Join OHNY and photographer Christopher Payne for an illustrated talk about his current work: North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City, and One Steinway Place. In the past decade, Payne has become a leading photographer of forgotten places, and with these projects he continues his exploration by offering rare glimpses into two places few New Yorkers have ever seen. See his work and listen to the stories behind capturing these rare images at this illustrated talk in a unique landmarked space inside the Schermerhorn row buildings, originally built in 1812 and now home of the South Street Seaport Museum. A reception will be held following the talk.
North Brother Island is a secret hiding in plain sight: an off-limits, uninhabited island of ruins in the East River, not far from Rikers Island. From the late-19th century until its abandonment in the 1960s, North Brother served a variety of institutional uses, from quarantine hospital (Typhoid Mary lived and died there) to juvenile drug rehabilitation center. More recently it has been designated as conservation land for the Black-crowned Night Heron. Since 2008, with permission of the NYC Parks Department, Payne has been visiting the island, compiling a comprehensive record of the structures and the evolving landscape.
One Steinway Place is the address of the Steinway & Sons piano factory, in Astoria, Queens. For this project, Payne was allowed unfettered access to the factory, and he has created a series of large-format photographs that combine the recognizable with sometimes unexpected abstractions that give us a new view of the legendary institution--and of the piano, itself, from its majestic whole to its smallest components. One Steinway Place is also currently on view at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery. A selection of images was published in the April 29th, 2012 issue of The New York Times Magazine.
Payne is the author of New York’s Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) and Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals (MIT Press, 2009), which includes an essay by the renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks.
Program partners and sponsors include the South Street Seaport Museum, New Amsterdam Market and the Most Brothers.
Tickets to this event are non-refundable. Should you be unable to attend, the full price of unused tickets may be treated as a donation to openhousenewyork and is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
When & Where
Open House New York
Open House New York (OHNY) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The mission of OHNY is to promote a greater appreciation of the city’s built environment; broaden public awareness by exposing diverse audiences to distinctive examples of architecture, engineering and design; educate and inspire discussion of issues of excellence in design, planning and preservation; and showcase outstanding new work as well as structures of historic merit.