In a fortunate stroke of serendipity, the 2015 Open House New York Weekend happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the closing of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. To celebrate and remember that remarkable event in the city’s history, a collection of former World’s Fair pavilions in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park will open to OHNY Weekend visitors, completely free of charge, for exploration and architectural tours. All of these sites are Open Access during the times indicated below on both days of OHNY Weekend, and do not require reservations.



New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)

Saturday & Sunday, October 17-18: 10:00 am2:00 pm.

Start your day at the fair off at NYSCI’s Great Hall, one of New York City’s signature spaces. Designed by Wallace K. Harrison, the Great Hall’s undulating walls rise 100-feet tall with no corners or straight segments, and are made up of more than 5,000 2 x 3-foot concrete and glass panels. Theresa O’Leary of Ennead Architects will lead tours on both days of OHNY Weekend, detailing aspects of the original design as well as the extensive renovations that were recently completed.


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Queens Museum

Saturday & Sunday, October 17-18: 12:00 pm4:00 pm.

After a morning at NYSCI, head over to the Queens Museum, located in the New York City Building, site of both the 1939 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs and the first home of the United Nations. The New York City Panorama, built by Robert Moses for the ’64-65 fair, is the crown jewel of the Museum’s collection. Tour this 9,335 sq. ft. model of all 895,000 buildings in the five boroughs with museum educators on Sunday. Then head into the atrium, where architects from Grimshaw Architects will be on-hand (again on Sunday) to discuss the building’s dramatic renovation, just completed in 2014.


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New York State Pavilion

Saturday & Sunday, October 17-18: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Step inside the New York State Pavilion during OHNY Weekend to appreciate this iconic structure’s brand new coat of “American Cheese” yellow paint, recently donated by the New York Structural Steel Painting Contractors Association. The Philip Johnson-designed landmark has been brightened just in time for the 50th Anniversary of the closing of the fair. Long lines are expected, so plan to arrive early.

After your day at the fair grounds, head into Manhattan to the Architecture & Design Film Festival to catch a screening of Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion, a brand new film that tells the story of the New York State Pavilion during the glory days of the fair, and chronicles its demise over the past 50 years.


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World’s Fair Grounds

Saturday & Sunday, October 17-18: 1:00 pm5:00 pm.

While you’re out in Flushing Meadows, don’t miss the chance to explore the former fair grounds on free walking tours led by NYC Parks docents. Tours will leave regularly from the docent tent near the Unisphere throughout both days of OHNY Weekend, and will cover a number of World’s Fair relics and landmarks across Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the flagship city park of Queens and one of the largest green spaces in the five boroughs.



This year, the campus of CUNY’s Bronx Community College in the University Heights section of the Bronx will welcome the public to half dozen buildings on its campus that, together, tell a remarkably comprehensive story about the past century of American architecture. Visit the campus—originally developed as the uptown campus of NYU in the early 1900s—from 12-4pm on Sunday, October 18th, to explore iconic buildings by Stanford White, Marcel Breuer, and Robert A.M. Stern, with architects on-site to give special talks and tours. Unless otherwise noted, all sites are Open Access, and do not require reservations.


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Gould Memorial Library and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans

Sunday, October 18: 12:00 pm4:00 pm.

The Gould Memorial Library and Hall of Fame are Beaux Arts Landmarks designed by the great Stanford White in 1899-1900, and are considered the masterpiece of this legendary turn-of-the-century architect. The interior of the library is richly decorated in marble, stone, mosaic, wood and bronze, with Tiffany glass, and features one of the largest rotundas in the city. Visit during OHNY Weekend to learn about ongoing restoration efforts at the library with architect Charlie Kramer of Beyer Blinder Belle, Lisa Easton of Easton Architects, and Mark Anderson of FacadeMD.


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Colston Hall, Polowczyk Hall, Meister Hall, and Begrisch Hall

Sunday, October 18: 12:00 pm4:00 pm.

In 1956, Marcel Breuer (architect of the Whitney’s former home on the Upper East Side) was asked to develop a comprehensive design for re-planning the NYU campus at this site. From 1959-1970, five buildings were built based on the design and planning of Breuer and his associates Hamilton Smith and Robert F. Gatje. Visit four of these unique mid-century modernist structures with experts from DoCoMoMo NY Tri-State during OHNY Weekend.


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Robert F. Gatje in Conversation with Bernard Marson

Sunday, October 18: 3:00 pm.

While a special 2pm tour of the campus with Mr. Gatje, Marcel Breuer’s one-time partner, is sold out, the Bronx Community College and DoCoMoMo NY Tri-State have announced a special discussion between Gatje and Bernard Marson, the architect who served as the Clerk of the Works for first phase of construction of the Breuer buildings on the BCC’s campus, at 3pm on Sunday. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Click here to RSVP.


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North Hall and Library

Sunday, October 18: 12:00 pm4:00 pm.

