5 Minutes With the Bronx Children's Museum Team

Bronx Children’s Museum, Awards for Excellence in Adaptive Reuse Finalist 

Carla Precht, Founding Executive Director, Bronx Children’s Museum

Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?  

I was most influenced by my very first boss, Louis Vasquez, a local resident of East Harlem and a longtime social services and community leader. Louis gave me many opportunities to grow at Union Settlement House in East Harlem, where I was originally hired in the 70’s to be an art teacher and eventually developed into being an administrator. As a young naïve woman of privilege working in a community outside my own background, Louis’ vote of confidence was huge. He saw that I was a generalist with a deep respect for all people, no matter what their color or ethnicity, and possessed an ability to tackle multi-disciplinary projects with a creative flare. 

As a ULI NY Awards nominee, what makes you most proud of your project?  

We created a unique and stunningly beautiful space for children and families in the only borough in NYC that did not have one. Public space is like a mirror. For children and families who have historically been marginalized, it was extremely important to create an incredibly graceful and visually stunning space that reflected all the beauty of the Bronx and its families. Together with our architects, we used all the design tools and materials at our disposal to create this space that celebrates and mirrors the Bronx and its treasures. 

What is your favorite off the beaten path New York location or activity? 

I especially like going to the family friendly Governor’s Island to experience nature, history, the architecture, the surrounding waterways and smells, the ferry, the views, and the cultural diversity the city has to offer. Our museum is like a mini-Governor’s Island in many ways.