OHNY is delighted to unveil this year’s event guide cover designed by the celebrated artist and writer, Christoph Niemann. Can you name all of the buildings in his illustration? Reply with your responses!

This year’s event guide will be an insert in the September 27th issue of Time Out New York. Make sure to pick up a copy when it comes out. The guide will also be available in various locations throughout the five boroughs. Check back on our website to see a list of these locations that will be announced soon.


It was a beautiful evening on June 27th in New York City although the forecast was for a heat wave for the forthcoming days. This evening a balmy breeze and gentle sun with blue skies smiled down upon the 30 or so OHNY staff and volunteers, including many members of the Volunteer Council, who congregated on the third floor of the Central Park Arsenal. The occasion was the annual 5-Year Volunteer recognition ceremony which honors those volunteers who have volunteered at the OHNY Annual Weekend for five years or more.

The ceremony opened with some brief remarks from OHNY Board member David Gruber who welcomed everyone to the event. This was followed by a short introduction by Gary Rozman who is Director of Operations at the Arsenal – a job title which he said was somewhat ironic in view of his pacifist tendencies!

We then received a most interesting presentation by Jonathan Kuhn, the curator of the exhibition Parkcentric: Photos from the Museum of the City of New York, 1890-1940 which is presently displayed in the third floor gallery. This exhibition consists of photographs selected from the 300,000 negatives of the collection of the Museum of the City of New York. The selection for this exhibition centered on those photographs which had a parks connection. They are collected into groupings which have a theme such as ‘people’, ‘animals’, ‘activities’, etc. The Museum of the City of NY collection is available on-line and this exhibition had been carefully collected by sifting through these enormous archives. The photographs detail the development of the parks and show the various forms of dress, transport and activities over the years.

Curator Jonathan Kuhn

After the presentation and some questions and answers, the group moved upstairs to the fourth floor open roof deck where we enjoyed wine and snacks which had been excellently arranged by OHNY staff-members Jailee Rychen, Jessica Mak and Elis Shin.

The awards ceremony commenced with Ellen Ryan the Interim Executive Director of OHNY making some remarks, thanking the volunteers and inviting everyone to join the OHNY river cruise the following evening.

The awards ceremony was emceed by Catherine Stein assisted by Bob Moore and the following volunteers were given their attractive 5-year pins and roundly cheered and applauded by the assembled company:

Sang Yui Bae
Karen Bell
Joseph Broda
Bob Bodenstein
Karen Eckoff
Michael Hirsch
Ethan Lercher*
Sue Ling Mark
Jennifer Garrity
Eric Robinson
Lois Robinson
Harriette Tax
Fiona Torres*
Catherine Stein*

*Indicates Volunteer Council member.

Harriette Tax with Jailee Rychen

Fiona Torres one of our 5-year volunteers with Bob Moore and MC Catherine Stein

Eric Robinson

Ethan Lercher

Michael Hirsch

Karen Bell

Joseph Broda

Lois Robinson

After the ceremony, the group was entertained to an excellent tour of the building by Bob Gelber who is a licensed NYC tour guide as well as being a Big Apple Greeter and a much more than 5-year veteran of OHNY. The tour showed the group the historic map drawn up by Olmstead and Vaux and which won the competition to design the park in the 1800’s.

Volunteer Council member and NYC tour guide Bob Gelber

The group also climbed the metal, vertical ladder to the roof where the views of Central Park are stunning. There is a book up on the roof where you can sign your name and officially become part of New York City history. Everyone signed their name to fill one whole page.

Bob Gelber, Jailee Rychen and Ellen Ryan

OHNY group on the roof of the Arsenal

Anyone who has not visited the Central Park Arsenal has missed seeing a jewel in New York City. Although the roof is not generally open, the gallery is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and is well worth a visit.

This is a very enjoyable annual ritual and makes volunteering with OHNY even more of a joy.

OHNY continued its 10th Anniversary celebration with the 10th Anniversary Benefit on Wednesday, June 6th. The event took place at the old Claremont Stables, also known as the Claremont Riding Academy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Claremont Stables, which closed in 2007, was the last public stable in Manhattan and is currently being converted to a theater for the Steven Gaynor School by Rogers Marvel Architects.  The ambiance of the space, its exposed rafters and “under construction”  elements, provided the perfect venue for OHNY to celebrate ten years of uncovering many hidden gems of New York City, just like the Claremont Stables.












OHNY honored four outstanding New Yorkers:

Speaker Christine C. Quinn, New York City Council Speaker.

Tim Tompkins, President of the Time Square Alliance.

Robert Hammond & Joshua David, Co-Founders of the Friends of the High Line.

Each honoree gave wonderfully inspiring and heartfelt speeches, and had many lovely things to say about openhousenewyork. Read a quote from each honoree’s speech below.

