Please note that the Art & Antiquities in the Parks Scavenger Hunt, previously scheduled on Saturday, July 14 has been postponed. Registrants should have received an email from Open House New York about next steps. If you did not receive this email or have any questions, please email 

What spaces in New York City most affect the safety of its residents and the justice they experience? As crime in New York falls to its lowest point in modern history, what should a 21
st-century justice system look like, and what kinds of architecture and infrastructure do we need to support it?

Open House New York announces the launch of Spaces of Justice, a yearlong series of tours, panel discussions, and other public programs that will allow the public to examine firsthand the spaces with primary responsibility for producing safety and rendering justice in New York City. The series will provide a platform for those who know the system from the inside—including judges, police and corrections officers, public health practitioners, housing advocates, activists, and people with lived experience of arrest and incarceration—to share their perspectives, and help broaden the public debate about what a twenty-first century justice system in New York looks like.

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Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion is an ongoing series of public tours celebrating the work of design firms that have had a significant impact on New York City’s built environment. Monograph in Motion tours illuminate how larger ideas about design and urbanism are expressed through a firm’s buildings and how those ideas evolve over time across multiple projects.

The next Monograph in Motion explores the work of Beyer Blinder Belle, a firm that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in the wake of the urban renewal movement of the 1960s, Beyer Blinder Belle pioneered and defined a different approach to the design of the built environment that focused on architecture empowering people–their interaction with each other on streets and in neighborhoods, their pleasure in moving through the city, and their connections to the surrounding physical fabric. The firm’s contributions to improving and enriching the built environment of New York City are immeasurable, through projects like the restoration of Grand Central Terminal, the vision plan and design guidelines that are helping to revitalize Coney Island, and the expansion and renovation of the Morgan Library & Museum (with Renzo Piano Building Workshop), to name just a few.

The breadth of the firm’s work is no more evident than in its participation in OHNY Weekend–with more than twenty projects over the past fifteen years, Beyer Blinder Belle has helped design or restore more OHNY Weekend sites than any other architecture firm in the city. With this Monograph in Motion series, Open House New York is privileged to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Beyer Blinder Belle, a firm that continues to shape future of New York.

Scroll down to read more about the list of sites that you can tour with Beyer Blinder Belle as part of this series, or click the image below to visit BBB’s site to hear the partners reflect on the firm’s work.

Click the image above to watch a video about Beyer Blinder Belle. 




Met Breuer

Friday, May 18, 2018
6:00-7:00 PM

Marcel Breuer was at the height of his career when he designed the Whitney Museum in 1966. The integrity, beauty, and honesty of the building’s design, materials, and execution define it as one of the most distinguished examples of mid-century modern architecture in New York. Join Beyer Blinder Belle Senior Associates Brett Gaillard and Miriam Kelly for a tour and discussion of the immersive task of restoring the iconic building – including extensive research and an understanding of Breuer’s approach to design and materials – and transforming it into a space for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to exhibit modern and contemporary art.

$10 for OHNY Members, $20 for all others. OHNY Members may purchase tickets for themselves and a guest beginning on April 27 at 8 am. General admission sales begin on May 4 at 8am. To purchase tickets, click here.



Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 77

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
4:00-5:00 PM

Tour Building 77, the largest structure on the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 300-acre waterfront campus, with Beyer Blinder Belle Partner Elizabeth Leber and Associate Sherrill Moore, joined by Scott Demel, Director of Marvel Architects. Originally built in 1942 as a warehouse for the United States Navy’s operations during WWII, a top-to-bottom rehabilitation has transformed the building into a 21st-century commercial and light industrial hub, with a ground floor marketplace. Tour will include access to upper-floor raw spaces that feature spectacular NYC views, as well as the adjacent BLDG 92, a former 1857 Marine Commander’s house turned visitor center showcasing the Navy Yard’s history and innovations.

$10 for OHNY Members, $20 for all others. OHNY Members may purchase tickets for themselves and a guest beginning on May 1 at 8 am. General admission sales begin on May 8 at 8 am. To purchase tickets, click here.




New York City Hall

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
6:00-7:00 PM

New York City Hall, completed in 1812, is one of the nation’s oldest government buildings still serving its original purpose. Numerous ad-hoc renovations and modifications over the years had compromised the integrity of the landmarked building. A comprehensive and holistic rehabilitation – the first in more than 50 years – incorporated 21st century systems and technology with as light a touch as possible, preserving the historic fabric and spaces. Join Beyer Blinder Belle Partner Richard Southwick for a tour of the revitalized landmark, including the Rotunda, City Council Chamber, and new below-grade spaces.

$10 for OHNY Members, $20 for all others. OHNY Members may purchase tickets for themselves and a guest beginning on May 8 at 8 am. General admission sales begin on May 15 at 8 am. To purchase tickets, click here.



