Landmark Dash participants will compete to win private tours of some of NYC's stunning landmarked interiors, from the New Amsterdam Theater to the Woolworth Building lobby (pictured here) / Photo: Nicolas Lemery Nantel for OHNY
Photo: Nicolas Lemery Nantel for OHNY

On Saturday, April 18th, 2015, Open House New York and the New York School of Interior Design invite you to participate in a day-long race that will take you and your friends through some of the most spectacular landmark interiors in the city, competing against the clock—and each other—to complete challenges, earn points, and win prizes. The Dash is being organized as a companion event to Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors, a featured exhibition of NYC Landmarks 50, a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Read on to learn how you can participate!

Get Ready for a Race

The Landmark Dash will take you through about a dozen landmark interiors (many of which are not normally open to the public) across three boroughs of New York City to complete challenges, solve puzzles, and learn about the architectural and historical significance of some of the city’s most important interiors. Players should be prepared to walk up to several miles over the course of the day, ride many more miles on the subway, and make extensive use of their smartphones. The sites are all surprises—you won’t know where you’re headed next until you complete a challenge at each location along the route. Please plan ahead and make sure that you and your team are ready for a race!

Register Your Team

Players must register and play in teams of 2-4; no solo racers are allowed. One person will register for your team, and will receive a follow-up email prompting them to send in a list of all team members and a team name. Please be sure to respond as soon as possible to ensure that your team’s registration is complete and your team’s materials are ready on the day of the Dash.

Read Up on Interior Landmarks

The Landmark Dash will begin at the NYSID Gallery, where  Rescued, Restored, Reimagined is currently on-view, but you are welcome to visit the exhibition in advance to learn more about New York City’s interior landmarks in preparation for game day.

Play to Win

Top-scoring teams will each win a private tour of one of New York City’s interior landmarks. Teams will choose their prizes in order of the total number of points, highest to lowest. The tours available include:

•  Appellate Division Courthouse of the State of New York
•  The Park Avenue Armory
•  New Amsterdam Theater (with Hugh Hardy)
•  The Rainbow Room (with Gabellini Sheppard)
•  Weylin B. Seymour’s in the Williamsburg Savings Bank Building
•  Woolworth Building Lobby (with Helen Post Curry) [pictured]

Event Details

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Check-in: 10:00-11:00 AM
Dash time: 11:00 AM–6 PM
Closing Reception: 5:00-7:00 PM
Cost: $40 per person (teams of 2-4)

Please note: Participants must be able to walk a mile at a time; must have their own Metrocard; and each team must have at least one member with a smartphone.

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

 

Landmark Dash FAQs

 

What buildings will I visit during the Landmark Dash?
The participating sites are a secret; each site along the route will be revealed to you and your team once you have completed a challenge at the previous site.

Are the sites places that I could normally go on my own?
While there will be a few publicly accessible interiors on the route, most of the participating sites are not normally open to the public.

I’m not sure I want to pay to register for an event if I don’t know what buildings I’ll be getting into…
The Landmark Dash is being organized by Open House New York in partnership with the New York School of Interior Design—two organizations that have a pretty good idea of what an interesting interior looks like. So trust us when we say: you’re going to get into some really amazing spaces!

What will I be doing at these sites?
Each site will feature a challenge related to the landmark interior’s architecture and/or history. Challenges will be designed to take approximately 5-10 minutes each, so that participants can move quickly from site to site. While you’ll need to be able to walk quite a bit over the course of the day, the challenges themselves will not be physically intense, so don’t worry about lifting, running, etc.

What if I want to spend more time at one of the sites, or take a full tour?
Longer tours will not be available at sites on the day of the Landmark Dash, but information about how to return for a more in-depth tour will be on hand at any sites where tours are regularly offered. The Landmark Dash is intended to be a fast-paced game—you’ll see a lot of wonderful spaces, but you won’t be able to linger too long.

Can I play by myself?
No, everyone must participate as a member of a team. Teams can be comprised of 2-4 people. One person will register for the team, and will receive a follow-up email from OHNY staff prompting them to supply the names and email addresses for all team members, as well as a team name.

How far will I have to travel during this event?
The Landmark Dash will take participants to three of the five boroughs.

Is transportation between sites provided?
No. You’ll need to use your wits, your sense of direction, and your own Metrocard to travel between sites. It is estimated that participants will take at least 9-10 trips on the subway.

How long will the Landmark Dash take?
The Dash will begin at 11:00 AM sharp; each team will finish at their own speed, but it is expected that people will generally wrap up between 5:00-6:00 PM.

Is this event handicapped accessible?
Unfortunately, due to the nature of this event, the Landmark Dash is not handicapped accessible.

