occupy vacant trolley tracks under the Lower East Side as the world's first underground park. Conceived by James Ramsey of raad studio and Dan Barasch, the Lowline will use a custom solar array to channel natural light into the windowless space, which sits adjacent to the J/M/Z lines at Essex Street. (The Architect's Newspaper toured the Lowline Lab, the park's freakily lush demo and educational space, last fall.) At the Lab, an above-ground solar array refracted onto a paneled canopy provides different light intensities to grow everything from pineapples to moss. Since its opening, the lab has hosted 2,000 schoolchildren and 70,000 visitors, an early indication of its potential popularity (it is slated to operate through March of next year). Last fall, NYCEDC, in conjunction with the MTA, put out a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to develop the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, a 60,000-square-foot space below Delancey Street between Clinton and Norfolk streets, under a long-term lease. The RFEI stipulated that the developers must implement a community engagement plan that includes quarterly Community Engagement Committee meetings as well as five to ten design charettes; complete a schematic design to submit for approval in the next 12 months; and raise $10 million over the next 12 months. "Every designer dreams of doing civic work that contributes to society and to the profession. Over the last 8 years, we just stuck to what we thought was a great idea that could make our city and our community better. We're thrilled to move ahead on designing and building a space that people will enjoy for generations to come," Ramsey said in a press release. Principal Signe Nielsen of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects is landscape designer for the project, working with John Mini Distinctive Landscapes. The Lowline's creators and backers hope that the park will showcase adaptive reuse possibilities for vestigial spaces, as well as provide the densely-populated neighborhood with additional green space. “We couldn't be more thrilled for this opportunity to turn a magical dream into reality," said Barasch, the project's executive director. “The transformation of an old, forgotten trolley terminal into a dynamic cultural space designed for a 21st century city is truly a New York story. We know with input from the community and the city, we can make the Lowline a unique, inspiring space that everyone can enjoy." (Courtesy raad studio)
Placeholder Alt Text

Diana Balmori's Meditation Room at IDEASCity 2015 explores the possibility of expansive horizons in crowded cities

Stemming from the idea that a city is but a stack of layered horizons, landscape architect Diana Balmori’s public installation for IDEASCity 2015 invites the viewer to contemplate where horizons occur in a pause-for-thought experience. Meditation Room: Horizon is a continuous constructed wall of paper where the overlapping of two dot matrix systems creates a visible horizon slightly above eye level. Presented by The Drawing Center, the installation expounds the revelations set forth in Balmori's book Drawing and Reinventing Landscape (2014), which explores horizon and peripheral vision to decode how designers perceive landscape and draw it accordingly. “The physical response to what you look at is vital; it activates the seeing,” Balmori wrote. The pleasure of drawing, she then muses, does not come from the act itself but “from enormous concentration essential to the act of drawing; from the intense looking that produces interior quiet and an imagined silence around you.” At the heart of Meditation Room is the concept that the landscape architect’s onus is to create a sense of expansive horizons within a city’s modest spaces. The piece will be installed at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side at Chrystie and Houston street on May 30 from 12–6pm. Balmori is the founder of New York–based Balmori Associates, an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm. An activist for sustainable architecture, Balmori is currently campaigning to widen and landscape the Broadway median between 72nd and 136th street to create a path with solar panels and wind turbines powered by the slipstream of passing cars.
Placeholder Alt Text

DXA Studio designed this Lower East Side tower with a copper facade that changes over time

As this angular copper facade ages, its reddish brown skin will settle into a weathered green. It's a sort of physical embodiment of the changes playing out in Manhattan's Lower East Side and Chinatown as the city's voracious luxury residence market continually searches for a new frontier. The so-called LES Tower at 57 Orchard Street sits between Grand and Hester streets, on the doorstep on Chinatown where signs filled with exotic typefaces make neighbors with minimalist galleries and cafes. Designed by New York–based DXA Studio, the 15-story building is mostly covered in glass neatly framed by perforated copper. The 23,600-square-foot structure will be slotted into a slender mid-block parcel overlooking the predominantly mid-rise streetscape—a feature that helped developers amass air rights to push the tower up into the sky. A series of prewar buildings will also be rehabbed as part of the larger development, with a unified roof deck among the project's amenities. Architects at DXA declined to comment on the design, but did say the tower would likely be built as described in newly revealed renderings. According to the studio's website, "The razor-sharp copper-clad facade is a contemporary foil to the turn of the century context, and at night the perforated facade will be a back-lit lantern that will highlight the activity inside." The Lower East Side has become known for its high-design "finger buildings," including Bernard Tschumi's BLUE Tower, SANAA's New Museum, Norman Foster's Sperone Westwater Gallery, and Grzywinski + Pons' Hotel on Rivington. Herzog & de Meuron is also currently working on a tower farther north for hotelier Ian Schrager. These new luxury outfits are a marked departure for a neighborhood that got its start as home to New York's notoriously overcrowded tenements. The building is projected to open in 2017, pending approvals from the city. [via Yimby.]  
Placeholder Alt Text

