On June 6, a film highlighting contributions by female architects, engineers, and builders in shaping the New York skyline will have its world premiere at the SVA Theatre, in Manhattan. Unknown New York: The City that Women Built is the fifth film in eight years to be released by Beverly Willis, FAIA, and her New York–based non-profit organization, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF). Told through images and a historical narrative, the 17-minute documentary directed by Willis will showcase 234 projects designed, engineered, or developed by women.
According to the BWAF’s website, the film was inspired by the foundation’s 2014 challenge to New Yorkers to identify 100 buildings designed and built by women in their city. The foundation was thrilled to receive 350 nominations, revealing not only skyscrapers, houses, and structures, but also gardens and bridges “that give New York City its rich and complex urban fabric,” the website notes.
“Women architects and builders have been shaping the skyline of New York City for decades, but very few have been recognized for their accomplishments,” says BWAF executive director Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, in the foundation’s press release. “With this film, we hope to not only showcase the work of these inspirational women, but also to inspire more young women to enter these professions."
The film’s Kickstarter site, which includes a trailer, notes that Unknown New York “rights the wrong of the history of architecture being written with women under-represented or unrepresented. … It is the [BWAF’s] hope that once the film is completed, young women (and men!) will be encouraged by these creative women and inspired to join in re-writing the history books to include a broader narrative, and even to become architects themselves.”
A map illustrating many of the projects noted in the film will be distributed at this year’s AIA Conference on Architecture, held June 21-23 in New York.
Unknown New York: The City that Women Built will be screened on June 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET, at the SVA Theatre in New York. For more information, visit the BWAF’s website for the event.