OHNY Weekend

Open House New York invites you to kick off the 15th Anniversary Open House New York Weekend Launch Party and celebrate the start of New York’s favorite weekend of architecture and design. A 15th anniversary celebration needs an especially festive location, which is why Open House New York is taking over Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the night on Thursday, October 12, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, for an evening of drinks, light fare and unlimited free carousel rides.

Jane’s Carousel was built in the heyday of the American carousels in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for Idora Park, a theme park in Youngstown, Ohio. The carousel is composed of 48 carved horses arrayed in three rows, with thirty “jumpers,” eighteen “standers,” and two chariots, attributed to John Zalar and Frank Carretta, among the most well known carousel carvers of their day. Following the park’s closure in 1984, the carousel was put up for auction, with the expectation that it would be broken up and sold as individual pieces. But Jane and David Walentas purchased the entire carousel as the centerpiece of a 1980s proposal for a marina and shopping complex in Brooklyn, which later evolved into what is now Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Following a painstaking restoration by Jane Walentas that returned every component to its original glory, the carousel opened in Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2011 in a transparent jewel box designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. “The waterfront site was very spectacular,” Jane Walentas was quoted saying in an article about the opening of the carousel pavilion in The New York Times. “I felt we needed something very exciting and elegant,” and “we just couldn’t do a typical nostalgic carousel building of the amusement park genre.” The Paris-based Nouvel–who also designed 40 Mercer in Soho, 100 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea, and 53 West 53rd Street (otherwise known as the MoMA tower, now under construction in Midtown)–designed a 72’ x 72’ x 27’ box that sits on a 6’ high concrete cellar to raise the carousel above the floodline. Sheathed in 4 1/2 inch thick acrylic panels, the North and South walls slide open to frame dramatic views of the East River and Lower Manhattan, and allow for unimpeded access to the promenade and the park. At night, the pavilion glows like a lantern to light this section of the park.

Jane’s Carousel is emblematic of the transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront in the fifteen years since the first OHNY Weekend took place, an area once lined with decaying piers that has been reinvented as a vibrant public space for the 21st century.

Join us at the 15th anniversary OHNY Weekend Launch Party to help keep the majority of Weekend programming entirely free of charge for more than 80,000 visitors and 1,200 volunteers! To learn more about the Launch Party and purchase tickets today, click here


Photos of Jane’s Carousel by Julienne Schaer. 


Open House New York and Wikimedia NYC invite you to submit your best OHNY Weekend photos to our photo competition on Wikimedia Commons!

More than 1,000 photos taken during OHNY Weekend are submitted to the photo competition each year. Submissions are judged in one of three categories – Interiors, Exteriors, and Details – for a chance to win prizes. All submitted photographs also become part of Wikimedia Commons, the online repository of free-use, public domain images that are used across Wikimedia—including as illustrations for Wikipedia articles. Nearly 200 photos from OHNY Weekend are already being used to illustrate articles across the world, from the entry on “rusty” in Polish, to “light fixture” in Estonian, to “nostalgia” in Bengali!

In addition, submissions to the 2017 competition will also be considered for publication in a forthcoming book of photographs, published by Open House New York in celebration of the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend! 

Submissions will be accepted starting on October 14 and through Sunday, October 22 at 11:59pm. 

Read on for the full competition details!

Get Published
Submit your images for this year’s competition, and they will also be considered for publication in Seeing the City: Open House New York Weekend in Photos, a forthcoming book of photographs, published by Open House New York in celebration of the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend. A Kickstarter campaign to help cover the cost of design and printing is live now. To see a video about the project and pre-order your copy with a pledge of $35 or more, click here.

Prizes will be awarded to the best photos in three categories – Interiors, Exteriors, and Details – one of which will also be named a Grand Prize Winner. Each category winner will receive a $100 gift card for New York City Photo Safari that can be used towards booking any regular Photo Safari. One Grand Prize Winner will also receive an Insta360 Nano or Air – a clip-on thatinstantly turns your phone into a VR camera that records 360-degree high-resolution 3K video – courtesy of New York City Photo Safari.

