Open House New York’s annual urban scavenger hunt is one of our favorite events to organize each year, and this year’s event on Saturday, June 17th, did not disappoint! More than 75 teams participated, with 56 competing for points via Instagram over the course of the day. Participants braved a downpour earlier in the day, which made for some pretty entertaining photos. We were impressed with everyone’s tenacity—this was quite an intrepid group!

This year’s hunt looked back on how much New York City has changed in the 15 years since the very first OHNY Weekend took place back in 2003. Scavenger hunters solved 65 clues about the buildings and places that dominated the headlines during this period of enormous change in the city, and raced across the five boroughs to visit as many of the sites as possible before the clock ran out at 5pm.

Below, we’ve broken down how the day played out, by the numbers. Thanks to everyone who made it out this past weekend, and congratulations to this year’s winners: The Now York Rats and Team Fresh-Skillz, who tied for first place (!), The Bone Zoners, and The Unholy Trinity, which placed third and fourth, respectively. And thanks as well to our friends at A/D/O, which hosted our closing reception!

Total # of photos submitted: 788
Photos submitted per hour: 112.5
Photos submitted per minute: 1.9
Total points scored: 2623
Average points per team: 47

Teams that went to at least one outer borough: 34
Teams that went to 2-3 outer boroughs: 14

Most correctly-identified sites:

 1. Clue #42: World Trade Center Oculus (27 teams)
 2. Clue #22: 111 Eighth Avenue (26 teams)
 3. Clue #58: Eataly (26 teams)
 4. Clue #15: Bank of America Tower (25 teams)
 5. Clue #23: Hearst Tower (25 teams)
 6. Clue #34: High Line 10th Avenue Amphitheater (25 teams)
 7. Clue #38: Fulton Center Sky-Reflector Net (25 teams)

Clues most frequently answered incorrectly:

 1. Clue #55: MoMA QNS (7 teams, all of whom thought this clue referred to PS1)
 2. Clue #65: Apple Store SoHo (6 teams, all of which guessed the Apple Store on Grand Army Plaza,
 while the clue asked for the brand’s *first* NYC location)
 3. Clue #44: Citibike Station at The Plaza (5 teams)
 4. Clue #34: High Line 10th Avenue Amphitheater (4 teams)
 5. Clue #58: Eataly (4 teams)

Most popular outer borough sites:

 1. Clue #14: A/D/O (12 teams)
 2. Clue #11: 5Pointz Site (8 teams)
 3. Clue #39: St. George Ferry Terminal Fish Tanks (7 teams)
 4. Clue #59: TWA Flight Center (7 teams)
 5. Clue #4: The Brooklyner (6 teams)
 6. Clue #26: Citi Field (6 teams)
 7. Clue #30: Rockaway Boardwalk (6 teams)
 8. Clue #33: New York State Pavilion (6 teams)

Least-visited sites:

 1. Clue #16: The New Fulton Fish Market (0 teams – the only clue out of 65 that was not visited by any
 of the competing teams)
 2. Clue #6: Via Verde (1 team)
 3. Clue #31: Kings Theatre (1 team)
 4. Clue #46: Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility (1 team)
 5. Clue #57: IKEA Park (1 team)
 6. Clue #35: Bayonne Bridge (While five teams got points for this clue, only one—Team Heart-Shaped
 Waffles—actually went and stood under the Bridge for a double-point bonus!)

Farthest distance between two sites: As the crow flies, the Rockaway Boardwalk (Clue #30) and the Bayonne Bridge (Clue #35) are roughly equidistant from the Kingsbridge Armory (Clue #32), just over 20 miles away
Shortest distance between two sites: 2 Columbus Circle (Clue #49) and the Time Warner Center (Clue #63) stand about 97 feet apart across Eighth Avenue

Leaderboard (by total points scored):

 1. The Now York Rats (130)
 1. Team Fresh-Skillz (130)
 3. The Bone Zoners (108)
 4. The Unholy Trinity (91)
 5. Heart-Shaped Waffles (89)
 6. Doobs (85)
 7. Jay Jideliov (84)
 8. The Spuyten Duyvils (79)
 9. Olmsted’s Homestead (78)
 10. IND Second System (74)
 11. TimEd (73)
 12. Chugga (69)
 13. SicK (66)
 14. Golden Empire State Bears (63)
 15. Escape to the Country (60)
 15. The Yabaton Twins (60)

When we think of Open House New York, we rightfully think about buildings and the thrill of getting access to the otherwise inaccessible. But this summer, in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Open House New York Weekend, we invite you to join us as we explore some of the deeper values and ideas that make the experience of architecture and cities so powerful, values and ideas that Open House New York itself champions in its programs.

