November 8, 2019

New York, NY – The Center for Architecture is excited to present the exhibition Single-Story Project, opening on Thursday, November 21 at 6:00 pm. The exhibition, curated by Alan G. Brake, Assoc. AIA, with exhibition design by Vanessa Lam, presents photographs of the East Village and Lower East Side’s disappearing single-story buildings by Adam Friedberg.

Since 2015, photographer and long-time East Village resident Adam Friedberg has documented all the single-story buildings in the East Village and the Lower East Side, nearly 100 sites in total. As rapid development swept through these neighborhoods, Friedberg realized that these structures were quickly disappearing. While many of these single-story buildings are modest and architecturally insignificant, together they form an alternative geography of the built environment.

“Of particular interest to me…is the negative space these single-story buildings create,” says Friedberg. “They open the street to the sky, providing a vista that can be enjoyed by all of us. With air rights, sunshine, and city views so valuable, and with the polarization of wealth having a direct impact on the area’s demographics, how much longer can these squat buildings stand?”

The exhibition at the Center for Architecture will feature 54 of Friedberg’s blunt and frontal black and white photographs, loosely arranged around six uses—storefronts, churches, garages and warehouses, cultural and community spaces, bars and restaurants, and strips. By shooting the buildings just after dawn, Friedberg captures photographs without cars or people, resulting in quiet and uncluttered streetscapes that help the viewer see these background buildings as foreground. Friedberg’s matter-of-fact documentary style prompts us to pause and consider the value of these places. The series serves as a historical record, documenting the single-story buildings of the East Village and Lower East in this transitional time, before they are forgotten.

Single-Story Project will be on view through February 29, 2020.

Related Event

Thursday, November 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is the premier cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City, informed by the complexity of the City’s urban fabric and in dialogue with the global community. The Center shares a home with the AIA New York Chapter and has the unique advantage of drawing upon the ideas and experiences of practicing architects to produce thought-provoking exhibitions, informative public programs, and quality design education experiences for K-12 students. It also leads New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival, Archtober. The Center for Architecture’s aim is to further public knowledge about New York City architecture and architects, foster exchange and collaboration among members of the design, development, building, scholarly, and policy sectors, and inspire new ideas about the role of design in communities by presenting contemporary and practical issues in architecture and urbanism to a general audience.