15th Anniversary

Open House New York is first and foremost a champion for an open city. The doors we open every year are the tangible expression of a commitment to the idea that access to the city–and to each other–is fundamental to our success as a community and our shared future. This openness has been a hallmark of New York City from its beginning and continues to draw people to it from around the world. It is something that must constantly be nurtured and protected, which is why Open House New York’s mission is more important now than ever. 

Help keep New York open by making a year-end gift to Open House New York. Click here to make a contribution via Paypal or send a check made payable to Open House New York to 1133 Broadway, Suite 802, New York, NY 10010. Want to make your contribution in the form of appreciated stocks? Email Elis Shin at elis@ohny.org to receive information about how to make a stock transfer. 

As a small nonprofit organization, the work of Open House New York is only possible because people like you are committed to an open and accessible city. 

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Thank you for your support of Open House New York and best wishes for the holidays!

Image: City Hall by Josef Pinlac.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers–along with visitors from across the country and around the world–came together this year for the 15th Anniversary Open House New York Weekend, crisscrossing the five boroughs in celebration of architecture, urban design, and New York City. From Fort Tilden on the Rockaway Peninsula to Woodlawn Cemetery at the city’s northern reaches, from the catacombs of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine to the skybridge of the American Copper Buildings, this year’s Weekend gave visitors unparalleled access to the city, deepening our understanding of the complexities of design, construction, and preservation, and providing a visceral reminder of how thoughtful design can immeasurably enrich our day-to-day lives.

Our deepest thanks to all of you who made it possible: all of our sponsors, without whose support there would be no OHNY Weekend; our site hosts, more than 400 intrepid individuals and organizations who opened their doors and hosted tours and talks at nearly 250 buildings and projects; our 1,000 volunteers who helped manage crowds with kindness and grace; and the tens of thousands of visitors who imbue this event with boundless energy and enthusiasm. 

 

VIEW WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS

 

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Photo: OHNY Weekend Volunteers by Ben Helmer.

Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle for a day? Book a car through ReachNow and head over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for a daycation on Staten Island, the most bucolic of New York City’s five boroughs! It may lack palm trees, but this island has more than enough serene spots and architectural wonders to make you feel as if you’re worlds away from the rest of the city. To maximize your “island getaway” experience, we’ve put together an itinerary featuring sea breezes, quiet retreats, and local brews (don’t forget to draw straws for designated driver in advance).

 

11am: Battery Weed

No island getaway is complete without a visit to an historic fort! Right at the foot of the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge on the Staten Island side, you’ll find one of the city’s most striking ruins. On the 11am tour, National Park Service rangers will take you and your friends through Battery Weed, where you’ll learn all about the network of forts that defended New York harbor for centuries. (Saturday only!)

 

12pm: Alice Austen House

After the fort, head up the shore to the neighborhood of Rosebank, where you can tour the historic home of trailblazing photographer Alice Austen. Relax on Austen’s Victorian Gothic porch, then take a stroll around the picturesque grounds and do some daydreaming about what it’d be like to have your own country estate with a trillion-dollar view of the Manhattan skyline in the misty distance.

 

1pm: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto

We know a thing or two about New York’s hidden gems, so believe us when we say that there’s nothing in the city quite like this hidden grotto. Tucked away in the middle of a block a short walk from the Alice Austen House, this remarkable work of communal folk art has been built and expanded in stages for almost a century using local materials. Pop in and speak with the caretakers; it’s a site you won’t soon forget.

 

2pm: Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Next, head toward the center of the island, where you’ll find a museum built to resemble a Himalayan monastery. Marchais designed her museum to create a “retreat-like setting”—perfect for island-getaway-style enjoyment. Meditation Expert Jackie Hawken will give a talk at 2pm, while the kids can make their own prayer flags!

 

 

4pm: Flagship Brewing Company

If you’re feeling thirsty after a full day of exploration, head up to the Flagship Brewing Company and catch the 4pm brewery tour, then kick back in their on-site Tasting Room with some locally brewed drinks! What better way to end your relaxing island getaway?

 

About ReachNow
Open House New York is partnering with ReachNow to give you the easiest way to reach all your OHNY Weekend destinations. Based in Brooklyn, ReachNow has over 250 MINI and BMW vehicles available to rent by the minute, by the hour, or by the day! Make the most of your OHNY Weekend with ReachNow. Sign up with OHNY for $15 in driving credit, free. Download the app (iOS or Android) and enter OHNY17NOW in the promos section.

Open House New York invites you to kick off the 15th Anniversary Open House New York Weekend Launch Party and celebrate the start of New York’s favorite weekend of architecture and design. A 15th anniversary celebration needs an especially festive location, which is why Open House New York is taking over Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the night on Thursday, October 12, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, for an evening of drinks, light fare and unlimited free carousel rides.