Open House New York has invited a group of leading thinkers from design, art, science, and media for open-ended conversations about life in the contemporary city. In different but compelling ways, the work of each of these individuals helps us better understand the pleasures and frustrations of living an urban life, and asks questions that challenge the way we see and think about the city. Each conversation is structured around a broad theme but all will explore how fundamental values like openness and access help shape our experience of New York and give cities everywhere their vitality and meaning.

All of the talks in this series will take place at 7pm on select Thursday evenings from June through September at LMHQ in the Financial District (150 Broadway, 20th Floor).

Registration
Admission is free but reservations are required as space is limited. Each talk will last approximately one hour, and will be followed by a reception with wine and snacks.

 

Justin Davidson: On Exploration
On June 8, architecture and music critic Justin Davidson will join us for a conversation about exploration to celebrate the publication of his new book, Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York

Justin Davidson is the architecture and classical music critic at New York magazine, where he writes about a broad range of urban, civic, and design issues. He grew up in Rome, graduated from Harvard, and later earned a doctoral degree in music composition at Columbia University. As a classical music and cultural critic at Newsday, he won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2002. His new book, Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York, is a portrait of New York told through art, music, history, literature, and architecture.

 

 

 

Miquela Craytor: On Inclusion
On July 13, Miquela Craytor, a planner and Vice President of Industrial Policy at New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), will speak about her work advocating for the use of sustainable development to address reinvestment in under-served communities
Reservations for this talk will begin at 10am on 6/29

Miquela Craytor is the Director of Industrial Policy at NYCEDC.  Her work has consisted of overseeing the city’s revived industrial policy efforts. Projects include the city-wide Industrial Action Plan and overseeing the Futureworks NYC initiatives, a $13 million suite of investments in advanced manufacturing services. She was formerly the executive director at Sustainable South Bronx for over three years. She also served as the Senior Planner for Economic Development in the economic arm of the Bronx Borough President’s office. She received a BA in planning, public policy, & management from the Honors College at the University of Oregon and her MS in city & regional planning from Pratt Institute. She is a 2010 Catto Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a 2010 BMW Transatlantic Fellow, and a board member of the NYC Workforce Development Corporation.

 

Alexandra Horowitz: On Observation
On July 27, scientist Alexandra Horowitz, author of On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation, will discuss her work on cognition and the ways in which we perceive the world around us
Reservations for this talk will begin at 10am on 7/13

Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the New York Times best-seller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (2009), On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation (2013), and Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell (2016). She is an adjunct Associate Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she teaches seminars in creative non-fiction and canine cognition, and performs research at the Dog Cognition Lab. She lives and walks in New York City with her husband, young son, and two large, sniffy dogs.

 

 

 

Vishaan Chakrabarti: On Opportunity
On August 3, architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, the Founding Principal of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, will speak about the city as a platform for a shared, vibrant and diverse culture that fosters opportunity
Reservations for this talk will begin at 10am on 7/20

Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU). Simultaneously, Vishaan is an Associate Professor of Practice at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation (GSAPP), where he teaches architectural design studios and seminars on urbanism. His highly acclaimed book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America (Metropolis Books, 2013), argues that a more urban United States would result in a more prosperous, sustainable, joyous, and socially mobile nation. He has been a guest on the Charlie Rose show, MSNBC’s The Cycle, NY1, NPR, WNYC, and has been profiled in the New York Times and the Financial Times.

