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Green Tours


MAS is offering three tours after the Conference on Preservation and Climate Change,  ranging from an estate built by John D. Rockefeller to apartment houses on the Lower East Side. These tours are a chance to see what can be done to historic sites to move towards greater sustainability.

Sunday, October 17, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Rural Sustainability: Kykuit, Pocantico Center & Stone Barns

The tag line for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) logo is “Philanthropy in an Interdependent World,” an apt one for an organization whose projects reflect an environmentalist ethic. RBF is also responsible for the stewardship of the 3,400 acre John D. Rockefeller estate on the Hudson River, a model of sustainability. Preservationist Margaret Oldfather will lead the group on a tour that includes: the grand house called Kykuit (from a Dutch word for “overlook”), the Beaux Arts gardens punctuated with sculpture by Calder, Henry Moore, Noguchi and other modernist masters, the Pocantico Conference Center and the 1948 Marcel Breuer House, now undergoing restoration and energy updating. The group will also visit the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, with its efficient buildings, farm animals, hillside gardens and extensive greenhouses. Transportation is by chartered van. A light lunch is included in the $60 ticket.  Reservations and pre-payment required.

Sunday, October 17, 1:00-3:00 p.m. – Going Green in the Flatiron District

Architectural historian Matt Postal will provide historical and architectural context as he leads the group on visits to two LEED certified rehabilitations, one a landmarked building and the other an office with an unexpected view. At the sites, architects will lead the tours and discuss how they made these spaces more efficient and pleasant work environments.  At 200 Fifth Ave. (The International Toy Building), principals from STUDIOS Architecture will lead a tour of the interior of the landmark building, in which bronze curtain walls and bronze-clad sashes have been replaced and an interior courtyard once occupied by mechanical equipment is now filled with light and bamboo. At the Cook +Fox offices, the architects will describe how they developed a daylight-based lighting plan and made choices such as denim insulation and waterless urinals, as well as the most striking symbol of their move towards sustainability — the green roof. It reduces water runoff while providing a close-up view of ever-changing nature through the office windows. Fee: $20.

Sunday, October 17, 1:00-4:00 p.m. – Lower East Side Boiler Tour

Henry Gifford says, “I demand to know how things work.” That attitude and his willingness to put in the effort and time to understand how things do work has enabled him to learn the best ways to save energy—and money. When Gifford was a young landlord he learned that the cost to run the boiler was the largest variable in building expenses. He also learned that overheated apartments with wide-open windows and clanking radiators are signs of boiler ignorance and waste. Come along for an unexpectedly fascinating look at boilers, the heart of many a New York building. The New Yorker Magazine profiled Henry Gifford on his first boiler tour, which attracted participants from Ohio and Minnesota. Fee: $20.