On Friday July 20th, 2018, please join the Harvard Alumni Architecture and Urban Society for an evening tour of Governors Island with the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, Michael Samuelian. The Trust for Governors Island, an entity of the City of New York, is a non-for-profit organization responsible for the planning, redevelopment, and operations of 150 acres of Governors Island.
The Island, which was transferred to the City and State of New York in 2003, has since been undergoing a rapid transformation into a destination with public open space and urban farms, as well as a community for educational, nonprofit, and commercial facilities. This is includes the West 8-designed, 30-acre park to the north of the island, and The Hills, a landmark feature of the island, that rises up to 70 feet above the Harbor and is made of recycled construction and fill materials. Michael will talk about these recent developments as well as plans for the island’s future.
The 45-min tour will begin 7pm and will be followed by discussion over drinks at Island Oyster (cash bar), a new waterfront Oyster Bar that offers panoramic views of New York Harbor and downtown Manhattan.
Governors Island is easily accessible by ferry from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn and is open until late on Fridays in the summer. The group will meet off of the Manhattan Ferry Landing (Soissons landing) and the tour will begin promptly at 7pm. To ensure arrival on time, please be sure to take the 6:30pm ferry which departs from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street. Tickets for Governors Island ferries can be purchased at the ticket booths but there are often lines to board, so one must plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before the planned departure. More information on the ferry schedule can be found here.
Michael M. Samuelian, FAIA, AICP
Michael Samuelian is the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, not-for-profit organization created by the City of New York and charged with the planning, redevelopment, and ongoing operations of 150 acres of Governors Island.
Prior to his appointment as President of the Trust, Michael was a Vice President with Related Companies, where his work focused on the design of large-scale public private development projects. He was responsible for the urban planning and design of Hudson Yards, a $25 billion master plan for 17 million square feet of mixed-use development on Manhattan’s West Side.
After 9/11, Michael was the Director of Lower Manhattan Special Projects at the New York City Department of City Planning, helping the city's efforts to redevelop downtown. In this position, he worked with a variety of constituents, ranging from the local community boards to state and city agencies to develop consensus for the disposition of federal funds dedicated to the recovery and rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Michael also led the effort to plan and design a new waterfront park on the East River and was the city's representative in the development and production of the World Trade Center Commercial Design Guidelines.
Michael’s professional career as an architect has focused on large-scale commercial and urban planning projects beginning his career with Machado Silvetti in Boston, SMWM in San Francisco and HOK Architects in New York. At HOK he was the lead designer on a number of commercial, transportation and institutional projects including; Penn Station Acela Improvements, the Integrated Science Facility at SUNY Geneseo and the Somerset Corporate Center.
He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cooper Union and his Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University. Michael is also currently an Assistant Professor at Cooper Union, where he teaches a course titled “Professional Practice” in the School of Architecture.
Michael is a Fellow of the AIA, a registered architect in New York State and a member of the New York State Board for Architecture. He also serves on the Board of Governors of Open House New York (OHNY).