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Forensic Architecture: The Making of the Tenement Museum

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About the Event

The New York Landmarks Conservancy, in partnership with, The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, cordially invites you to:

Forensic Architecture: The Making of the Tenement Museum

Nick Leahy, Co-CEO and Executive Director at Perkins Eastman

Special Guest: Dave Favaloro
Senior Director of Curatorial Affairs and Hebrew Technical Institute Research Fellow, Tenement Museum

The tenement holds a special place in the urban and social history of New York City and, indeed, the story of immigration to America. New York’s City’s Tenement Museum, founded in 1988 as a fledgling museum, has evolved over the years into one of the most popular cultural destinations in the city.

In this talk, Nick Leahy of Perkins Eastman will look at the development of the museum into a unique civic resource that preserves the buildings and stories of the historic Lower East Side neighborhood. Focusing on its expansion from 2006 until 2019, the build-out of 97 Orchard Street, as well as its expansion into 103 Orchard Street, it is an intimate window into the neighborhood that was once the nation’s most active immigrant portal. This talk will peel back the literal layers of history that comprise the urban campus of the Tenement Museum. Mr. Leahy, describes the approach to the work at the museum as “forensic architecture,” preserving century-old tenements and revealing the stories of nearly 20,000 residents who lived there from the late 1800s through the 1970s.

Nick Leahy is Co-CEO and Executive Director at Perkins Eastman, His projects are distinguished by their critical balance of place, program, and craft. Key to his design methodology is to investigate each site’s relationship to its environment, history, and its intended use. His designs for civic buildings, performing arts centers, museums, and institutional facilities can be found across the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition to his work on the Tenement Museum, these projects include the internationally renowned TKTS Booth in the heart of Times Square; the winning international design competition entry for the Shanghai World Expo Public Events Center; the Museum of Natural History Spitzer Hall of Human Origins and Butterfly Conservatory; the Container Globe, a modern interpretation of the famous Globe Theater designed and constructed entirely from shipping containers; and numerous others.

Suggested donation:
$15 General Admission; $10 General Society Members and New York Landmarks Conservancy Members and Senior Citizens; $5 Students

Advance registration is required to receive the link to the Zoom Webinar platform.


photo credit:

Tenement Museum Visitors Center

Copyright: Paul Rivera / Courtesy: Perkins Eastman

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