Insider Tour: Weeksville Heritage Center (Early Tour)

Event Pass Information

Event Pass Type
Price
Quantity
Student with Valid .edu Email Address$15.00 USD
General Public$15.00 USD

Event Details

Join the AIANY Historic Buildings Committee for a special in-depth tour of the Weeksville Heritage Center. In addition to learning about the important history of the site and touring the historic houses, tourgoers will also visit the recently built Education Center and head about a planned restoration at the site. There are limited spots available for this unique afternoon experience, so register early!

Weeksville, part of the present-day neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, was the second-largest free Black community in pre-Civil War America. The Weeksville Heritage Center is a well-documented and rare extant example of an independent African American community organized by African American entrepreneurs and land investors. A deeply engaged community, residents sustained one of the first African American newspapers, advocated for abolition, and provided safe haven during the violent draft riots of the Civil War era. Weeksville was all but forgotten until the late 1960s, when a small group of community activists rediscovered four dilapidated houses that were remnants of historic Weeksville. The Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, as they are known today, are designated New York City landmarks and listed on the National Register. The acclaimed Education Center, designed by Caples Jefferson Architects, was built in 2014 to enhance the historic houses and create a coherent community precinct. The 23,000-square-foot complex includes a new museum and state-of-the-art exhibition, performance, and educational facilities. A restoration by CTA Architects of the four Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, originally constructed between 1840 and 1883, is planned to begin this fall. 

Speakers:
Daniel Allen AIA, Principal, CTA Architects 
Michael Behrman AIA, Associate Principal, Caples Jefferson Architects
Sara Caples AIA, Principal, Caples Jefferson Architects

This is the Early Tour session of the Weeksville Heritage Center Tour. Schedule:
2:00 - 3:00 pm - Early Tour
3:00 - 4:00pm - Architects' Discussion
4:00 - 5:00pm - Late Tour (Register here for the late tour)

About the Speakers:
Daniel Allen is a principal of CTA Architects and the firm’s historic preservation specialist. He is the Principal-in-Charge of the restoration of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses. Allen began his career in preservation over thirty years ago as an architectural terra cotta and cast stone craftsman before receiving a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. His preservation work has been recognized by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the Preservation League of New York State, Residential Architect Magazine, and the Society of American Registered Architects New York and national chapters. In addition to his role at CTA, Allen is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University and the former President of the Board of Directors of the Historic Districts Council.

Michael Behrman is Associate Principal at Caples Jefferson Architects (CJA). He is an architect, project manager, and specifications writer with almost 30 years of experience in the field and over 20 years with CJA. Behrman is particularly detail oriented, having a comprehensive knowledge of standards, codes, and procedures for all the institutional entities that the firm serves. He is the primary project manager for most of the firm’s cultural and educational projects and was instrumental to the development of the Weeksville Heritage Center project.

Sara Caples is Principal and Co-founder of Caples Jefferson Architects. Caples began her career focusing on the design and direction of large projects, particularly in the public realm. Since founding the firm with Everardo Jefferson in 1987, they have focused on creating works that ground nuanced formal design principles in social and cultural context—almost all of their work is designed for public and institutional clients, committed to engaging in the needs of the community. They are currently designing new institutional homes for the Africa Center and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Caples is a frequent lecturer at schools, universities, and community and professional organizations. Most recently, she served as Davenport Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture.

Tours have been modified to align with COVID-19 guidelines for safety. To enter the houses or any WHC facility, proof of vaccination must be presented. For more information please click here.