I am OHNY is an annual campaign that celebrates OHNY’s community of supporters. Shaelyn Amaio is Consultant at Lord Cultural Resources and the creator of #WorldsFairWednesday, one of our favorite Instagram hashtags. Every week, she celebrates World’s Fair history with an image she’s taken or found, along with a little bit of World’s Fair history.

Shaelyn is also a public experience advocate and has been an OHNY Weekend superfan since 2011. “Once I realized that OHNY was dedicated to increasing access to New York’s treasures, I was hooked,” says Shaelyn. “I love to explore New York City, especially when I can bring friends and family along for the adventure. OHNY opens the city to me in so many ways, and when it’s an OHNY event I know it’ll be great.”

Thank you Shaelyn for exploring New York City through OHNY and sharing your love for our work with so many!

What do you love most about New York City?
My favorite thing about New York City is how many layers of history there are here and how many human stories have played out in every building and on every street corner throughout the city. Because New York has been reinventing itself since the city was founded, so much of this history is obscured–either hiding in plain sight or because the physical evidence of it has been destroyed. I’m continuously surprised and intrigued by New York City.

What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
During this year’s Open House New York Weekend, I spent an afternoon in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and got to go inside the New York State Pavilion! Since I first moved to Queens, I’ve loved visiting the park–the site of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World’s Fairs–to visit the cultural attractions there, go to Mets games, learn the history of the fairs, and just enjoy the green space. I’ve spent so much time peering through the locked gate to the Pavilion, trying to get a feel for the space, that it was really surreal to walk in and look up at the observation towers from inside the pavilion. I can’t wait to see what develops for the New York State Pavilion in the coming years. I’m so thrilled that Open House New York teamed up with the Park and the folks working to preserve the Pavilion to offer public access.

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
I would love to explore some of the sites all over the city where scientists worked, materials were stored, and experiments were conducted as part of the Manhattan Project in New York City. Most of those sites are unmarked and unremarkable today, which makes their history even more interesting to me.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It empowers people to explore their city, to get to know it in new ways, and to care about it more deeply than before.

Help OHNY continue to empower New Yorkers to understand their city more deeply.
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 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is one of OHNY’s earliest champions. She and her husband, both history buffs, have participated in OHNY Weekend as visitors. During the 2004 OHNY Weekend, they had the rare opportunity to see the interior of the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument on the Upper West Side, her City Council District at the time.

More recently, since being elected Manhattan Borough President, she has also participated in OHNY Weekend as a site host. New York City Borough Presidents are responsible for maintaining the official maps for their borough. During the 2014 OHNY Weekend, Brewer hosted a map display of the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811–the most influential map in New York City’s history, which proposed the reorganization of the city into the rectangular grid we know today–and portions of John Randel’s 1820 survey of Manhattan–the real-world implementation of the Commissioner’s Plan. For the 2015 OHNY Weekend, she displayed the complete set of Randel’s maps, comprising 92 hand-drawn and hand-colored panels of the entire island, which was the first time in memory that the entire set had ever been displayed in full.

“When I took office two years ago, I knew the historic maps in the flat files of our Topological Bureau deserved to be seen by all, which is why I’ve hosted a map display, in the McKim, Mead & White-designed Municipal Building, the last two OHNY Weekends,” says Borough President Brewer.

Thank you Borough President Brewer for your commitment to sharing Manhattan’s treasures with the public!

GaleBrewerB

What do you love most about New York City?
New York City is fantastic for the sheer variety of cityscapes: from centuries-old historic fabric, such as the South Street Seaport or Henry James-era townhouses on Washington Square North, to the more of-the-moment, such as the revitalized area around the new World Trade Center.

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
I would love to see the spaces at the very top of the Chrysler Building.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It lets fans of New York deepen their fandom, opening an incredibly wide range of doors to anyone, resident or visitor.

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 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Alastair Elliott is a Principal and Chief Operating Offer at Silman and President of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY). We worked with Alastair and SEAoNY this year on Engineering New York, a special OHNY Weekend series featuring eleven recent projects that illustrate the state of the art of structural engineering in New York City today, and the important role that structural engineers play to realize a new generation of New York City icons such as the Apple Cube at Fifth Avenue, Brookfield Place, Hudson Yards, and the new Whitney Museum of American Art.

After learning about “this year’s focus on structure, it became clear that this was the year to get involved, both for the Structural Engineers Association of New York and for me personally,” says Alastair. “The new Whitney Museum of American Art was one of my most challenging projects and I was excited to lead one of the tours during Open House Weekend.”

Thank you Alastair for opening our eyes to the important role structural engineers play everyday to transform beautiful ideas into reality!

