In 1965, in the wake of the destruction of Penn Station and with Grand Central Terminal threatened, Mayor Robert F. Wagner signed New York City’s groundbreaking Landmarks Law, the first legislation of its kind in the country intended to protect and preserve historically significant buildings. In 1973, with the owners of Grand Central still eager to gut the building’s beloved interior, a set of amendments to the original law granted the Landmarks Preservation Commission the authority to designate interior spaces as historic landmarks as well.

Four Seasons  U:Campus Planning100 Campus Buildings200 DrawingsTEMPLATEST

Over the course of 2015, well over a hundred arts, cultural, and civic organizations have joined the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance to organize an incredible array of public programs, ranging from exhibitions and festivals to walking tours and lectures, in celebration of the Landmarks Law’s 50th anniversary.

What qualifies an interior as a historic landmark? Like all landmarks, an interior must be at least thirty years old and have significant historic or aesthetic interest or value. In the cases of interiors, they must also be “customarily open or accessible to the public, or to which the public is customarily invited,” and the designation applies to the “architectural style, design, general arrangement and components,” but does not include movable furnishings.

Morgan  Woolworth

During this year’s OHNY Weekend, Open House New York takes part in this ongoing celebration by opening the doors of two dozen of the 117 designation interior landmarks across all five boroughs.

Except where noted, all Interior Landmarks are Open Access and may be visited during the days and hours listed in the OHNY Weekend Event Guide. To make Advance Reservations for sites that require them, please visit ohny.org/reservations on Wednesday, October 7 at 11am.

Participating sites:

570 Lexington Avenue Lobby
Midtown, Manhattan. Built 1931, designated 1985.

72nd Street IRT Station (Reservations required)
Upper West Side, Manhattan. Built 1904, designated 1979.

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
Financial District, Manhattan. Built 1909, designated 1979.

AT&T Long Distance Building Lobby
Tribeca, Manhattan. Built 1932, designated 1991.

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx. Built 1942, designated 1991.

Bronx General Post Office (Reservations required)
Lower Concourse, Bronx. Built 1937, designated 2013.

Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. Built 1881, designated 1982.

City Hall
Civic Center, Manhattan. Built 1812, designated 1976.

Cunard Building Lobby
Financial District, Manhattan. Built 1921, designated 1995.

Federal Hall National Memorial
Financial District, Manhattan. Built 1842, designated 1975.

Ford Foundation
Midtown, Manhattan. Built 1967, designated 1997.

Four Seasons Restaurant
Midtown, Manhattan. Built 1959, designated 1989.

General Grant National Memorial
Morningside Heights, Manhattan. Built 1897, designated 1975.

Gould Memorial Library
University Heights, Bronx. Built 1899, designated 1981.

King Manor Museum
Jamaica, Queens. Built 1730, designated 1976.

Marine Air Terminal
LaGuardia Airport, Queens. Built 1940, designated 1980.

Morgan Library & Museum
Murray Hill, Manhattan. Built 1906, designated 1982.

Morris-Jumel Mansion
Washington Heights, Manhattan. Built 1765, designated 1975.

The New School Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street
Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Built 1931, designated 1997.

New: Seventh Regiment Armory* (Reservations required)
Upper East Side, Manhattan. Built 1881, designated 1994.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Randall Manor, Staten Island. Built 1878, designated 1982.

Thurgood Marshall Courthouse (Reservations required)
Civic Center, Manhattan. Built 1936, designated 1975.

New: TWA Flight Center
Jamaica, Queens. Built 1962, designated 1994.

Woolworth Building Lobby (Reservations required)
Civic Center, Manhattan. Built 1913, designated 1983.

Bronx Post OfficeCunard


OHNY thanks and applauds the owners of these participating sites for making public access possible, as well as for their ongoing stewardship of the city’s most significant interior spaces.

Images (from top): Four Seasons Restaurant/Jennifer Calais Smith; The New School Art Collection/The New School; The Morgan Library & Museum/Graham S. Haber; Woolworth Building/Nicolas Lemery Nantel; Bronx Post Office/Studio V Architecture; Cunard Building/Cipriani


*Part of the Preservation Design in Practice tour

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OHNY is pleased to announce a special collaboration with the Designers & Books Online Book Fair, which allows OHNY Members to receive up to 50% off on new, rare and out-of-print books about architecture, art, design and photography. Books from major publishers are currently part of this program, with new publishers and books added to the Online Book Fair each month. Current discounts, which vary by publisher, are listed below.