 

Jorge Otero-Pailos: On Transitions
On August 17, artist and architect Jorge Otero-Pailos, the Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, will discuss his work exploring transitions from one historical period to the next, and how cultures use monuments to remember, to celebrate, and to come together
Reservations for this talk will begin at 10am on 8/3

Jorge Otero-Pailos works at the intersection of art, architecture and preservation. He is Director and Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture in New York. His work has been commissioned and exhibited by major museums, foundations and biennials notably, the Artangel Trust, the 53rd Venice Art Biennial, Victoria and Albert Museum, Louis Vuitton Museum La Galerie, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He is the founder and editor of Future Anterior, co-editor of Experimental Preservation (2016), author of Architecture’s Historical Turn (2010) and contributor to scholarly journals and books including the Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and Rem Koolhaas’ Preservation Is Overtaking Us (2014). He studied architecture at Cornell University and holds a PhD from MIT, and was a founding faculty member of the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.  

 

Prerana Reddy: On Engagement
On August 24, activist Prerana Reddy, who serves as Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement at the Queens Museum, will speak about the museum’s efforts to engage with the surrounding communities in the most diverse place in the country
Reservations for this talk will begin at 10am on 8/10

Prerana Reddy has been the Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement for the Queens Museum since 2005.  She organizes screening, talks, festivals, visual art exhibitions, artist residencies and performances, many of which are developed in collaboration with diverse local community organizations and cultural producers.  She is also in charge of the museum’s community engagement initiatives that combine arts and culture with social development goals in nearby neighborhoods predominately comprised of new immigrants such as museum’s offsite immigrant arts & education center Immigrant Movement International, and the design and ongoing programming of Corona Plaza. She holds an MA in Cinema Studies, with a focus on documentary and visual anthropology, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

 

Charlie Todd: On Delight
On September 7, director and comedian Charlie Todd, the founder of Improv Everywhere, will talk about his mission to surprise and delight through the unconventional use of public space
Reservations for this talk will begin at 10am on 8/24

Charlie Todd is the founder of Improv Everywhere, producing and directing the group’s work for over fifteen years. Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based comedy collective that stages unexpected performances in public places. Charlie also works as a television producer, serving as creator and executive producer for Improv Everywhere’s television pilot for NBC, and more recently as executive producer for MTV’s late night comedy, The Middle of the Night Show. He is a long-time performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He is also the author of Causing a Scene (2009), a book about Improv Everywhere published by Harper Collins.

 

 

 

 

This series is organized in partnership with LMHQ. Created by The Alliance for Downtown New York, LMHQ is a collaboration space for Lower Manhattan’s creatives and creators. Companies can come together at LMHQ to collaborate, activate, and accelerate their growth.

 

Photo: spikedhalo via Flickr

 

Open House New York challenges you to show how much you know about New York’s recent past!

A lot has changed in New York City since the first Open House New York Weekend took place on October 11 and 12, 2003. From the High Line and Hudson Yards to Citibike and the Second Avenue Subway, the city and our experience of it has changed dramatically over the past fifteen years. 40,000 new buildings were built, 450 miles of new bike lanes were laid, and more than a third of New York’s neighborhoods were rezoned.

Through it all, Open House New York was there, opening doors and giving New Yorkers access to the changing city. Now Open House New York invites you to test your knowledge about this vibrant and volatile period in New York’s history! To celebrate the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend, Open House New York has organized a citywide scavenger hunt of recent architecture, planning, and development. Travel the five boroughs while answering clues that send you to New York’s most breathtaking new buildings. Relive some of the city’s most heated preservation battles and uncover the policies and politics that shaped contemporary New York. Join us in celebrating a city that remains the greatest metropolis in the world!

How it Works:

  • Players must register in advance, as space is limited, and may play solo or in teams of up to 6 people. One person will register for your team and will be asked to submit a team name and the names of team members.
  • Each team will also be required to designate one Instagram account from which they will submit photos during the course of the scavenger hunt. Only photos submitted via this account will be counted toward your team’s total.
  • The person who registers your team will receive a follow-up email prompting them to send in any key info not provided on the registration form. If you don’t know your team name, all of the team members, or your preferred Instagram account when completing your registration, that info can be sent later, but must be confirmed prior to the event.
  • On June 17, check in at Open House New York (1133 Broadway, 2nd Floor) between 10 AM and 12 PM to receive clue pamphlets and New York Now Scavenger Hunt t-shirts, which will need to worn in each photo submitted in order to earn points.
  • From 10 AM – 5 PM, decipher clues and race across the city posting photos of you and your team in front of the key sites hinted at in more than sixty clues. To level the playing field, teams can walk, run, or take public transportation between sites—the use of bikes, private cars, or taxis is not allowed.
  • At the end of the day, join us for a closing reception from 5:30-7:30 PM at A/D/O (29 Norman Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn) where drinks and snacks will be served, winners announced, and prizes awarded!