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What do you love most about New York City?
I like that there is so much variety and constant change that it is impossible to be bored. I am always discovering something new to do or finding something that has been here a lot longer than I have.

What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
This year I led a tour of the new Whitney Museum of American Art. I had the opportunity to explain the structural systems of the building to an audience that generally knew very little about structural engineering, but was very interested to know more.

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
The Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access tunnels. A few years ago I had the opportunity to tour Water Tunnel number 3 and the 7 Train Extension tunnel. Both were fascinating; especially Water Tunnel number 3 which is deeper than just about everything else in the city.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It educates the general public about the important work done every day by design and construction professionals, without which the city simply would not function.

Every building in New York is the product of a collaboration of a number of design and construction professionals, from architects to lighting designers to structural engineers. Help us continue to highlight the work of these professionals, who make our built environment possible.
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.

Open House New York is pleased to announce the election of four new members to its Governing Board.

Joining the board are Sherlen Archibald, Robert Herrick, Abby Jo Sigal, and Saundra Thomas. “Their expertise with art, design, and community engagement, as well as their passion for New York City, will be invaluable contributions to Open House New York as it continues to expand its programming throughout the five boroughs of New York,” says Gregory Wessner, executive director of Open House New York. “We are thrilled to welcome them to OHNY’s governing board.”

 

Sherlen Archibald

Sherlen Archibald is Co-Founder and Partner of AGW Group, a cultural marketing and communications firm that offers a suite of services including digital communications, content strategy and creative partnerships to art, music, fashion, and tech companies. AGW’s clients include Red Bull, ’47 Brand and Mother New York among others.

A classically trained pianist and singer, Sherlen first began working in the entertainment industry at Universal Classics and MTV, then Sony BMG where he handled communications for international artists such as Usher, Jamie Foxx and Ciara. He then left to help start The Chamber Group, a boutique firm that allowed him to guide the careers of iconic artists such as OutKast and Toni Braxton, as well as brands such as Versace, Belvedere and Under Armour.

Sherlen speaks regularly across media, entertainment and innovation panels for SXSW, Syracuse University’s Bander Program for Music and Entertainment Industries, and is also a member of the Ad Color Awards Executive Council.

 

Robert Herrick 2

Robert Herrick, CEO & Founder of the Thompson House Group and Managing Director of Visualhouse, started his career as an architect, working for a highly regarded practice in London. From there Robert focused his career on architectural visualisation, founding Visualhouse, his first business, in 2006 and working with practices in London, New York, and the Middle East. Since then, Robert has grown the business into a full “creative ideas” agency with international offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Hong Kong that produce 360-degree campaigns with commercial film, rendering, and creative and branding divisions. Over the past seven years, Robert has built renowned visual brand stories for landmark buildings and iconic designers such as Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Daniel Libeskind, Rafael Vinoly, and Thomas Heatherwick.

In 2013 Robert established the Thompson House Group along with a small group of tastemakers and collaborators in New York. With the core focus of delivering exceptional private member experiences across a growing group of international House’s, Workspaces, Restaurants and Hotels.

 

Abby-Sigal

Abby Jo Sigal is Executive Director of The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation, a family foundation supporting career pathways for youth from low-income neighborhoods. She has extensive experience in community development, real estate finance, and impact investing.

Prior to the Dimon Foundation, Abby was the Senior Vice President of Innovation at Enterprise Community Partners, and provided leadership across the organization for strategy, new product development, knowledge management and impact investing. Prior to that role, she ran the Enterprise NY program, deploying $200 million annually in equity, debt, and grants, implementing programs, and advocating for policy. Early in her career, she oversaw the design and development of the West Side’s Hudson River Park and launched its first Summer Youth Program.

A New York resident since age 13, Abby holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Yale University and Masters in Business Administration and City & Regional Planning from University of California, Berkeley.

 

Saundra-Thomas

Saundra Thomas, Vice-President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV, has made community service the center of her life. Saundra celebrates nearly three decades at Channel 7, several as promotion writer/producer and editor for Eyewitness News and award-winning ABC7 special programs. In 2001 she transitioned into her current role where she oversees all on-air public service announcements, community outreach and station community partnerships and projects for the tri-state.

Saundra was a candidate for New York City Council in 2013. An active board member, Saundra is the current Board Chair for Council for Unity; Chair Emeritus for Dancewave; and sits on the boards of the New York Women in Communications Foundation, NYC Young Men’s Initiative, advisory boards of The Grace Institute and Services for the Underserved and the Communications Committee for the YMCA of Greater New York, in addition to Open House New York.

Saundra is a recent recipient of an honorary doctorate from St. Francis College, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School. She is a proud and enthusiastic resident of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where she lives with her family.


