“Single-Story Project” Exhibition

The Center for Architecture

poster for “Single-Story Project” Exhibition
[Image: The Church of the Nativity (now closed) at 46 2nd Avenue by Gennovese & Maddalene. Photo by Adam Friedberg.]

This event has ended.

The Center for Architecture presents the exhibition Single-Story Project. 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.



from November 21, 2019 to February 29, 2020

Opening Reception on 2019-11-21 from 18:00 to 20:00

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