Photo credits: Met Breuer, Peter Aaron; Building 77 and City Hall, John Bartelstone. Courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle. All rights reserved.

On February 7, 2018, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $40,000 to Open House New York for Spaces of Justice, a year-long series of tours and programs that will explore the relationship between architecture, urban design, and criminal justice in New York City. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

Spaces of Justice is the fourth installment of Open House New York’s Urban Systems Series, an ongoing project that explores how economic, environmental, and cultural shifts of the early 21st century are transforming the systems that will shape the future of New York. Previous series have explored the changing spaces of contemporary manufacturing; the network of production and distribution facilities that comprise the city’s food system; and, most recently, the possibilities for a zero waste New York.

Over the last two decades, New York City has seen its homicide rate fall 90 percent while its prison population has shrunk by more than half, transforming it into one of the safest big cities in the United States. In a moment of national support for new approaches to policing and incarceration, the City has a unique opportunity to radically rethink the design of its justice system at every level.

Scheduled to launch this spring, Spaces of Justice is a series of tours, lectures, and other public programs that will explore major questions about the architecture and infrastructure of the criminal justice system in New York City. What are the spaces of justice in New York today and how can they be better conceived to support a system that treats all who pass through them with dignity and respect? As the city considers a shift to smaller prisons, what improvements would this allow in incarceration and rehabilitation? How can urban design choices further reduce crime, especially in areas that continue to experience elevated rates of crime? By creating a public platform to examine these and other questions, Open House New York intends to open up the conversation about the relationship between the physical spaces in which justice is enacted and the outcomes they produce. 

“The choices we make about how to shape our justice system are fundamental to who we are as a community,” said Open House New York executive director Gregory Wessner. “This project invites New Yorkers to think more openly, and more critically, about the state of the city’s justice infrastructure, and to envision what a 21st-century criminal justice system might look like. We are enormously grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for this grant, and for its support of Open House New York over the past fifteen years.”

For updates about Spaces of Justice, subscribe to Open House New York’s e-newsletter. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit



Photo: Jannis Werner/Alamy Stock Photo

Over the past year, Open House New York opened the doors to more than 300 sites across the five boroughs for more than 80,000 visitors, connecting New Yorkers with the city–and to each other–for unforgettable experiences and a deeper understanding of how New York is designed, built, and preserved. As a small nonprofit organization, our work would not be possible without the generous participation and support of our members, donors, volunteers, partners, and friends. For this year’s edition of our annual I am an Open House New Yorker campaign, we asked members of the OHNY community why they support our work all year long as Open House New Yorkers. 


Open House New York’s newly appointed Deputy Director for Development and Communications

Open House New Yorker since… 2009. As a public space enthusiast, Open House New York has been on my radar since I moved to this city. Each October, I scour the Weekend Guide and plot my strategy for visiting sites — rooftops are always a go-to. Starting this January, I’ll translate my passion for Open House New York’s mission into a full-time job, joining the staff as the Deputy Director for Development and Communications.

Most memorable OHNY experience: Tough one! Kayaking in the Gowanus Canal and touring Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Terminal rank high on the list. That said, my most memorable OHNY experience is visiting Treasure in the Trash, which takes up an entire floor of an East Harlem sanitation garage. The “museum” features hundreds of items — everything from Pez dispensers to plastic Christmas trees — rescued from curbside garbage and lovingly curated by Nelson Molina, a retired DSNY employee who has spent more than thirty years building the collection. Sanitation garages are typically off-limits to the general public, but OHNY opens up this experience to hundreds of people each year. Seeing this glimpse of beauty in such an unexpected place is what makes New York magical.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… by unlocking the built environment, OHNY has a remarkable way of connecting us to our city – and to each other.



Managing Principal, Dattner Architects
OHNY Weekend Site Host and Getting to Zero Program Partner

Open House New Yorker since… 2001. I heard about Open House New York soon after it was founded in 2001; its ties with the architectural community were well-established from the start. The first site I volunteered for was a new green roof on top of The Calhoun School – back when green roofs were novel in New York City. It was wonderful to be able to show people that it was possible to put grass on top of a school, to demonstrate how it was woven into their curriculum, and to answer questions about how it was part of a sustainable building. The spirit of curiosity and appreciation that I felt back then still permeates the organization and all their events.

Most memorable OHNY experience: This year! For Open House New York Weekend, Dattner Architects hosted two very different sites, and I spent Saturday at the adaptive reuse of a former school into affordable housing in Harlem, and Sunday at a sanitation garage and salt shed touring people through and sharing stories about the buildings. The contrast between the sites could not be greater, yet the pride of those who live and work in the buildings, and the level of engagement of the visitors, were identical.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I am proud of our city and incredibly grateful for the opportunities OHNY provides to explore it with other curious New Yorkers.



