The City We Imagined/The City We Made: New New York 2001-2010 is the sixth in an ongoing series of Architectural League exhibitions about contemporary architecture in New York City. This installment takes as its subject the planning, design, and building of New York in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Beginning in 2001, an array of powerful forces converged to dramatically transform large portions of the city. The events of September 11, the policies and priorities of the Bloomberg Administration, the volatile ups and downs of the global and local economies, advances in material and construction technologies, and a new interest among the public in leading edge architecture all combined to reshape New York in ways that we may not fully grasp for decades to come.

The City We Imagined/The City We Made documents this recent chapter in the city’s history, providing an overview of the most notable projects and proposals, plans and initiatives, so that New Yorkers can begin to shape an overall understanding of the decade and consider what the cumulative impact of this era of planning and building might be for the future of the city.

The exhibition is divided into two distinct but complementary sections that, in the space of the gallery, find physical expression in a 170’ long, two-sided display ribbon that winds its way through the exhibition space and which are recreated here on this website. On one side, “The City We Imagined” weaves together a chronology of major projects and proposals of the past ten years. Though far from comprehensive, this timeline nevertheless attests to the staggering amount of ambition and energy that was concentrated on reimagining New York during this last decade. The other side of the installation presents one thousand photographs that depict “The City We Made.” Taken by a volunteer corps of nearly one hundred architects and design professionals over the course of the past six months, these images offer an impressionistic view of how the city looks and feels after ten years of intense proposition, discussion and construction. If “The City We Imagined” represents aspirations for the city, “The City We Made” presents a snapshot of the city as it exists now.

Video interviews spaced throughout the exhibition present differing perspectives from a group of leading New Yorkers on how we might begin to understand and interpret the ways in which the city has changed. And Archipelago, an original video produced by the League’s Urban Omnibus project, explores how the city is used and experienced at the scale of the neighborhood and street.

The pause in construction caused by the economic downturn gives New Yorkers a valuable opportunity to examine where we are and to ask questions about where we want to go from here.

Have the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to reshape and invest in the physical city effectively positioned New York for continued dominance as a global city for the 21st century?

What has the impact of the decade been on New York’s neighborhoods?

How can we balance the often conflicting objectives of preserving the historic city while also allowing for new development?

What did some of the world’s leading contemporary architects contribute towards making New York a more livable, dynamic, and sustainable city?

How will New Yorkers look back on this period in fifty years?

Our hope is that The City We Imagined/The City We Made: New New York 2001-2010 can help catalyze many conversations, public and private, about New York and its future.

To visit “The City We Imagined,” click here.
To visit “The City We Made,” click here.

Exhibition installation, 250 Hudson Street. Photos: David Sundberg/Esto. All rights reserved.

July 2–August 15, 2010

Governors Island Building 110

Exhibition hours: Friday, 10-5;

Saturday-Sunday, 10-7

Free admission

For information about how to get to Governors Island, click here.

May 8th – June 26th, 2010

250 Hudson (Entrance on Dominick Street)

Exhibition hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Noon–7pm

Free Admission

Presented by

The Architectural League NY

Lead Sponsor


Associate Sponsor




Gregory Wessner

Associate Curators

Varick Shute, Matthew Storrie

Videographer/Digital Media Assistant

Reid Bingham

Curatorial Interns

Catharine Lowery, Eric Schub,Carlos Solis, Mariel Villeré

Photo Advisor


Exhibition Advisor

Rosalie Genevro

Exhibition Design

Moorhead & Moorhead

Graphic and Web Design

PS New York

Website Development

A production of Urban Omnibus,

a project of the Architectural League

Direction and editing: Cassim Shepard

Camera: Andreas Burgess

Additional camera: Hope Hall

Production assistance: Andrew Balmer

Post-production assistance: Reid Bingham


League staff members Nicholas Anderson, Anne Rieselbach and Sarah Snider contributed in a number of ways to the development of the exhibition.

The Architectural League thanks the following individuals for their assistance and advice in organizing this exhibition: Amale Andraos, Walter Chatham, William Dailey, John Fontillas, David Galipo, Hugh Hardy, Charles McKinney, Lyn Rice, and all of the individuals who agreed to beinterviewed for this project.

The League also thanks Renee Schoonbeek of the Hudson Square Connection and Jonathan Dean and James Cosentino of Jack Resnick & Sons for their assistance in arranging the venue for the exhibition.