With a barrel vaulted interior inspired by Henri Labrouste’s Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, this brand new building by Robert A.M. Stern Architects completes the north side of the BCC’s main quadrangle. The south facade facing the quad serves as an elegant foil both to the exuberance of Gould Memorial Library and to the severity of Breuer’s Meister Hall across the lawn. Visit during OHNY Weekend, when RAMSA partner Augusta Barone will be on-site to discuss the project.


Above: A detail of the OHNY Weekend planning wall.

Reservation Day is equal parts exhilarating and exhausting at OHNY. On the one hand, it is the last step, before the Weekend itself, in a journey that began for OHNY’s small staff of four (yes, four) this past January, when we sat down with our Weekend wish lists to start mapping out this year’s event. Over the past ten months, we have been inviting sites, coordinating participation, registering volunteers, and otherwise working through the thousands of details that are necessary to organize an event like OHNY Weekend. All of that planning only comes to life when we release the full list of sites to the public, as we did this week, and see all of you respond with such excitement. It is enormously gratifying and a reminder of what a privilege it is to work at OHNY.

At the same time, the increasing scale of OHNY Weekend is astonishing. Here are some numbers to put it in perspective: Yesterday alone, our website fielded more than 34,000 visitors, who viewed 294,000 pages. In the hour between 11am and noon, 7,000 people booked reservations, selling out more than 300 tours, an extraordinary 75% increase over the past two years. It is hard for all of us–staff and audience alike–to fathom. OHNY Weekend is, after all, a series of architecture tours; that it has reached the status of rock concert attests to how passionate New Yorkers are about architecture and their city.

As exciting as it is to see this overwhelming enthusiasm for design, we recognize that it has an unfortunate downside and that the reservation process continues to be a huge source of frustration. We know that it is an imperfect system and are genuinely doing what we can with limited resources to improve it. Our apologies are cold comfort for those of you who did not get the tours you wanted, but please know that we are deeply sorry when anyone comes away disappointed. Every year we work hard to increase the amount of space available at sites that require reservations and do our best to provide as much access as possible to meet the massive and ever-growing demand.

To focus only on reservations not made, however, is to risk overlooking the fact that the majority of sites that open their doors during Open House New York Weekend do not require any reservations at all. And it is worth emphasizing that this is a list that includes some of the most iconic buildings and interior spaces in New York City, such as City Hall, the New York State Pavilion, Jefferson Market Library, the Four Seasons restaurant, the Ford Foundation, and, yes, the TWA Flight Center at JFK. You can visit all of these sites, and about 150 more, just by showing up during the days and hours they are open. Click here to see the full list of Open Access sites.

Thank you for your continued support of Open House New York and we wish you a wonderful OHNY Weekend!

Gregory Wessner
Executive Director



In the true spirit of Open House New York Weekend, this year’s Launch Party will give you a chance to visit a space that the public would never normally have the chance to see: the crown of Eleven Times Square, with its eye-popping views of the Crossroads of the World, the Midtown skyline, and the Hudson River.

OHNY invites you to join us at the top of this sculptural 40-story tower that defines the western gateway of Times Square along 42nd Street. Designed by FXFOWLE, Eleven Times Square draws its inspiration from Times Square’s 24-hour convergence of media, entertainment, commerce, and tourism. Not so much a singular object as a collage of shape and form, Eleven Times Square sensitively frames views of nearby icons like the Candler and McGraw Hill Buildings, and amplifies the energy of the surrounding blocks.

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Earlier this Spring, OHNY toured the space with FXFOWLE Principal Dan Kaplan. “The thing about architecture is that, by and large, it’s a craft,” Kaplan told the group. “It takes a lot of time, and a lot of care. Something like 35,000 hours went into this building [from FXFOWLE staff], and we didn’t even do the office interiors.” FXFOWLE has been instrumental in the re-imagining of the Times Square area over the past few decades, starting with their work on the iconic 4 Times Square in the late 1990s and more recently the new New York Times building. The completion of Eleven Times Square marks the culmination of that decades-long effort.

At the 2015 OHNY Weekend Launch Party, visitors will enjoy sweeping views from the 35th floor of the tower, which occupies a full block along Eighth Avenue between West 41st and West 42nd Streets; enter our Launch Party Raffle for a chance to go on exclusive tours of New York City icons; check out the Five Boroughs Pavilion, a project designed and fabricated by a studio at the Princeton University School of Architecture that maps hundreds of sites that OHNY has opened over the years; stop by the OHNY Weekend Concierge Desk for a personalized Weekend itinerary; and take your photo with the 2015 OHNY Weekend Frame—designed by Moorhead & Moorhead and featured on the cover of this year’s Event Guide.

Click here to learn more about the Launch Party and purchase tickets today!

Open House New York acknowledges the generous support of SJP Properties and FXFOWLE for this year’s Launch Party.

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.

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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 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