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Thread: Open House New York

  1. #1

    Default Open House New York

    From Architectural Record:

    New York City plans an open house

    June 10, 2003

    Plans are underway for an October weekend when the doors to numerous New York City buildings that are usually closed to the general public will be open for touring. The inaugural openhousenewyork weekend, October 11-12, 2003, will be a free event with hundreds of architectural and historically significant buildings open in all five boroughs.

    Openhousenewyork describes the breadth of places that will be open to be “famous landmarks to insider favorites, subways to substations, tunnels to towers, boardrooms to bedrooms, mansions to markets, and radical new work to historic sites.” Educational handouts will be available at each site.

    Organized by Executive Director Scott Lauer, an architect with New York’s Anderson Architects, openhousenewyork will be modeled on similar open house programs in London and Toronto. More than 360,000 visitors toured 500 sites during London Open House weekend in September 2002.

    A benefit party earlier this spring at the West Village home of Dorothy Hom and Michael Strauss set the stage for openhousenewyork. The fundraising event featured a presentation of new photography by Stanley Greenberg, author and photographer of Invisible New York.

    In supporting openhousenewyork, Terence Riley, chief curator, department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art, said, “This important event will initiate a public discussion about New York’s urban environment and be instrumental in galvanizing an activist discourse and meaningful change.”

    Visit to support the program, to volunteer, or for more information.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2002
    New York City

    Default New York City Plans an Open House

    That's gonna be cool. *Chrysler and 70 Pine Street would definitely be on my list. *And since I'll be going to NYU, both of them will be relatively close to me.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2002
    West Harlem

    Default New York City Plans an Open House

    I'll be there.

  4. #4
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village

    Default New York City Plans an Open House

    Can't waste this opportunity. I wonder if they'll open the Cloud Room.

  5. #5

    Default New York City Plans an Open House a reminder.

  6. #6


    I've made this a sticky topic as the event is approaching. If you can, please take pictures.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2002
    West Harlem


    Thanks. I've already made a list.

  8. #8


    How To Get On The Tours

    A good place to begin a New York architectural tour is the city's newest site. The Center for Architecture opened on Tuesday at 538 LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village as a public information center operated by the American Institute of Architects. Over the weekend, it will be distributing free Openhousenewyork maps.

    Andrew Berman, who designed the space, cut away the section of ground-level floor nearest the storefront windows, eliminating some precious square footage but letting daylight cascade into the basement, which doubles as a theater and exhibition space. The center opened with a showcase of architectural projects around the city, including the grand hopes for the 2012 Olympics. But perhaps the most unusual feature is the climate control unit -- a geothermal system that cools the rooms by circulating cold water pumped from 1,260 feet below ground, making air conditioning virtually free.

    For more information on the Center for Architecture, call the temporary phone number, 212-358-0640, or go to .

    Some of the other sites will be open all day tomorrow and Sunday, but others will be open only during selected hours and may require reservations. Admission is free to all. The complete list of Openhousenewyork sites and their hours is available on the organization's Web site,, or by calling the hotline, 917-583-2398.

    Center for Architecture

    Open Secrets: City Landmarks Welcome Visitors For First Time

    By Justin Davidson
    Staff Writer

    October 9, 2003, 8:01 PM EDT

    New York is a city of open secrets. Its urban and architectural history is recorded as much in dusty relics, unmarked doorways and forgotten feats of engineering as in grand commercial palaces and soaring monuments.

    The city has its evocative ruins, from the blackened, twisted sculptures of the piers along the Hudson River to the crumbling ramparts of Fort Totten in Bayside. It has its vestiges of once awesomely modern, still functioning technology, like the late 19th century brass-and-iron power plant at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. And all over town are pockets of evocatively recycled real estate, like the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Flatbush, which was begun in 1652 and kept growing and changing for the next 200 years.

    This weekend, more than 80 such landmarks and curiosities in all five boroughs will open their doors, which in some cases have literally been welded shut for years. As part of the first, hopefully annual weekend staged by Openhousenewyork, the Parks Department is prying padlocks off monuments, house-proud homeowners are plumping pillows and amateur tour guides are honing their spiels. The tiny organization, which boasts a staff of three, several dozen volunteers and pats on the back from an assortment of urbanistic and architectural institutions, has launched a Web site and printed an illustrated map, available at one of half a dozen "welcome centers." Creating an itinerary is up to the public. Admission is free to all sites.