Where will the Landmark Dash start and end?
The Dash will both start and end at the New York School of Interior Design on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Can I register on the day of the event?
No. All teams must register in advance in order to participate in the Landmark Dash.

What’s included in the cost of registration?
Registration will gain you entry to the opening and closing receptions (with light refreshments provided at both), as well as the Passport and Challenge Cards that you will need in order to participate.

If I don’t want to race, can I volunteer?
We are actively seeking volunteers to help out throughout the day in 2-3 hour shifts at various sites. If you are interested in volunteering, please email volunteer@ohny.org. All volunteers are invited to join us for the closing reception at the NYSID Gallery from 5-7pm.

Still have questions about the event? Email us at info@ohny.org

I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Rebecca Karp has been an OHNY fan and supporter since moving to the city from the Hudson Valley in 2006. “I took my parents on a ‘behind the scenes tour’ of Brooklyn via OHNY Weekend,” Rebecca recalls. “I was hooked—what more incredible way to connect New Yorkers to their environment than by sharing unique places that we all may pass by daily? Architecture, design, and planning do not have to be high-brow disciplines, and in this one day, allowed me and my family to connect with my new home in an inspired way.”

Thank you, Rebecca, for your support of Open House New York!

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What do you love most about New York City?
Secret discoveries of all kinds that I might miss if I move too fast: the church garden that is actually a public space and becomes an oasis. The mews tucked away in the West Village that peek out. The fraternity among dog owners at 5AM in the park. The gargoyles that seem to appear on entire blocks of buildings in some neighborhoods. The incredible variety of food.

I also love the fact that we are city built on and around the water, and I deeply love our bridges—in particular the Verrazano-Narrows and Manhattan bridges.

What is your favorite building and/or neighborhood in the city?
I am drawn to interstitial spaces: parks, plazas, wherever people seem to gather or plants seem to grow despite the fates. I love Park Slope, Brooklyn for its grand brownstone blocks, community parks and playgrounds, people clustered on stoops all over the neighborhood no matter the season, and local businesses of wide variety.

What was your most memorable OHNY experience?
Hands down, the Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons in Manhattan takes the cake. Being let in to not only a unique space, but to what felt like a secret society, was an otherworldly experience. How many of us walk down 23rd Street and pass by that building every day without knowing about the dozens of uniquely ornate rooms and secret rituals that are hidden inside?

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go, and why?
Access to the Red Hook Grain Terminal would be fascinating, particularly as the city and state considers the future of the Brooklyn waterfront. The Red Hook Grain Terminal is an incredible structure that attempted to boost the harbor but was never successful, yet remains a significant part of the physical landscape. I worked on the Columbia Waterfront in Brooklyn in 2012 at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and watched the daily push-pull between supporting a working waterfront and providing public access to the waterfront. As the city learns how industry and residential/community uses can (or cannot, in some instances) coexist, the future of buildings like the Red Hook Grain Terminal will be hotly debated. A peek inside the building would give interesting perspective.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It connects New Yorkers with the places in which they live in new ways, and reminds New York about the importance of incredible spaces.

 

Help us continue to connect people and the spaces that make our city.
Join OHNY as a Member
Gift an OHNY Membership
Support OHNY with a donation

 

From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.

I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Robin Nagle is a cultural anthropologist, professor, and author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. In her unique role as the anthropologist-in-residence at the NYC Department of Sanitation, Robin reached out to us earlier this year to get the ball rolling on a collaboration between OHNY and the DSNY, leading to several amazing new sites being added to the roster this past OHNY Weekend

“While I didn’t get involved officially until this year, I first experienced OHNY seven years ago,” Robin recalls. “When my son was in third grade, he and I went up the Highbridge Water Tower during Open House Weekend. It was a wonderful adventure.” Thank you, Robin, for working with us to arrange more adventures for New Yorkers!

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What do you love most about New York City?
I most love many things about New York City. I love that the city’s energy feels boundless and utterly impersonal, like a force of nature. An ocean current doesn’t care if it helps you swim faster or if it drowns you. New York City is the same. It is the urban ouroboros, forever eating and birthing itself, fueled by the kinetic energy of its history and its people. New York generates its own perpetual motion, and if you’re lucky, some of that force osmoses into you. It is always changing and always exactly only itself. No matter where you’re from, if you decide to live here, you’re a New Yorker. If you live here for decades, you can look back and feel as if you lived in dozens of different cities – but it’s all New York.

What is your favorite building and/or neighborhood in the city?
My favorite neighborhood is any that’s still authentic – that is, any neighborhood that still has mom-and-pop businesses in its storefronts, that has at least one good diner, and that hasn’t been corporatized or overrun with chain stores. Authentic neighborhoods are in every borough, but they’re getting scarce.

My favorite building is the New York Public Library’s flagship cathedral (the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building) on Fifth and Forty-Second.