Event Details
New York Now Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Check-in: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hunt: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closing Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Tickets: $35 per team member

REGISTER TODAY

 

Closing reception hosted by

Want to learn more about what’s happening at A/D/O? Click here to sign up for their newsletter.

 

Photo: Teri Tynes via Flickr

Over the past year, Open House New York opened the doors to more than 300 sites across the five boroughs for more than 88,000 visitors. As a small nonprofit organization, our work would not be possible without the generous participation and support of our members, donors, volunteers, partners, and friends! For this year’s edition of our annual I am Open House New York campaign, we talked to members of our community, from board members to volunteers, to ask why they are Open House New Yorkers and support our work all year long. 

 

 

mclaughlinERIC MCLAUGHLIN
Business Development, SilverLining Interiors
OHNY Program Partner and Benefit Committee Member

Open House New Yorker since… 2009. I first heard about OHNY when I saw a posting for a tour of the world’s oldest subway tunnel, which runs beneath Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and was rediscovered in 1980 after many decades of abandonment. That space itself was really spectacular, a relic that few knew about. To get to it, we climbed into a manhole in the middle of Atlantic Avenue and got lots of strange looks from passersby. The tour guide was very passionate about the tunnel and was the person that rediscovered it. The story of how he did so was fascinating. I bought a t-shirt and have supported OHNY ever since!

Most memorable Open House New York experience? It’s a small scale site but I really enjoyed touring the Little Red Lighthouse beneath the George Washington Bridge as part of the 2016 OHNY Weekend. It’s in my neighborhood and I’ve admired it for years. It was fun to finally take a peek inside.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I’m always looking for new things to explore, to refresh my perspective and deepen my understanding of my home city.

 

 

ghosh

ADITYA GHOSH
Job Captain, FXFOWLE
OHNY Scavenger Hunt Enthusiast

Open House New Yorker since… the New York Art Deco Scavenger Hunt in 2014. I was aware of Open House New York before then, but it was my love for Art Deco buildings got me involved as a participant. It was an opportunity to see exceptional design that we usually do not have means to experience. I continue to participate as much to see a building as I do to learn more about other landmarks lying in plain sight.

Most memorable Open House New York experience? Seeing the Belasco Theatre on Broadway during the Landmark Dash in 2015.  I had been to the theatre on more than one occasion before it, but like many others, I had only ever gone into the dimly lit space, seen the usual dazzle of the show, and walked out. Which is why the interiors – the geometry, the layers of lines created by the wooden lattice, and the murals – took me by surprise. I owed it to the task at hand as part of the event, which was to count the Tiffany lamps on the ceiling. Now I make sure to thoroughly ogle around every stage before a show!

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I see the city to be a museum with shutters over every art piece, and to see them sans locks is something everyone should have access to.

 

 

DARIA SIEGEL
Director, LHMQ; Vice President, Economic Development Programs, Downtown Alliance
OHNY Program Partner

Open House New Yorker since… 2006. I was in grad school and I remember hearing that for this one weekend, private spaces would be open…for free! It’s hard to believe there was a time before OHNY when we didn’t have an organization galvanizing New Yorkers to explore the amazing public and private spaces throughout New York City.

Most memorable Open House New York experience? This past OHNY Weekend I managed to snag tickets for the catwalks of Grand Central. Having access to view this extraordinary landmark five stories up is truly unforgettable. While it’s one of New York’s most visited sites, I consider myself lucky to have viewed it from this special perspective, behind the scenes.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I believe all New Yorkers should have access to the buildings and spaces that tell the story of our city and are defining its future.

 

 

leger

ELSIE ST. LÉGER
Interior Designer / Materials Consultant
OHNY Member and Volunteer

Open House New Yorker since… 2011. I don’t know when I first heard about Open House New York, but by the time I felt empowered to volunteer, I was a full-fledged design geek eager to share her love with other New Yorkers. For my first OHNY Weekend in 2011, I was assigned to a private residence on Prince Street. I was paired with a veteran, who taught me to deal with the minor stresses with a smile. I had a blast and knew I would be volunteering again and again. I made sure to work my schedule around the Weekend no matter what else was going on in my life or career.

