15th Anniversary

Open House New York and Wikimedia NYC partnered during the 15th Anniversary Open House New York Weekend to present the 2017 Wikipedia at OHNY Weekend Photo Competition. A festival favorite, the competition invites budding and experienced photographers to submit their best OHNY Weekend photos on Wikimedia Commons. More than 1,100 photos were submitted to the 2017 competition photos and are now part of the largest online repositories of public domain images in the world.

Submissions were judged by a panel of Open House New York volunteer photographers–a group of expert Open House New Yorkers who volunteer their time and photography expertise to help document all year-round programs and OHNY Weekend. Judges included New York photographers David Mark Erickson, Ben Helmer, Nicolas Lemery Nantel, Bella Muccari, Juliana Sohn, and Julia Xiao

Photo submissions were grouped into three categories–Details, Exteriors, and Interiors–and winners were selected in each category. Based on the number of votes, one category winner received distinction as the Grand Prize Winner and additional photos were recognized as Honorable Mentions. Winners are awarded $100 gift certificates for New York City Photo Safari, and the Grand Prize Winner also receives an Insta360–a clip-on that transforms the user’s phone into a VR camera that records 360-degree high-resolution 3K video–courtesy of New York City Photo Safari. 

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who participated!




Interiors Category Winner and Grand Prize Winner: Federal Hall by John Rakis


Honorable Mention: Diana Center at Barnard College by Rvguido


Honorable Mention: Modulightor by Faith Ergun




Details Category Winner: The Bridge at Cornell Tech by Alex Fortney


Honorable Mention: Brooklyn  Army Terminal by Alex Fortney


Honorable Mention: Ukrainian Institute of America by Dthalpern




Exteriors Category Winner: Brooklyn Army Terminal by Ian Bartlett


Honorable Mention: Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant by Shuo Yan


Honorable Mention: Waterside Plaza by Theamazingknight


Want to learn more about Wikimedia NYC? Join them on Sunday, January 14, at Wikipedia Day 2018 at Ace Hotel, one of several worldwide Wikipedia Day events that celebrate Wikipedia’s 17th birthday with a mini-conference about Wikimedia and allied projects.

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


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. 



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. 






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.