As an OHNY member, you can begin using this special discount today. Simply visit the Online Book Fair here, and use our unique partner code when checking out on the website of each publisher. If you are a current member, check your inboxes for an email from membership@ohny.org with the OHNY code. If are joining for the the first time, a code will be sent to you via email in your membership confirmation email.

Over 800 books are currently part of the fair. Available discounts include:

AMMO Books: 50%
Applied Research + Design: 50%
Carnegie Hill Books: 10% (rare and out-of-print)
DoppelHouse Press: 40%
F.A. Bernett: 10% (rare and out-of-print)
Gestalten: 35%
Goff Books: 50%
Interior Design Books: 80%
Lars Muller Publishers: 35%
Laurence King Publishing: 50%
MIT Press: 40%
Modernism 101 (rare and out-of-print): 10%
Optos Books: 10% (rare and out-of-print)
ORO Editions: 50%
Paintbox Press: 20%
Prestel Publishing: 35%
Princeton Architectural Press: 50%
RIT Press: 80%
Schiffer Publishing: 35%
Wolfsonian-Florida International University: 40%

The Online Book Fair is a Designers & Books project. Those involved in organizing the Fair hope you will find it to be an enjoyable place to browse and discover books, and to buy new additions for your library.

This benefit is available to OHNY members. To learn more about membership, click here.

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The majority of sites participating in the 12th Annual OHNY Weekend will provide “open access” hours on Saturday, Oct. 11, and/or Sunday, Oct. 12, when visitors can explore at their own pace, on a drop-in basis.

Wondering what there is to see? Here are some fantastic Open Access sites where New Yorkers go to LEARN.


Photo: Albert Vecerka/Esto

Photo: Albert Vecerka/Esto

Blue School

Once the Seamen’s Church Institute, the space was completely re-designed by the Rockwell Group in 2010, and now holds the Blue School’s 18 classrooms and many shared and flexible learning spaces. The Blue School will be open to visitors on both Saturday and Sunday, with free guided tours at 10am and 1pm both days. Click here to read more!

Q-NYSCI Great Hall (webonly)_credit Jeff Goldberg-Esto_full

Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

The New York Hall of Science

Included in this sprawling science center campus is the Great Hall, a 100-foot-high space with no corners or straight segments that was originally designed for the 1964-65 Worlds Fair. The Hall has been under renovation since 2008, and will open for a special “sneak peek” with Ennead Architects during OHNY Weekend! Right downtstairs, don’t miss the Maker Space + Design Lab, designed by Situ Studio, who will also be on-site! Both spaces will be open on Saturday and Sunday. Click here to read more!

Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

The Rockefeller University

On Saturday, tour the 14-acre riverfront campus of this world-renowned center for research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, rarely open to the general public, with a rich architectural legacy that includes historic Modernist buildings; landscape by Dan Kiley; and the 125,000-square-foot Collaborative Research Center, with its dramatic conical atrium. Click here to read more!


The explosive growth of manufacturing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries left an indelible mark on the five boroughs. While New York is now known for its dominance in fields like finance, media, and design, it grew up as a city of industrial districts. Back when the manufacturing sector was one of the primary forces driving the city’s economy, residential and commercial development often followed the factories. This was a time when neighborhoods were known as much for what they produced as for who lived there.

As shown in the infographic above [NYPL], which is exhibited in Vertical Urban Factory, the city’s core circa 1919 was a melange of crosshatched manufacturing clusters. Not only did many of these clusters overlap with each other, they mixed right in with the city’s residential and commercial sectors. In 1919, New York City was home to 32,590 factories in neighborhoods across the city, employing a total of 825,056 people. But while this meant that many New Yorkers were able to walk to work, the soot, smells, and clamorous sounds of the factory also followed them home. The city’s earliest zoning regulation, in part, was intended to create more distance between noxious industrial sites and the places where people lived. “Until the early twentieth century most urban areas had unrestricted uses,” explains Vertical Urban Factory‘s Nina Rappaport. “The first zoning regulations in New York were put in place in 1916 to separate noxious uses from residential areas, to provide for healthier living. This gradually placed noxious uses in low income areas, or the industrial areas that developed became sequestered. This separated industry and workers from the everyday, removing diversity from city life.”

Continue reading “Learning from New York’s Industrial Legacy” on the Making it Here website