What was your most memorable OHNY experience?
That trip to the Highbridge Water Tower was pretty memorable; the neighborhood was new to us, and we met a rooster hanging out on the street on our way from the subway. The cast-iron spiral staircase at the Tower was a work of art, and the view from the top was spectacular. We watched a few people make their way up and then collapse to their knees in a trembling sweat; they were climbing the tower specifically to face their fear of heights, and we were impressed by their bravery. I was okay on the Tower’s main platform, but that was my limit. My son, however, went up and down the smaller interior spiral stair to the very top of the tower several times, and was delighted to discover that he had courage for something I didn’t have the guts to do.

More recently, seeing the public response to the Department of Sanitation’s participation in the Open House Weekend has been great. Kathryn Garcia, the new commissioner of Sanitation, made it a priority to connect the DSNY to OHNY, and so we worked closely with the organization to put three Sanitation venues on the schedule for this year’s OHNY Weekend. It took a lot of patience and time, but because the Open House staff made the entire experience positive for everyone involved, Sanitation is looking forward to many future collaborations.

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go, and why?
Water Tunnel Number Three.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It invites people to see the many amazing insides of the city, which helps the public better understand and appreciate New York’s beautiful complexity.

 

Help us continue to connect people and the spaces that make our city.
Join OHNY as a Member
Gift an OHNY Membership
Support OHNY with a donation

 

From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.

I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Vivi Feng is a graphic designer with PS New York. Fans of OHNY will undoubtedly be very familiar with Vivi’s work, as she was one of the designers who created this year’s OHNY Weekend Event Guide! You can even spot Vivi on the guide’s cover—she is the little red blur passing by the Welling Court mural that OHNY commissioned for this year’s cover!

“I only recently discovered OHNY, when I started working for Penny [Hardy, principal of PS New York],” says Vivi, who moved to the city a few years ago from Beijing to attend design school. “But I wish I could have found it a lot earlier!” Thank you, Vivi, for all that you did to make this year’s OHNY Weekend Event Guide as beautiful as it was helpful!

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What do you love most about New York City?
I love New York City for its diversity. It can always surprise me, both in good and bad ways; doors open and reveal things I never would have expected.

What is your favorite building and/or neighborhood in the city?
I love the Greenwich Village / West Village area. I like wandering around through the lanes covered with cobblestones.

What was your most memorable OHNY experience?
I would say it was the boat trip down East River this past summer. That was really fun, and I learned a lot from it. Also, modeling for the OHNY guide cover was a pretty memorable experience!

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go, and why?
I’d love to get access to some of the hidden private rooftops around the city! I’m always wondering what the view looks like from different rooftops…

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It enables us to know more about the city we love!

Help us continue to connect people and the spaces that make our city.
Join OHNY as a Member
Gift an OHNY Membership
Support OHNY with a donation

From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.

I AM OHNY is a campaign we began in late 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Clive Wilkinson is a Los Angeles-based architect. We reached out to Clive this year after reading about the “Superdesk” that he designed for the Manhattan headquarters of The Barbarian Group. As soon as he heard what OHNY Weekend was, he not only agreed to lead a tour of the Superdesk, he also offered up another recent project, GLG’s headquarters on 42nd Street, as a site for the festival.

Thank you, Clive, for working with your clients to open up both of these spaces, and for being such a strong supporter of OHNY Weekend right off the bat!

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Clive Wilkinson, left, leads a tour of the Superdesk during OHNY Weekend. (Photo: Nicolas Lemery Nantel)


What do you love most about New York City?

I love the city’s impossible and very welcoming energy—it’s unique amongst the large metropolises of the world.

What is your favorite building and/or neighborhood in the city?
My favorite neighborhood today is the Lower East Side, because of its extraordinary mixture of ordinariness and the exotic. Any journey around it surfaces the weirdest discoveries, both old and new.

What was your most memorable OHNY experience?
Well, I’ve only had one so far, just this year, so it is certainly the most memorable: guiding tours around our two new projects, GLG’s Midtown headquarters and the Barbarian Group’s Chelsea offices [home of the Superdesk].

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go, and why?
That would have to be Grand Central Station, which seems to be a labyrinthian city unto itself.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
How else can we legally break into the working and living spaces of all of these exotic New Yorker people?

 

Help us continue to connect people and the spaces that make our city.
Join OHNY as a Member
Gift an OHNY Membership
Support OHNY with a donation

 

From the Annual OHNY Weekend to its year-round public programs, OHNY offers you opportunities to see the city like you’ve never seen it. With your support, OHNY can continue to open the city to tens of thousands of people throughout the five boroughs, tying us closer to the places, people and stories that make New York the most extraordinary city in the world. Together, we are OHNY.