Center for Art,
Research and Alliances

Building & Place

CARA is located at 225 West 13th Street in New York’s West Village, which CARA recognizes as situated in Lenapehoking, the unceded lands of the Lenni-Lenape and home to Indigenous peoples past, present, and future.

CARA joins a block known for its activist history, with neighbors including the LGBTQ Community Center, Integral Yoga Institute and the Church of the Village.

CARA occupies the renovated former warehouse of the New York Consolidated Card Company, whose iconic playing cards (e.g. “Bicycle” and “Bee”) were manufactured in an adjoining facility on West 14th street. Over the course of its history, 225 West 13th Street has been home to a range of organizations including a plumbing supply store and a taxi cab company, and later, housed various creative practitioners such as painter David Deutsch, film production company Verisimilitude, the band LCD Soundsystem and DFA records.

CARA’s renovation was sensitively undertaken by London’s 6a architects from 2019-2022. In order to reconfigure the building for exhibition and public gathering space, the original structure and proportions were excavated, with a new core inserted to open the rear and side of the building. The material palette of the building is a reduced New York vernacular; CMU (NY concrete block), exposed services and steelwork leave traces of their making alongside the original fabric. Reminding us of Manhattan’s bedrock, two original heavily worn granite bollards flanking the entrance are echoed in the occasional use of granite inside. Drawing on the epic and everyday context of our surroundings in Manhattan, the building houses both event space and offices with a pocket garden designed by Dan Pearson Studio.

Architect: 6a architects. Project team: 20X Architects (architect of record), Arup (structural and services engineer), Dan Pearson Studio (landscape architect), Paratus (project management), Eurostruct Inc. (general contractor).

We are grateful for all of the members of the many project teams that stewarded the process with such diligence and care.