    The project is the brainchild of Scott Lauer, an architect with a passion for New York City's byways. "I lived in London for eight years," he said, "and during that time I watched London Open House grow from a small, grassroots organization with 30 sites to one of the largest public events on the London calendar, with 500 sites, engaging 360,000 people. When I came back, I assumed someone else would take it on in New York. I waited patiently for three or four years, but nothing seemed to be happening and my friends got tired of hearing me talk about it, but not doing anything about it. So I started making some phone calls."

    On a blustery morning last week, two years after the first of those calls, Lauer was standing at the foot of High Bridge Tower, a formidable-looking hexagonal structure overlooking the Harlem River that once served as a way station for drinking water that flowed into Manhattan from the Croton River upstate. A parks ranger, Tony Fiore, had obligingly unlocked the door, and a few police officers wandered by to huff their way up the spiral iron stairs and peer out the begrimed windows at the top.

    From there, Lauer led our urban safari downtown, to the Grand Lodge of Masons on West 23rd Street, where an official guide, Javier Camacho, cataloged the famous local members (they included Louis B. Mayer, Al Jolson and Theodore Roosevelt), and offered a sampling of the building's gaudy compendium of decorative styles. The Egyptian Room is covered in ersatz hieroglyphs. The ceiling of the Gothic Room, modeled on the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, glints with stars on a midnight-blue background. The Empire Room is a rhapsody in gilt.

    A few blocks south and also on the Openhousenewyork roster is the Terrapin-Chelsea Art Gallery, the fantastical home of Pamela Harvey-Rath and Colin Rath, built into the ground floor and basement level of a town house on West 15th Street. The Raths are sea lovers who have modeled every surface of their house, from the undulating mesh railing along the upper-floor landing to the contoured plaster walls, on the movement of waves and the roundness of open sky. Live fish glide down a river flowing through the living room -- a scale model of the Yangtze. A miniature constellation of fiber-optic pinpoint lights twinkles in the ceiling, and their 2-year-old daughter sleeps in a windowless room beneath a reproduction of the sky from Van Gogh's "Starry Night," done not in paint but in marbles arranged on grates.

    For now, Openhousenewyork is a scattershot collection of sites, packed with quirks and laced with obvious omissions. Lauer is already raking in ideas for future editions, but in the meantime, even in the event's inaugural year, a manic five-borough sprint would cover only a fraction of what's on view. The starting gun goes off tomorrow at 9 a.m.

    Sneak Peek At Open House New York

    Copyright © Newsday, Inc.

  9. #9


    I dont see the chrystler or woolworth in the website list. Anyone know if theyll be opened?

  10. #10


    This thread is no longer sticky; but feel free to post here.

  11. #11
    Banned Member
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    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    It was a nice event. The biggest problem for me was cramming in as much as possible in the short time frame.

    I toured the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street, The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen on 44th Street, The Waldorf Astoria, City Hall and Tweed Courthouse (which was SPECTACULAR).

    Hope others got out and enjoyed it as well.

  12. #12

  13. #13



    More Than 45,000 Visitors Take Part in Largest Celebration of Architecture and Design in New York City History

    Second Annual openhousenewyork Scheduled for October 9 & 10, 2004

    NEW YORK – November 14, 2003 – openhousenewyork (OHNY) announced today that its first annual open house was a resounding success. More than 45,000 New Yorkers and visitors participated in the free tours and programs that comprised the event, which took place the weekend of October 11 and 12, 2003. OHNY provided unprecedented access – free of charge – to 85 fascinating sites of architectural and design interest in neighborhoods throughout all five boroughs, and was the largest event of its kind in New York City history. The second annual OHNY is scheduled for the weekend of October 9 and 10, 2004, with an even broader and more diverse array of participating sites planned for the coming year.

    "We are thrilled with the terrific attendance and site participation in our inaugural year,” said Scott Lauer, founder and executive director of OHNY, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to engaging the public and increasing awareness and appreciation of New York’s built environment. “It exceeded our expectations, and is a testament to both the public’s interest in architecture and design, and the willingness of our site sponsors to share the history and design inspiration behind some of the city’s most treasured spaces, both new and old.”

    Participating sites ranged from historic landmark buildings such as Gracie Mansion, Tweed Courthouse and City Hall; to monuments such as the Sailor’s and Soldier’s Memorial at Grand Army Plaza and Washington Square Memorial Arch; to industrial landmarks such as the High Line, Pratt University Power Plant, and the High Bridge Water Tower; to tours of New York Harbor, the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Meatpacking District fashion boutiques; to cutting-edge private residences, art galleries, architectural studios and more. A full list of participating sites is available at .