Jane’s Carousel was built in the heyday of the American carousels in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for Idora Park, a theme park in Youngstown, Ohio. The carousel is composed of 48 carved horses arrayed in three rows, with thirty “jumpers,” eighteen “standers,” and two chariots, attributed to John Zalar and Frank Carretta, among the most well known carousel carvers of their day. Following the park’s closure in 1984, the carousel was put up for auction, with the expectation that it would be broken up and sold as individual pieces. But Jane and David Walentas purchased the entire carousel as the centerpiece of a 1980s proposal for a marina and shopping complex in Brooklyn, which later evolved into what is now Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Following a painstaking restoration by Jane Walentas that returned every component to its original glory, the carousel opened in Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2011 in a transparent jewel box designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. “The waterfront site was very spectacular,” Jane Walentas was quoted saying in an article about the opening of the carousel pavilion in The New York Times. “I felt we needed something very exciting and elegant,” and “we just couldn’t do a typical nostalgic carousel building of the amusement park genre.” The Paris-based Nouvel–who also designed 40 Mercer in Soho, 100 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea, and 53 West 53rd Street (otherwise known as the MoMA tower, now under construction in Midtown)–designed a 72’ x 72’ x 27’ box that sits on a 6’ high concrete cellar to raise the carousel above the floodline. Sheathed in 4 1/2 inch thick acrylic panels, the North and South walls slide open to frame dramatic views of the East River and Lower Manhattan, and allow for unimpeded access to the promenade and the park. At night, the pavilion glows like a lantern to light this section of the park.

Jane’s Carousel is emblematic of the transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront in the fifteen years since the first OHNY Weekend took place, an area once lined with decaying piers that has been reinvented as a vibrant public space for the 21st century.

Join us at the 15th anniversary OHNY Weekend Launch Party to help keep the majority of Weekend programming entirely free of charge for more than 80,000 visitors and 1,200 volunteers! To learn more about the Launch Party and purchase tickets today, click here

 

Photos of Jane’s Carousel by Julienne Schaer. 

 

Open House New York and Wikimedia NYC invite you to submit your best OHNY Weekend photos to our photo competition on Wikimedia Commons!

More than 1,000 photos taken during OHNY Weekend are submitted to the photo competition each year. Submissions are judged in one of three categories – Interiors, Exteriors, and Details – for a chance to win prizes. All submitted photographs also become part of Wikimedia Commons, the online repository of free-use, public domain images that are used across Wikimedia—including as illustrations for Wikipedia articles. Nearly 200 photos from OHNY Weekend are already being used to illustrate articles across the world, from the entry on “rusty” in Polish, to “light fixture” in Estonian, to “nostalgia” in Bengali!

In addition, submissions to the 2017 competition will also be considered for publication in a forthcoming book of photographs, published by Open House New York in celebration of the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend! 

Submissions will be accepted starting on October 14 and through Sunday, October 22 at 11:59pm. 

Read on for the full competition details!

Get Published
Submit your images for this year’s competition, and they will also be considered for publication in Seeing the City: Open House New York Weekend in Photos, a forthcoming book of photographs, published by Open House New York in celebration of the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend. A Kickstarter campaign to help cover the cost of design and printing is live now. To see a video about the project and pre-order your copy with a pledge of $35 or more, click here.

Prizes
Prizes will be awarded to the best photos in three categories – Interiors, Exteriors, and Details – one of which will also be named a Grand Prize Winner. Each category winner will receive a $100 gift card for New York City Photo Safari that can be used towards booking any regular Photo Safari. One Grand Prize Winner will also receive an Insta360 Nano or Air – a clip-on thatinstantly turns your phone into a VR camera that records 360-degree high-resolution 3K video – courtesy of New York City Photo Safari.

To Enter
Submit your photo online at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Campaign:OHNY2017. The deadline to submit photos is 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 22. Photos will not be accepted via any other means. Please note that you will be asked to create a Wikimedia Commons account to submit photos, and be sure to include your email address so that you can be contacted if you are selected as a category winner.

Please note: In keeping with the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons, all photos entered into the Wikipedia @ OHNY Weekend Photo Competition will be considered to be freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, permitting free use for any purpose and the creation of derivative works.

Photo submissions should:
• Be taken during OHNY Weekend on Saturday or Sunday, October 14 or 15, 2017 at a participating OHNY Weekend site or tour
• Be properly labeled in the “description” field with the name of the site or tour in which the photo was taken. Photo descriptions that do not name the site will not be eligible
• Highlight architecture and design excellence, and not your fellow explorers including OHNY participants, volunteers, and guides.

Eligibility
• Entrants must be 18 years or older
• The entrant guarantees that (s)he is the copyright holder of the work
• In keeping with the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons, photos will be considered to be freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license, permitting free use for any purpose and the creation of derivative works.

By submitting a photo for the Wikimedia @ OHNY Weekend Photo Competition, you agree to all of the above rules and conditions.

Wikimedia NYC Photo Hub
Want to learn more about how Wikimedia photos will be cataloged and used on Wikipedia articles? On Sunday, October 15 Wikimedia NYC will host a multimedia tutorial, workshop, and hackathon about the work processes for cultural multimedia wiki-projects. Stop by the Ace Hotel Board Room at 20 West 29th Street between 4 to 8 pm to participate. 

Questions about the competition? Email us at info@ohny.org.

Wikimedia NYC is an independent 501(c)3 organization that serves as the local Wikimedia chapter for New York City and the metropolitan area. As a community nonprofit, Wikimedia NYC welcomes educational and cultural partnerships with all local institutions interested in the further expansion and diversification of free knowledge.

Open House New York gratefully acknowledges the generous support of New York City Photo Safari for this year’s competition prizes.

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