Cycle 1: Summer – Fall 2017

Autumn Equinox
September 22, 2017 @ 4:03PM

Opening discussion – Saturday, June 24, 2017, 5PM
The discussion will trace the history of the Lower East Side / Chinatown area, and the history of Seward Park as the first municipally built playground.
We will explore the transformations of the Seward Park library building, Seward Park itself, and recreation & public space of the diverse ethnic and
cultural communities in the neighborhood.

with Andrew Fairweather, Joyce Mendelsohn, Daisy Paez, Ron Castellano & Robert Lee
Moderated by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong + Alexis Kraft

+ Andrew Fairweather is a librarian at the New York Public Library’s Seward Park Branch on the Lower East Side. One of his duties among others includes
maintaining the Lower East Side Heritage Collection, an eclectic collection of books, articles, photographs, and various ephemera collected by Seward
Park Librarians, the majority of which date from the 1930s-80s.

+ Joyce Mendelsohn, educator, historian and writer, is widely known for her walking tours and lectures on topics related to New York City’s history.
She served as the first Director of Education at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and was the Education Consultant for the Historic House Trust
of New York City. Mendelsohn is the author of ‘The Lower East Side, Remembered & Revisited—History and Guide to a Legendary New York Neighborhood.

+ Daisy Paez is a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side, a public servant and community advocate. She has worked for The Educational Alliance for
nearly 23 years and is a voting member of Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs & Waterfront Committee (CB3). She is President of the Grand Street
Guild Resident Association.

+ Ron Castellano is an architect and developer who has been working in the LES/Chinatown area for decades. Most notable of Castellano’s
developments is the Landmark Forward building (East Broadway) and the Garfield building (Henry Street).

+ Robert Lee, curator at Asian American Arts Centre, has been exhibiting contemporary artists since 1983. He developed the Asian American Artists Archive
( – a visual history of their creative presence in the US. Lee previously worked with the Chinatown Working Group (CWG),
and was on the board of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC), a national advocacy organization for people of color in the arts. Lee currently
serves on the organizing committee of

+ Alexis Kraft is an architect and educator. He has taught at Parsons School of Design since 2003. His design practice and teaching investigate the
intersection of space and culture.