Christine C. Quinn

New York City Council Speaker

“I think that it’s critical as our city continues to grow and expand that we want to grow and expand off of that foundation of the wonder of our diverse neighborhoods in every borough. And in what (OHNY is) doing you help us celebrate and remind us of that. You also remind us that another great thing about New York is you just never know what your going to find when you turn that corner you’ve never turned before and that is one of the things that keeps us so vibrant and so exciting and makes it so that we kick the toucas of any other city in the world and I want to thank you for embracing that idea” – Christine Quinn


Tim Tompkins

President of the Times Square Alliance

“openhousenewyork is something to celebrate so much, I owe so much of what we have been doing in Times Square not only with the midnight sign tours but in terms of the emphasis on design and public art, and really helping us to do what openhousenewyork does so well which is behind all the noise and all the business discovering all the many, many hidden beauties of the city that we so love.” – Tim Tompkins

Robert Hammond and Joshua David

Co-Founders of Friends of the High Line

“openhousenewyork played such a critical role in the early stages of the High Line. I remember the very first OHNY/High Line event, the only thing we could do was to get people on top of a building where they could look over a ledge at one little block of rail tracks, and that was when we really realized that hey, people might really like the High Line because people waited in line just to look over that ledge. Then gradually we got to let people stand next to the High Line, and then finally actually go on it. So the High Line and openhousenewyork have really grown step by step together.” – Robert Hammond

Each honoree received a personalized plaque designed by New York artist, Tom Otterness to recognize their indelible contributions to the city’s built environment and for their continued support of OHNY and OHNY’s mission to inspire, engage, and educate the public about New York City’s architecture design and cultural heritage.

Christine Quinn, Margaret Sullivan and Gale Brewer


Robert Hammond, Scott Lauer & Joshua David


Accompanying the honorees on the night’s agenda was a silent auction. With the generous support from artists, designers, and organizations such as Marc Jacobs, Stanley Greenberg, Elliott Kaufman, Paul Warchol, Steven Holl, Esto, UM Projects, OHNY was able to raise money to help support the 10th Anniversary OHNY Weekend. A big thanks to all those that donated and bid on all the exceptional items.


OHNY silent auction


Here are more fun photos of our guests enjoying themselves during the evening.


OHNY would like to thank everyone one that helped to make this evening possible. It was a huge success and a great way to kick off our 10th Anniversary year! Stay tuned for more exciting programs and special events and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 2012 OHNY Weekend, October 6 & 7, 2012.


The Manhattan Bridge from Bade Stageberg Cox Architects


Despite the bone-chilling wind this past Saturday, we had a fantastic turn-out for the kickoff of our openstudios series in DUMBO, Brooklyn. With the help of devoted volunteers, 26 studios, the DUMBO Business Improvement District, Two Trees Development, and The Architect’s Newspaper, over 150 visitors were able to freely explore spaces where design happens and to ask the architects about their projects, inspirations, and methods.


The Guide


Participating Studios: Acconci Studio, Andrea Mason/Architect, Bade Stageberg Cox, Bernheimer Architecture, Brooklyn Digital Foundry, CAZA, Davies Tang & Toews, Garrison Architects, Guerin Glass Architects, Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture, LEESER Architecture PLLC, Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, PLLC, Marble Fairbanks, MAS : MANIFOLD.ArchitectureStudio, Matter Practice, McGarvey Robinson Design, MESH Architectures, Nandinee Phookan Architects, nARCHITECTS, ORE design + technology, RSVP/N+ Architecture Studios, Scarano Architect PLLC, Situ Studio, SO-IL, and SA-DA Architecture.

The first stop for everyone was 81 Front Street for check-in, where visitors were given their map, a copy of The Architect’s Newspaper, and a stamp on their hand as their ticket to exploring the studios. Once checked in, visitors were free to roam throughout DUMBO, visiting many firms and also boutiques and coffee shops along the way. People in the neighborhood noticed the bustling activity and enthusiasm of the visitors, and several residents of DUMBO stopped into 81 Front Street to purchase a ticket for their own chance to explore a part of DUMBO that is normally not open to them.



After a long day of feeding curiosity, a wine reception was held at Garrison Architects for the volunteers, architects, and visitors. Amidst architectural models and paint swatches, the room was buzzing with excited discussions about favorite parts of the day and debates about the best designs.


To see a few more aspects of the event, check out a post written by The Arts Observer that covers more of what was seen inside the studios.

With such a great turnout in DUMBO, we are looking forward to the next stop in the openstudios series: Varick Street. We hope you will be able to join us on March 31 as we open up another neighborhood of design spaces. Details will soon be announced on our Program Page.

Our Modern Architecture & Design Scavenger Hunt organized with Docomomo US was a huge success this past weekend. Each team had to decipher the clues and take a photo in front of the answer. We are excited to announce the winners of the heated contest!

1st Place: Wino Beach Mob
2nd Place: LC-Star
3rd Place: (tie) Mies van der Hoes & Team 2

In 1st place, was The Wino Beach Mob. Team Members: Elizabeth Smith, Todd Smith & Tim Yeo. They scored a total of 132 points.

Wino Beach Mob

In 2nd place, was LC-Star. Team members: Lauren Ellsworth & Cory Forsyth. They scored a total of 120 points.


There was a tie for 3rd place. Both the Mies van der Hoes – team members Josh Stager, John Elias, Angelina Fryer & Christin Friley – & Team 2  – Franklin Headley & Jeffrey Becker – tied with 116 point.

Mies van der Hoes

Team 2

Stay tuned for a more detailed recap of the event with honorary “Best of” awards to recognize the best photos we received. Thank you to all who participated. We hope you had a great time and learned something in the process. We hope to run more scavenger hunts in the future.