June 1 - August 18 2023

Applications due March 19, 2023

︎︎︎ Applications Closed
︎︎︎ Introduction
︎︎︎ Practical Info
︎︎︎ Download PDF

2023 Summer Residency
at the Block House

The Block House

Fellows will live and work in a landmarked, brick Greek Revival building designed in the 1840s by architect Martin E. Thompson. During the decades during which Governor’s Island was a U.S. military base, the Block House served as a General’s headquarters, Officers' quarters and a hospital. The Block House contributes to the vibrant, culturally diverse and verdant Nolan Park and is one of the oldest structures on the Island.

The IPA has restored and equipped the Block House to support the Summer Fellow cohort and create a productive environment for living and working. Fellows will have access to:

  • A private bedroom with individual climate control, supplied with a full (double) bed, pillows and sheets, a personal desk and chair, lockable cabinet and storage space.

  • A shared bathroom and in-house laundry with washer and dryer.

  • A fully-equipped shared kitchen and dining room with a standard oven, fridge, microwave, blender, and tableware.

  • Common workspaces and living areas.

  • Outdoor areas adjacent to the house with tables, chairs and open space.

  • 24-hour security and in-house program and facilities staff.

  • Proximity to more than twenty arts, cultural, educational, and environmental nonprofit organizations-in-residence on the Island.

  • Complementary transportation to and from the Island via ferry service from Lower Manhattan and West Brooklyn with access to public transportation connections to major transportation hubs.

Island Life

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. Just minutes from Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront by ferry, the Island is a popular destination open to visitors year-round. An award-winning park complements its dozens of historic buildings, educational and cultural facilities, rich arts and culture programs, and 22-acre National Monument. The Island features expansive open space, playgrounds, a series of dining and food-truck options, historic sites, trails, kayak and bicycle rentals, an urban farm, athletic fields, birdwatching, and sweeping views of the New York and New Jersey skylines.

The Block House is currently the only building on Governors Island that supports short-term overnight accommodations for cultural and academic purposes. As such, Fellows will enjoy exclusive expanded access to the Island beyond its regular operating hours. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of the many events, exhibitions, lectures, sports competitions, workshops and festivals throughout the Summer on the Island (some as close as the Block House front yard!).

Current tenants include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, Billion Oyster Project, Beam Center, Shandaken Projects, QC New York Spa, Buttermilk Labs, Earth Works and many more seasonal organizations-in-residence.

Governors Island

The Island was referred to as Paggank (Nut Island) by the indigenous Lenape of the Manhattan region, after its plentiful hickory, oak and chestnut trees. With the arrival of the Dutch West India Company in 1624, the Island was confiscated and renamed “Noten Eylandt” and a small fort and sawmill was constructed. In 1664 the English captured New Amsterdam and took Nutten Island (the British mispronunciation of the Island) transforming it into a fort and garrison, eventually renaming it Governors Island and reserving it for the “benefit and accommodation of His Majesty’s Governors.”

After the American Revolution, the State of New York took control of the Island as part of an effort to fortify coastal defenses and constructed Fort Jay. In 1800, New York transferred the Island to the US government for military use. In 1966, the Island was transferred to the US Coast Guard, becoming a self-contained residential community with a population of over 3,000. As a cost cutting measure, the Coast Guard closed its facilities and relocated all personnel in 1996. In 2003, the Island was transferred back to the City and State of New York, with a provision that it be used for the public benefit. Today three entities act as stewards and advocates for the Island: The Trust for Governors Island, the National Park Service and the Friends of Governors Island.

︎︎︎ Applications Closed
︎︎︎ Introduction
︎︎︎ Practical Info
︎︎︎ Download PDF

Institute for Public Architecture

45 E 20th Street Suite 500
New York, NY 10003

Drop us a line: info@the-ipa.org


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