Louis Kahn & the Making of Public Space Today: Lecture and Tour in Partnership with Archtober

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About the Tour

In 2012, FDR Four Freedoms Park was completed posthumously as one of the last great projects of the visionary architect Louis Kahn. William Whitaker, Curator of the Louis I. Kahn Collection at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss the challenges of creating public spaces today, giving the inside story of the Park’s design, the sudden death of its architect, the near-bankruptcy of the city, and the remarkable effort that brought the project to realization forty years after its conception.

Additional Information

The lecture will be held at the offices of Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, located at:
1110 2nd Avenue, Suite 301 (southeast corner of 59th St. and 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY, 10022


Following the lecture, the group will take the Roosevelt Island Tram across the East River and walk south to the Park (approx. 10-15 minutes). Plan to bring your metro card with you and/or purchase a single fare for $2.75. If you need assistance walking to the Park, please let us know. The Conservancy is happy to arrange transportation for those needing assistance. Email media@fdrffp.org for more information.

About William Whitaker

William Whitaker is the curator of the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania. Trained as an architect at Penn and the University of New Mexico, Whitaker has worked for over 20 years documenting and interpreting the work of architect Louis I. Kahn, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, and the partnership of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, along other collections at the Architectural Archives. He has organized and co-curated over 30 exhibitions and lectured on a wide range of subjects related to twentieth century architecture, landscape, and community design to broad audiences.

Whitaker co-authored: The Houses of Louis I. Kahn (Yale University Press, 2013) with George Marcus, the first comprehensive study of the architect’s house designs, and also co-edited Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noemi Raymond (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) with Kurt Helfrich. 

About Archtober

Archtober (ärk’tōbər) is New York City’s Architecture and Design Month, the fifth annual month-long festival of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions taking place during the month of October.

Archtober presents special tours, lectures, films and exhibitions that focus on the importance of architecture and design in everyday life. The many participating organizations aim to raise awareness of the important role of design in our city and to build a lasting civic and international recognition of the richness of New York’s built environment.