Join us for a special virtual tour in celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday that explores two of his New York City masterpieces—Central Park and Prospect Park. Built a decade apart, Central and Prospect Park share many similarities, but also reflect Olmsted’s evolution as a park designer and his lasting influence on landscape design and public space. Guides from Central Park Conservancy will be on site to highlight Central Park’s arches, meadows, and natural features, as Turnstile Tours guides examine parallel features in Prospect Park and compare and contrast the different elements of the parks, including examples of Olmsted designs that have been adapted to fit better with modern-day recreational uses and ecological practices.
Concrete is the world’s most ubiquitous building material, and many important milestones of its development took place in Brooklyn. In this virtual program, we will examine concrete’s history, production, and chemistry, then discuss some of the landmark structures that drove the development of steel-reinforced concrete in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From Gowanus to DUMBO, Prospect Park to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we will look at monumental buildings and small details designed by some renowned architects, including Cass Gilbert, Albert Kahn, and Calvert Vaux.
Though often overlooked due to his association with Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux is an important figure in American architecture in his own right. A classically-trained architect, talented artist, and collaborator with landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing, he had already done major projects before working with Olmsted on Central Park, and would continue to design parks and public buildings after their partnership dissolved. To mark Vaux’ 197th birthday, we will examine his 40-year career in New York City, his distinctive architectural style, and his legacy of designing buildings and landscapes for the public good, including museums, parks both large and small, and housing for the poor.
Built in 1874, the Concert Grove Pavilion is a stunning example of Prospect Park co-designer Calvert Vaux’ colorful and decorative style. Earlier this year, the Prospect Park Alliance completed a $2 million restoration of the pavilion, which was last restored in 1988. Joined by Prospect Park Alliance Assistant Architect Sheena Enriquez, we will look closely at the pavilion’s beautiful details, including its cast iron columns that contain motifs borrowed from Hindu, Chinese, Moorish, and Egyptian architecture, its elaborate roof finials and eaves, and its newly-illuminated stained glass ceiling. Sheena will share how the restoration team did extensive archival research, conducted color testing to match the pavilion’s original design, and repaired and recreated damaged or missing pieces.
Celebrate NYC X DESIGN Interior Design Day with a virtual visit to Bednark Studio, a vertically-integrated design and fabrication company that specializes in retail environments, experiential marketing, and architectural millwork. Based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Bednark is a custom fabricator with manufacturing capabilities in wood, plastic, metal, print, and integrated lighting. On this virtual tour, we will be joined by founder Michael Bednark, who will walk us through their 65,000-square-foot shop and discuss their process, capabilities, and a selection of their 3,000+ premium projects for local clients and global brands including Balenciaga, Nike, and St. Germain.
Since its founding over a century ago, Bush Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn has been a center of industry and innovation. Today, the city-owned site is being transformed into a campus for the Made in NY initiative to support cornerstone industries of the city’s economy: fashion and film. On this virtual tour, we will learn how the historic campus is being repurposed to provide affordable space and support services to garment manufacturers, alongside facilities for film and television production, and an expanded public realm to open the campus to the community. We will be joined by Mimi Hoang of nARCHITECTS and David Ostrich of W Architecture & Landscape Architecture, who will walk us through the reimagined campus and adaptively reused buildings.
For NYC x Design Architecture Day, we’re taking a closer look at one of the most recent adaptive reuse projects of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 127. Constructed in 1904 for fabricating wooden boats, the 95,000-square-foot building recently underwent a full gut renovation, and its high ceilings, large windows, and uncolumned spaces made it ideal for repurposing for design and manufacturing businesses. We will be joined by architect Rosario D’Urso, Construction Project Manager at BNYDC, who will walk us through the project and discuss how their team brought this historic building back to life.
Completed in 1919, the Brooklyn Army Terminal is a marvel of architecture and engineering. On this virtual tour, we will examine its design and construction during World War I, its 47-year service as a military supply base, and its reinvention as a hub for industry, manufacturing, and technology today. We will spend time in the breathtaking atrium, step into the skybridges that connect the buildings, and look at how the site has been renovated.
Brooklyn’s biggest lake is in Prospect Park – but where does all of the water in the lake come from? Join this live virtual visit to Prospect Park, where we will explore not just the lake, but all of the waterfalls, streams, and ponds that run through the park, and the pipes that run underneath it! We’ll learn how the water system works, and how it has changed throughout history. We’ll also go behind the scenes inside the Wellhouse; Prospect Park Alliance recently transformed this historic building, which once housed machinery for pumping water into the lakes and streams, into the first composting toilets in an NYC park. We’ll explore how this environmentally-friendly system works and get to see the bugs and worms that help break down waste from the bathrooms!
At each of the water passages that lead to New York Harbor – from the Narrows to Hell Gate, Ambrose Channel to the Race – disused forts stand on either shore, once guarding these entrances. In this virtual program, we will explore the history of coastal fortifications in New York from the Revolutionary War to World War II, examining the different eras of fort construction and the technological advancements that drove the changes in these forts’ shape, armament, and role over time. We will also look at how these forts have been repurposed today – as parks, schools, museums, and the last active military base in New York City.