Open House New York

Governing Board
2015-2016

Roy Kim,Chief Creative Officer, Douglas Elliman New Development
President
Stephan Jaklitsch, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
Vice President
Michael Samuelian, Vice President, Related Companies
Secretary
Katie Dixon, Executive Director, Powerhouse Workshop
Treasurer

Sherlen Archibald, Partner, AGW Group
Cristobal Correa, Associate Principal, Buro Happold
Kenneth Drucker, Director of Design, HOK
Dorothy Dunn, Dorothy Dunn and Associates
Jonathan L. Geballe, Esq., Attorney
David Gruber, President, David Gruber Real Estate
Louise Harpman, Principal, Specht Harpman Architects
Robert Herrick, Managing Director, Visualhouse and CEO, Thompson House Group
Elizabeth Kubany, President, Kubany Judlowe
Adam Kushner, Principal, KUSHNER studios
Caroline Otto, Senior Associate, anderson architects
Timothy Quinlan, Principal, Quinlan Development Group
Anne Rieselbach, Program Director, The Architectural League of New York
Rob Rogers, Principal, Rogers Partners
Abby Jo Sigal, Executive Director, James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation
Karen Stonely, Principal, SPAN Architecture
Margaret Sullivan, Principal, Margaret Sullivan Studio
Shawn Sullivan, Partner and Studio Leader, Rockwell Group
Saundra Thomas, Vice President of Community Affairs, WABC-TV
Claire Weisz, Principal, WXY architecture + urban design

I am OHNY is a campaign we began in 2011 to highlight and celebrate Open House New York’s diverse community of supporters. Bahij Chancey is an NYC Civic Corps Member at the Department of Parks and Recreation. A regular OHNY volunteer, Bahij volunteered as an OHNY Weekend District Coordinator for the first time this year in Red Hook. During OHNY Weekend, Bahij was responsible for managing all of our Red Hook volunteers and making sure that everything was running smoothly at a wide variety of sites in the neighborhood including Bike New York’s Coastal Resiliency Bike Tour; the GBX Gowanus Bay Terminal; and the Coffey Street Residence.

“I’m totally obsessed with New York’s built environment: the streets and structures that we inhabit each day, and the hidden infrastructure that keeps the city ticking,” says Bahij. “I was lured by OHNY’s commitment to showcase the city’s greatest architectural treasures, and reveal its hidden gems. The decision to volunteer was easy for me. I wanted to support your program, and I have time but not so much money. Volunteering has allowed me to take advantage of so many great OHNY offerings.”

Thanks Bahij, for supporting us as a volunteer, which is just as meaningful to us as any other form of support!

What do you love most about New York City?
I love learning how it functions. It’s a wonder to me that New York City exists at all. I’m constantly amazed at the diversity of people from every culture who coexist in frenetic harmony. Every day, we each do our own part, but rarely do we take a second and really think about the gargantuan task we accomplish just keeping this city running. When I walk through this city’s streets I see a web of intersecting infrastructural networks all performing vital functions. Some are obvious and constantly present in our lives, like our streets and our subways. Some are more discrete, tucked away on the roofs of buildings or below our feet. I question how our food got here, and where our trash goes when it’s picked up from the curb. What pipes, wires, train lines, sewers, and building cellars did that tree’s roots have to circumvent in order to thrive? Finding the answers is satisfying, but the more I learn, the more there is to know.

What is your most memorable Open House New York experience?
The OHNY experience that had the greatest impact on me wasn’t actually a visit to a structure. It was Robin Nagle’s lecture* about picking up trash in NYC. My mind was whirring after her fantastic talk. The Department of Sanitation usually exists in people’s peripheral, but that night she celebrated the monumental task entrusted to New York’s Strongest. Each step along our trash’s journey from the curb to the state border holds its own marvels.

If OHNY could grant you an all-access pass to any place in the city, where would you go and why?
Assuming that all-access includes time travel, I would love to see the Brooklyn Bridge when it first opened. It’s hard to imagine New York at a time when the bridge’s majestic stone gateways towered over every building in the city. When all that had ever crossed the East River were vessels, the sight of the suspension bridge effortlessly draped over the water must have been unbelievable. It’s aged beautifully as the city grows around it.

OHNY is important to New York City because…
It opens doors. You can pass by the same door twice a day and never wonder what it hides, but once you get a peek there’s so much more to see.

Help Open House New York continue to open doors and give you a peek into what it’s hidden inside.
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.

*OHNY volunteers are invited to special enrichment lectures over the course of the year, which are organized to recognize and celebrate the volunteers who help make the Annual OHNY Weekend–and OHNY’s year-round programs–possible. Want to attend? Become a volunteer!