    “Visitors to OHNY participating sites represented not only all five boroughs, but 32 states and 25 countries,” said Lauer. “Through OHNY, we were able to increase awareness, heighten visibility, and build new audiences for these significant spaces, including 50 arts, civic and educational institutions.”

    According to OHNY estimates, the most visited sites included:
    · Grand Lodge of the Masons: 2,100 visitors – the lavishly decorated headquarters
    of the New York City freemasons
    · New York Marble Cemetery – 2,000 visitors – the city’s oldest non-sectarian burial ground
    · City Hall and Tweed Courthouse – 1,800 visitors – a tour of one of the great American public interiors, City Hall, and the recently restored Tweed Courthouse, one of New York’s most ornate structures.
    · Terrapin Chelsea Art Gallery – 1,600 visitors – a private gallery and home that features a scale-model of the Yangtze River running through its interior.
    · Green-Wood Cemetery – 1,600 visitors – tours included public access to the cemetery catacombs for the first time in its 165-year history
    · Gracie Mansion – 1,570 visitors – the recently restored official mayoral residence

    OHNY was inspired by the success of similar events that have taken place over the past decade in London, Toronto and other cities around the world. The first annual OHNY was launched as part of New York City’s first Architecture Week. A guide and map highlighting all participating sites was created by renowned graphic designer Seymour Chwast, as was a special children’s map and guide containing activity sheets about each site’s history, architecture and design.

    Through an annual open house weekend and other public programs throughout the year, OHNY enables a diverse audience to learn about New York’s rich architectural, urban and historical development by providing access to innovative and inspiring sites of architectural, engineering and design significance. Supporters of OHNY include many of the city’s leading arts institutions, civic groups and government representatives, including: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; City Council Speaker Gifford Miller; council members Gale Brewer, Alan Gerson, Margarita Lopez, Eva Moskowitz, James Oddo, Bill Perkins, Christine Quinn, Jose Serrano Jr., and David Weprin; Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe; Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin; the J.M. Kaplan Fund; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York Council for the Humanities; the Isaac and Bertha Liberman Foundation; and NYC & Company.

    Major funding for openhousenewyork kids project has been provided by Mellon Financial Corporation Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by Scholastic Inc.

    Press Contact:
    Sonja Lee, openhousenewyork
    Phone: 917.626.6869

  14. #14
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    West Harlem


    I can't wait til next year...

  15. #15
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    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

    Default Open House New York 2004


    Bronx | Brooklyn | Manhattan | Queens | Staten Island

    second annual openhousenewyork weekend, presented by Target
    October 9 & 10, 2004

    The Second Annual OHNY weekend is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday, October 9 & 10, 2004. 100 fascinating spaces and places in all five boroughs will be open for tours - free of charge. Each site will offer different experiences, including guided and self-guided tours, informal talks and conversations with the designers. Complete site information, opening times, and travel directions are available for each borough. Please review the listings, check the hours and day(s) of participation, and whether advance reservations are required. Site opening hours and security arrangements are controlled by the site's owners and vary at each site. openhousenewyork cannot accept responsibility for changes made by site owners. We recommend that you bring a street map with more detailed information and wear comfortable shoes. Look for open doors and a warm welcome!

    IMPORTANT: Click here for site updates and special events

    architecture week
    New York City’s Second Annual Architecture Week kicks off at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place at Bleecker Street.
    Monday, October 4: Exhibition Opening of Design Awards AIA New York
    Tuesday, October 5: Design-In Marathon: A 12-hour, 60-speaker showcase of current thinking in the building profession
    Wednesday, October 6: Students’ Day Workshop
    Saturday & Sunday, October 9 & 10: openhousenewyork, the Center for Architecture will serve as an Information and Welcome Center during the weekend.

    Event guides are currently available at the following locations:
    The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place at Bleecker Street
    Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2 91st Street at Fifth Avenue
    Grand Central Partnership, Information Booth, Grand Central Terminal
    Municipal Art Society, 457 Madison Avenue between 50th & 51st Streets
    NYC & Company Visitors' Center, 810 Seventh Avenue between 52nd & 53rd Streets
    Wall Street Rising, 25 Broad Street at Exchange Place

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