Principal, Büro Koray Duman
OHNY Weekend Partner on New Practices New York

Open House New Yorker since… 2012 when Interior Design magazine editor Cindy Allen asked me if she could include my apartment for a special series she was curating for Open House New York Weekend showcasing architect and designers and their homes.

Most memorable OHNY experience: I live in a fifth-floor walk-up, but during the 2012 OHNY Weekend, there was a line of people all the way down the staircase, out the building, and around the block. My neighbors thought there was a celebrity in the building.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… OHNY provides openness and a dialogue between people from all walks of life about the city we share and live in.



Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement, Queens Museum
OHNY Weekend Site Host and Conversations on the City Speaker

Open House New Yorker since… 2017. As the Director of Public Programs at the Queens Museum, I’ve worked on creating programming as an OHNY Weekend host site since 2007. These have always included tours of The Panorama of the City of New York, a large-scale model of New York City that was made by Robert Moses for the 1964-65 World’s Fair when our building was the NYC Pavilion.

Most memorable OHNY experience: Since I host OHNY Weekend activities myself, I don’t get to go too far to experience other sites. However, I loved being able to run next door during OHNY Weekend and get a hard hat tour within the Tent of Tomorrow structure, which is part of the New York State Pavilion designed by Philip Johnson for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. While I see it every day from the outside, I had never been able to experience it from the inside, since it’s usually closed to the public!

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I believe that discussions on urban planning and architecture should be something that everyone should participate in. After all, we have to live with decisions about our built environment for generations to come. The impact of these fields on everyday life are so profound and have the potential to reflect our most forward-thinking and democratic tendencies as a society.



Public Health and Public Safety Consultant
OHNY Program Partner and Volunteer

Open House New Yorker since… 2011. I first got involved by attending OHNY Weekend, then tried our volunteering, and am now beginning to help plan Spaces of Justice, Open House New York’s next yearlong Urban Systems Series.

Most memorable OHNY experience: Touring the Fountain Avenue Landfill stands out as a favorite, where from Brooklyn’s highest point one sweep of vision can take in the distant spires of downtown Manhattan and the glittering waters of Jamaica Bay.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… New York City presents an awesome spectacle to the world, but so much of its meaning and mechanism is walled off from public view. OHNY pierces the facade, creating a space where we can all pause, share, and marvel at the collective enterprise that is this city.



Marketing Professional
OHNY Board Member

Open House New Yorker since… 2011. I first heard of OHNY while perusing newspapers and was enamored by the idea of discovering new places and spaces throughout the city.

Most memorable OHNY experience: Walking up a four-floor old tenement building on the Lower East Side and walking into a sprawling art-filled apartment with a claw foot bathtub in the living room. Totally unexpected and architecturally exhilarating.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… NYC transforms behind every door.





OHNY Member and Volunteer

Open House New Yorker since… 2016. I read about the M11 Sanitation Garage online and was fascinated. I wanted to go see this incredible space and one of the only opportunities seemed to be through OHNY. So I became a member. When I received the introductory email launching the Getting To Zero series for this year I was just floored by the program. I was so excited by all of it and couldn’t imagine missing out on any of the evemts. I emailed OHNY to volunteer my photography services in the hopes that I could get involved with the organization and luckily they welcomed me.

Most memorable OHNY experience: The two OHNY events that continue to stay with me are Treasure In The Trash at M11, and Dead Horse Bay. Both reflect our history with garbage and challenge us to see garbage from a different viewpoint. Both spaces place garbage in a different context, which leads to so many thoughtful questions.

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… I am curious to learn about all the people, programming, and projects happening in all aspects of our lives that enable us to live our lives as New Yorkers. The information I learn helps me to be a better New Yorker and responsible global citizen.



Education & Outreach Coordinator, Sims Municipal Recycling
OHNY Weekend Site Host and Getting to Zero Program Partner

Open House New Yorker since… 2011. I first heard about OHNY shortly after I moved to New York City, but it was a few years before I reserved a spot in time for an OHNY Weekend Advance Registration site. Over the last year I’ve become involved as a site host at Sims Municipal Recycling for tours as part of the Getting to Zero series and OHNY Weekend, which was the single busiest day I’ve had leading tours here!

Most memorable OHNY experience: Getting out on the water to trace New York City’s waste history and modern infrastructure over the course of two boat tours part of the Getting to Zero series. Drifting up the fragrant Newtown Creek at sunset under the remains of the old Kosciuszko Bridge, past scrap metal yards, refineries, and a wastewater treatment plant was a contemplative and intense experience that somehow still managed to put the “fun” in “Superfund site.”

I’m an Open House New Yorker because… OHNY gives New Yorkers open access to the inspiring but usually inaccessible spaces in their city, and don’t we all need more openness and inspiration right now?


Are you an Open House New Yorker who believes in our mission and is committed to an open and accessible city? As a nonprofit organization, Open House New York relies on the support of people like you and hope you will make a year-end gift today to keep New York open and sustain this important work.