Four towers by SHoP, Dattner, Handel, and Beyer Blinder Belle to break ground at Essex Crossing

Essex Crossing has been over four decades in the making, and now the plan to turn the six-acre swath of land in Manhattan's Lower East Side, known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA), is gaining traction. The development team, Delancey Street Associations, along with the four participating architecture firms—Handel Architects, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Dattner Architects, and SHoP Architects—just revealed the latest renderings for the project's first phase. This first phase, consisting of four of the total nine sites, will provide 1,000 units of affordable, market rate, and senior housing in addition to a mix of residential, retail, and community space, including the relocated Essex Market, a bowling alley, the Warhol Museum, and a rooftop urban farm. There will, however, be no parking so residents will have to get familiar with their public transit options. This, according to Curbed, concerned community board members the most. The developers explained that after talks with the DOT, they determined that with the congestion around the area of the Williamsburg Bridge, it wasn’t safe to include more parking. One person at the meeting suggested increasing bus service to alleviate overcrowding. Other issues, such as accessibility to public amenities and bike storage, came up as well. The architects at a press preview cited the tenements as fodder for their designs with the goal of making the buildings contextual within the mostly low-rise neighborhood. The project has already gone through Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and is expected to break ground by Spring. If all goes according to plan, the buildings will be complete in roughly three years from the start of construction.
Placeholder Alt Text

Archtober Building of the Day #13> The Museum at Eldridge Street

Archtober Building of the Day #13 The Museum at Eldridge Street 12 Eldridge Street Archimuse The Columbus Day holiday and parade did not deter the Archtober faithful from attending a very special family event at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Archtober first visited the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue on on October 28, 2012 in the shadow of the looming Superstorm Sandy, to enjoy the fruits of a 20-year restoration project that culminated in the 2010 installation of the Kiki Smith rose window. Now, adding to the manifold riches to be found within is a fully realized Museum at Eldridge Street, the result of a collaboration of curators, historians, architects Archimuse, and graphic designers. Amy Stein Milford, the deputy director of the Museum at Eldridge Street, supplemented tour guides Reuben Jackson, Archimuse, and Los Angeles–based Kracauer in a recounting of the challenges of maintaining a tiny Orthodox congregation, who worship in the museum, and the imperatives of the interpretation of the Jewish immigrant experience. The Eldridge Street Synagogue, one of only two landmark synagogues in New York (the other is Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue at 55th Street), was the first purpose-built synagogue in the city. Now surrounded by Chinatown, this city, state, and national landmark represents the epicenter of historic Jewish life on the Lower East Side, and hosts 40,000 visitors of all faiths annually, said Milford. Archimuse was challenged by five separate entrances to the structure that had to be rationalized on the street. Creating a coherent museum experience required that a maze of tiny spaces be opened up, exposing the original structure, and harmonizing the needs of a very contemporary exhibition with the needs of a small but dedicated congregation. The exhibition narrative starts with the map of the Great Jewish Migration, in the orientation experience. This map uses the traditional Jewish names from Eastern Europe to locate the sources of the two million Jews who left to freely practice their religion in the United States in the late 18th and early 20th centuries. The Journey is followed by “A New Home in a New Land,” a watercolor rendering of the facade of the synagogue executed in the early 20th century. The original deeds to the property and an original Star of David finial are on display. “Such a City!” has Yiddish and Hebrew signs from the synagogue and local businesses, including one for Singer sewing machines. “Becoming American Jews” is split between “Order and Orthodoxy” and “Women and Children.” “To the Brink and Back” recounts the further journeys of the community beyond the Lower East Side, and the subsequent rescue and restoration of the historic synagogue.
Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober:  Architecture and Design Month NYC.  She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell.  After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson,  held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater.