Brooklyn Navy Yard / Credit: OHNY

How does manufacturing occupy space in the city today? The massive factories that made New York City a productive powerhouse around the turn of the last century are mostly gone, but the city’s distinctive complexity has allowed a host of increasingly specialized manufacturing firms to thrive and proliferate. Indeed, after decades of decline, a host of new social and technological forces are growing and transforming the manufacturing sector into something more diffuse, diverse, and dynamic.

Open House New York (OHNY), in partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is excited to announce the launch of Making it Here, a yearlong series of programs that explores manufacturing in the city today: what it looks like, how it works, and why it is so important to the future of New York. Through tours, talks, and other programs, New Yorkers will have a chance to visit and learn about how older industrial buildings, once considered outmoded, are being retrofitted to create spaces that reflect the changing needs of a manufacturing ecosystem that better integrates the design and production processes, as well as how some legacy manufacturers have adapted their businesses to shifting market dynamics, allowing them to thrive in place over time. Making it Here will also tour the spaces where entrepreneurs, technologists, and inventors are re-imagining manufacturing in the heart of the city through the development of new technologies like peer-to-peer platforms and 3D printing.

Making it Here marks the first time that OHNY has organized an entire series of programming around a specific theme, leveraging OHNY’s capacity for offering access and experience to give the public the unique opportunity to explore a single issue over many months. Partnership with NYCEDC, which works on behalf of the City of New York to support industrial businesses across the five boroughs, is key to unlocking the manufacturing sector. NYCEDC manages several City-owned industrial properties—including the Brooklyn Army Terminal—that collectively house hundreds of companies employing thousands of people. NYCEDC also initiates programs and projects designed to sustain and grow both legacy industrial companies and new manufacturers operating in the City.

In providing access to a system that exists off the average New Yorker’s radar, Making it Here will serve as a platform for a public discussion about how manufacturing fits into communities across the five boroughs. “As we know from the enormous audiences that attend OHNY Weekend and our other year-round programs, there is an intense interest among the public in better understanding New York: its buildings, its systems, its public spaces,” explains OHNY executive director Gregory Wessner. “In exploring a subject as broad as manufacturing, our goal is to give people a chance to learn about the City through the same kind of direct experience we offer in all of our programs, especially about an issue that is so important to the health and vitality of the city.

Making it Here tours will highlight manufacturing communities operating at a variety of different scales—from stand-alone adaptive reuse buildings embedded in residential areas to City-owned industrial campuses—to help New Yorkers better understand the role that manufacturing businesses play in building healthy, affordable neighborhoods.

“The success of the industrial sector is critical to the City’s economic health, and NYCEDC is pleased to partner with Open House New York to showcase some of the extraordinary industrial spaces across the boroughs,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “We must ensure that legacy industrial properties are updated and enhanced to meet the needs of a growing city, and seize the opportunity to build new industrial facilities with a keen sense of design—so that they become architectural touchstones while fully integrating into a neighborhood’s physical context. We look forward to opening doors and stimulating discussion about the ways that manufacturers create high-quality jobs for New Yorkers while sustaining the city’s position as a global center of commerce and innovation.”

To expand the reach of Making it Here, the OHNY Blog will feature interviews throughout the year with a broad range of experts to shed light on what each site in the series illustrates about the forces at work in urban manufacturing. Through additional web content, Making it Here will also explore the land use and urban design challenges facing the manufacturing sector, as well as the unique benefits that an urban context offers manufacturers. In a city like New York, where many hyper-specialized economic sectors coexist in a densely populated space, demand is diverse and sophisticated, and more flexible production and distribution networks become vital. Given the high environmental costs associated with mass production and globalized supply chains, the “new manufacturing” spaces springing up across the city could even become a critical component of New York’s expansive sustainability goals, turning the old trope of dirty industry on its ear.

The popular conception of the factory as a place of soot-belching smokestacks and dreary assembly lines obscures a fast-changing reality that necessitates a deeper public understanding of what making space for manufacturing in our neighborhoods means for our quality of life. “While the noise and pollution associated with production has often isolated manufacturing to the city’s urban edges and the hinterlands, significant technological changes could make re-integration of manufacturing spaces into more mixed-use neighborhoods possible, and even desirable, in the near future,” says Nina Rappaport, architecture critic and the curator and project director of Vertical Urban Factory “When people actually have the chance to visit the manufacturing spaces that exist in New York City today and see them firsthand, it becomes evident that zoning needs to accommodate new and diverse uses for new kinds of manufacturing.”

“Tremendous economic, technological and cultural forces are reshaping manufacturing, and that bodes well for cities” said Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development and founder of the buy-local Made In NYC campaign.  “The need to reduce energy consumption, the benefits of having designers and producers clustered closely together so that they can innovate new products, and growing consumer demand for local products are driving the growth of local companies.  However, if the city wants to reap all of the benefits of this process we have to make sure that companies are able to scale up locally, which requires adequate industrial space among other things.”

In a city where demand for space is so high, where does manufacturing fit in? And in the age of globalization, when you can make something anywhere, what are the benefits of making it here? We look forward to exploring these and other questions with you over the coming year.

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Brooklyn Army Terminal / Image Credit: Nicolas Lemery Nantel for OHNY

Making it Here will kick off with a four-part exploration of how different industrial redevelopment models are being used to carve contemporary manufacturing hubs out of the hulking remnants of the old, single-tenant industrial complexes of the past. To receive updates on these four tours, including information on when registration for each program will open to the public, please click here to sign up for our mailing list. The series will continue over the summer with an exploration of how legacy manufacturers and manufacturing districts across the city have adapted and evolved to changing market demands over time; in the fall, the series will visit sites where cutting edge manufacturing technologies are being developed to get a sense of how the city’s industrial spaces will change in the coming years. Information on the next set of Making it Here tours will be released later this spring.

Standard Motors Building
Friday, May 16 / 3:00 PM
Organized with Vertical Urban Factory
Tour a variety of niche manufacturing spaces, along with Brooklyn Grange’s expansive rooftop farm, with Vertical Urban Factory curator and project director Nina Rappaport, and learn about how and why private developer Acumen Capital Partners LLC is investing in the revitalization of New York’s industrial infrastructure. This tour is SOLD OUT.

Brooklyn Army Terminal
Tuesday, May 20 / 3:00 PM
Join representatives from New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Industrial Desk to see how Cass Gilbert’s massive Broooklyn Army Terminal complex, with its iconic atrium (above), has been incrementally re-imagined as a mixed-use hub for manufacturing, commerce, and cultural activity over the past three decades. This tour is SOLD OUT.

Brooklyn Navy Yard
Friday, June 6th / 10:00 AM
Spend the morning exploring the sprawling Brooklyn Navy Yard campus, considered a model 21st-century industrial park, with BNY staff. The program will include stops at several cutting edge manufacturing spaces, as well as the new Making it in NYC exhibition at BLDG 92. Tickets for this event will go on sale May 23.

Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center
Friday, June 20th / 12:00 PM
When a factory in East Williamsburg closed in 2007—taking a hundred local manufacturing jobs with it—the Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center, a mission-driven non-profit industrial developer, purchased the historic building and brought it back to life as a hive of industrial activity. Join GMDC staff for a tour of a selection of the dozen businesses that have located at the McKibbin Street facility, home once again to nearly a hundred industrial jobs. Tickets for this event will go on sale June 6.

**Please note that many of the Making it Here tours are scheduled during the day on weekdays to accommodate the business hours of the site and to allow attendees to see manufacturing processes in action.**

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Partners
Making It Here is organized by Open House New York in partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation, as well as with the Pratt Center for Community Development and Vertical Urban Factory.

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Further Reading

openstudios Flatiron District

 

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Saturday, April 12, 2014
Studio tours, 1-5 pm
Reception 5-7 pm

Open House New York invites you inside the studios and offices of some of the city’s leading architects, designers, and engineers during openstudios Flatiron District, a Saturday afternoon open house celebrating the neighborhood as a thriving center of architecture and design. Visit the spaces where architects work, see new projects in the design phase, and meet the individuals who are helping to shape the city’s future.

General Admission: $30 in advance / $35 at check-in
OHNY Members, students and seniors: $20 in advance / $25 at check-in

Advance registration ends Friday, April 11 at 5pm.
Purchase advance tickets online here.

Please note: You must check-in at Open House New York’s office at 1133 Broadway, Suite 802, before visiting participating studios. Check-in will be open from 12:45 to 3:30 pm.

Participating studios
Allied Works Architecture
BKSK Architects
Deborah Berke Partners
Fradkin & McAlpin Architects
FXFOWLE Architects
H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture
HLW International LLP
Morris Adjmi Architects
MNA
PBDW Architects
RKTB Architects, P.C.
Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects
SOFTlab
SOMA
TEK Architects
Reception generously sponsored by  Haefele_Logo   KIT_Logo-revised-copy

Please note: The Flatiron Building will not be open during openstudios.

 

 

OHNY Preview: Brooklyn Bridge Park Piers 2 and 4

 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
4:30 and 6:30 pm

Regina Myer, President of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation; Patricia Kirshner, VP of Capital Planning and Construction; and Leigh Trucks, Director of Capital Projects, will lead two back-to-back members-only previews of Pier 2 and Pier 4 Beach, the latest phase of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Once completed, Pier 2 will offer five-acres of recreational space, while Pier 4 Beach will include an accessible beach for launching kayaks and small water craft. The tour will highlight the park’s consistent commitment to waterfront access, sustainability and continuity of the industrial heritage of the site.

This event is limited to OHNY members only. Admission is free.
Reservations will begin on April 15 at 10 am here.

Not an OHNY member yet? Click here to see a full list of membership levels and benefits and join today!

 

 

OHNY Preview: Sims Sunset Park Materials Recycling Facility

 

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Saturday, April 26, 2014
1 pm

Tom Outerbridge, General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling, and Annabelle Selldorf, Principal of Selldorf Architects, will lead a members-only preview of the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility. Located on an 11-acre pier on Sunset Park’s waterfront, and built of 98% recycled steel, the facility will serve as the principal processing center for all of New York City’s curbside metal, glass, and plastic recyclables. The 140,000 sf complex includes the Tipping Building, where recyclables will arrive by barge, and an education center, where will students learn about recycling.

This event is limited to OHNY members only. Admission is free.
Reservations will begin on April 18 at 10 am here.

Not an OHNY member yet? Click here to see a full list of membership levels and benefits and join today!

 

 

Seaport Series: Historic Front Street

COOKFOX--Historic-Front-Streetcrop

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
5pm

Rick Cook, principal of COOKFOX Architects, leads a tour of Historic Front Street, a dynamic mixed-use complex of shops and apartments that thoughtfully fuses contemporary design with a block of formerly neglected historic brick warehouses from the Seaport’s heyday. Learn about how the neighborhood’s rich history is informing the architecture of its revitalization today, and how Historic Front Street’s post-Sandy retrofit could provide a model for post-disaster recovery in historic areas in the future.

$15 OHNY Members
$25 General Admission
Reservations begin on April 22 at 10 am here.

The Seaport Series is a series of OHNY tours and programs that explore the past, present, and future of the South Street Seaport as it transforms itself into one of the most architecturally and culturally vibrant neighborhoods in the city.

openstudios Flatiron District 

 

IMG_5306-crop

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Studio tours, 1-5 pm
Reception 5-7 pm

 

Open House New York invites you inside the studios and offices of some of the city’s leading architects, designers, and engineers during openstudios Flatiron District, a Saturday afternoon open house celebrating the neighborhood as a thriving center of architecture and design. Visit the spaces where architects work, see new projects in the design phase, and meet the individuals who are helping to shape the city’s future.

openstudios is an ongoing series organized by Open House New York to celebrate the architecture community and the neighborhoods around the city that are major hubs of creativity and innovation in architecture, design, engineering, and urban planning.

General Admission: $30 in advance / $35 at check-in
OHNY Members, students and seniors: $20 in advance / $25 at check-in

Advance registration ends Friday, April 11 at 5pm.
Purchase advance tickets online here.

Please note: You must check-in at Open House New York’s office at 1133 Broadway, Suite 802, before visiting participating studios. Check-in will be open from 12:45 to 3:30 pm.

Participating studios

Seaport Series: Archaeology of the Seaport

 

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Monday, March 31, 2014
6 pm

Alyssa Loorya, president and principal investigator of Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants, leads a tour of the South Street Seaport highlighting archaeological discoveries unearthed from beneath this storied commercial district’s streets during its redevelopment and revitalization. The tour will end with a rare, hands-on survey of recent archaeological finds.

$15 OHNY Members
$25 General Admission
Reservations begin on March 24 at 10 am here.

 

Seaport Series: Historic Front Street

 

COOKFOX--Historic-Front-Streetcrop

New Date: April 29, 2014
5pm

Rick Cook, principal of COOKFOX Architects, leads a tour of Historic Front Street, a dynamic mixed-use complex of shops and apartments that thoughtfully fuses contemporary design with a block of formerly neglected historic brick warehouses from the Seaport’s heyday. Learn about how the neighborhood’s rich history is informing the architecture of its revitalization today, and how Historic Front Street’s post-Sandy retrofit could provide a model for post-disaster recovery in historic areas in the future.

$15 OHNY Members
$25 General Admission

 

The Seaport Series is a series of OHNY tours and programs that explore the past, present, and future of the South Street Seaport as it transforms itself into one of the most architecturally and culturally vibrant neighborhoods in the city.

 

Recent Programs

Repairing the Rift

What is the South Street Seaport? A talk and tour with Robert LaValva

 

 

Seaport Series: Repairing the Rift

 

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Saturday, March 15, 2014
11 am

When the elevated highway now known as the FDR cut through the South Street Seaport in 1954, it had a profound impact on the feel and flow of the area. OHNY invites you to join WXY Architecture + Urban Design’s Adam Lubinsky and artist and designer Yeju Choi on a walking tour that will explore the proposed site of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach, part of the East River Blueway Plan, and the pop-up participatory installation Catch — & — Release, part of the Design/Relief initiative by AIGA New York, to understand how social and infrastructural strategies for addressing the void created by the FDR can work hand-in-hand to reconnect the neighborhood with its waterfront.

The Seaport Series is a series of OHNY tours and programs that explore the past, present, and future of the South Street Seaport as it transforms itself into one of the most architecturally and culturally vibrant neighborhoods in the city.

Admission $15 OHNY Members / $25 General Admission.
Reservations begin Friday, March 7th at 10 am here.

 

Rendering courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Planning