Most memorable Open House New York experience? It’s always the last one! This year, I was asked to be a volunteer captain at the Municipal Building. I was nervous and a little anxious about letting folks down. But again I had a blast. Bridget, my District Coordinator, was incredibly helpful. And the site, though busy, was a familiar one so even with the hiccups it ended up being another great experience. And the building’s cupola! Just… wow.

My favorite visit by far was to the TWA Flight Center in 2015. That building is beautiful. To be able to see the architecture and interior design as an educated design consumer was humbling and inspiring. It was a reminder that gestures both large and small can change perceptions and the world. Eero Saarinen knew that. He didn’t waste his opportunities. I’m so pleased that much of it will be restored and preserved.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I’m a proud native New Yorker and I love my city! Any chance to volunteer to show off my home’s very best is time well spent.

 

 

spielmannCHAD SPIELMANN
Senior Account Executive at Harrison and Star
OHNY Weekend District Coordinator and Member

Open House New Yorker since… 2014. I first heard about Open House New York six years ago when I was volunteering for a similar organization in Wisconsin called Doors Open Milwaukee. When I moved here, I knew I had to get involved and learn as much as I could about New York City.

Most memorable Open House New York experience? Taking a boat tour of Gowanus Canal. How many people get the chance to take a boat ride on a SuperFund site? As a neighbor of the Gowanus Canal, it was amazing to learn about one of New York City’s most polluted waterways, the much needed cleanup project, and what will happen once the canal has been restored.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I love my city and want other people to experience and appreciate the amazing design and architecture it has to offer.

 

 

 

stonelyKAREN STONELY
Principal, SPAN Architecture
OHNY Board Member

Open House New Yorker since… 2013. OHNY is a well known institution in the city. I decided to become passionately involved as a board member – in addition to continuously marveling at the incredible spaces that become physically and educationally accessible as a participant – after repeatedly engaging with diverse, inspired New Yorkers and individuals from countries afar, who believe we all have a consequential impact on our shared built environments.

Most memorable Open House New York experience? A momentous tour of the United Nations Council Chambers in 2013 that included a range of docents from designers and architects to members of the UN, who discussed how decisions about renovation – introducing fresh invention and restoring key historical elements – would be received and perceived by the important political members convening within the chambers.  It was a masterful renovation and the tour was genuinely inspiring.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… every New Yorker is an Open House New Yorker, they just might not know it yet!

 

 

In 2017, Open House New York will celebrate the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend and our mission to connect New Yorkers with their city and each other has never been more important than it is now. It seems like such a simple thing to do, opening a door, but the experience that it makes possible helps nurture and protect the values that have made New York the extraordinary city that it is.  Make a year-end gift to Open House New York today and sustain this important work.

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On December 13, 2016, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $40,000 to Open House New York for Getting to Zero: Cities and Waste, a year long series of tours and programs that will explore the architecture and infrastructure of New York City’s waste system. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

Getting to Zero: Cities and Waste is the third installment of Open House New York’s Urban Systems Series, which has previously explored issues such as contemporary manufacturing and the architecture of New York City’s food system. Launching in 2017, Getting to Zero takes its inspiration from New York City’s 0X30 campaign, which aims to eliminate the 3,000,000 tons of residential waste that New York City sends to landfills each year. The series will deepen public understanding about how our built environment has been shaped and reshaped over time in response to changing attitudes about garbage, and consider what possibilities a radical transformation in waste management could have for new forms of architecture and urbanism. Through tours of infrastructure facilities; lectures and conferences; and other programming, Getting to Zero will raise public awareness about the architecture and infrastructure of waste and about collaborative possibilities for designing a better, more sustainable future.

“In many ways, our waste management system was intentionally designed to keep our garbage out of sight,” said OHNY executive director Gregory Wessner. “But that invisibility also hides from public view the full consequences of the enormous amount of waste we generate each day. Through Getting to Zero, Open House New York will help the public better understand the complex challenges of how we manage waste in a city like New York and to open up the conversation about the future of these systems. We are very grateful for the NEA’s generous support of this project.”

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

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