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How much do you know about NYC architecture, design, and the
built environment? Test your mettle with these trivia
October is always a busy month for New York City’s
architecture crowd, thanks to events like Open House New York (which
happens next weekend), and Archtober, taking place across
all five boroughs throughout the entire month.
And, not to brag, but one of the most fun Archtober events
happened last night, when I (your editor, Amy Plitt) and Curbed’s
senior story producer, Diana Budds,
hosted a trivia night to test folks’ knowledge about
architecture, design, and New York’s built environment.
But if you couldn’t make it to the event, fret not: We’ve
gathered 10 of the best questions from the night below—try your
hand at answering them in the comments, and we’ll reveal the
answers at 4 p.m. today in this post. Good luck!
- Real estate in New York City has always been at a premium, so
much so that service alleys were never constructed, leaving garbage
to fester on sidewalks. But one island in the city has an
underground pneumatic trash system that whisks refuse away. Name
- This pioneering landscape architect was responsible for
creating a number of parks and playgrounds in NYC and redesigning
the Park Avenue Malls in 1970; she was appointed NYC’s
“landscape architect in residence” in 1977. There’s also a
park named after her in Manhattan’s Sutton Place neighborhood.
Name the landscape architect.
- This Queens building, described by Robert A.M. Stern as the
“Grand Central of the jet age,” recently reopened to the public
after nearly 20 years during which it was rarely used. Name that
building, and for an extra brownie point, name its architect.
- I.M. Pei, who died earlier this year, designed NYU’s Silver
Towers, two concrete buildings that loom over Greenwich Village and
were named city landmarks in 2008. A sculpture by a world-famous
artist sits in between those two towers. Name the artist.
- The Gowanus Canal was declared a Superfund site in 2009 thanks
to its persistent pollution problems. At one particularly low point
in its history, the water had changed colors, earning it a derisive
nickname. What was that nickname?
- New York City is home to hundreds of bridges, many of which are
architectural landmarks and beloved icons. Name the oldest bridge
in New York City. (Hint: it’s not open to vehicular
- New York City has just 11 city-designated scenic landmarks,
with the most recent—which is close to the Brooklyn
waterfront—approved in 2018. Name that landmark.
- The architect of this museum, which is celebrating its 60th
anniversary in 2019, claimed that his design would make the nearby
Metropolitan Museum of Art “look like a Protestant barn.” Name
the museum and the architect.
- What New York City bridge did Le Corbusier consider to be
“the most beautiful bridge in the world”? For an additional
brownie point, name the bridge’s chief engineer.
- FDR Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, completed in 2012,
was constructed decades after the death of its original architect.
When that architect passed away suddenly in a notable NYC station,
a final rendering of the park was found in his briefcase. Name the
architect and the station.
Source: FS – NYC Real Estate
Can you answer these NYC questions from Curbed x Archtober’s trivia night?