To Enter
Submit your photo online at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Campaign:OHNY2017. The deadline to submit photos is 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 22. Photos will not be accepted via any other means. Please note that you will be asked to create a Wikimedia Commons account to submit photos, and be sure to include your email address so that you can be contacted if you are selected as a category winner.

Please note: In keeping with the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons, all photos entered into the Wikipedia @ OHNY Weekend Photo Competition will be considered to be freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, permitting free use for any purpose and the creation of derivative works.

Photo submissions should:
• Be taken during OHNY Weekend on Saturday or Sunday, October 14 or 15, 2017 at a participating OHNY Weekend site or tour
• Be properly labeled in the “description” field with the name of the site or tour in which the photo was taken. Photo descriptions that do not name the site will not be eligible
• Highlight architecture and design excellence, and not your fellow explorers including OHNY participants, volunteers, and guides.

• Entrants must be 18 years or older
• The entrant guarantees that (s)he is the copyright holder of the work
• In keeping with the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons, photos will be considered to be freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license, permitting free use for any purpose and the creation of derivative works.

By submitting a photo for the Wikimedia @ OHNY Weekend Photo Competition, you agree to all of the above rules and conditions.

Wikimedia NYC Photo Hub
Want to learn more about how Wikimedia photos will be cataloged and used on Wikipedia articles? On Sunday, October 15 Wikimedia NYC will host a multimedia tutorial, workshop, and hackathon about the work processes for cultural multimedia wiki-projects. Stop by the Ace Hotel Board Room at 20 West 29th Street between 4 to 8 pm to participate. 

Questions about the competition? Email us at info@ohny.org.

Wikimedia NYC is an independent 501(c)3 organization that serves as the local Wikimedia chapter for New York City and the metropolitan area. As a community nonprofit, Wikimedia NYC welcomes educational and cultural partnerships with all local institutions interested in the further expansion and diversification of free knowledge.

Open House New York gratefully acknowledges the generous support of New York City Photo Safari for this year’s competition prizes.



Though New York’s energy is one of its greatest strengths, it is important to have places in the city that offer relief from the stresses and anxieties of contemporary life. During this year’s OHNY Weekend, Open House New York has curated a group of sites across the five boroughs that provide some serenity and respite from the chaos of the city, places where you can pause, rest, and gather your thoughts.

All sites are Open Access, and may be visited during the days and hours listed in this guide. Full tour descriptions and information about how to visit these sites will be available on October 4.


Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
Financial District, Manhattan

Alice Austen House
Rosebank, Staten Island

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

The Evergreens Cemetery
Bushwick, Brooklyn

General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen
Midtown, Manhattan

Gould Memorial Library& Hall of Fame for Great Americans
University Heights, Bronx

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Lighthouse Hill, Staten Island

Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
Upper East Side, Manhattan

New York Marble Cemetery
East Village, Manhattan

The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation
Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Socrates Sculpture Park
Astoria, Queens

Images: Alice Austen House, Floto and Warner; Jacques Marchais Museum, courtesy of site. 

This year, families will find special kid-friendly architectural programming at sites across all five boroughs. All OHNY Kids programs are Open Access and free of charge. The sites listed on this page will offer special tours, crafts, and fun activities geared specifically toward families with children.


Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

Blue School
Seaport, Manhattan

Brooklyn Grange
Long Island City, Queens

Cast Hall at the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art
Midtown, Manhattan

Center for Architecture
Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Church of the Transfiguration
Flatiron District, Manhattan

Federal Hall National Memorial
Financial District, Manhattan

Free Synagogue of Flushing
Flushing, Queens

GallopNYC Sunrise Stables
Ozone Park, Queens

Historic Ship MARY A. WHALEN
Red Hook, Brooklyn

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Lighthouse Hill, Staten Island

King Manor Museum
Jamaica, Queens

Little Red Lighthouse
Washington Heights, Manhattan

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
Upper East Side, Manhattan

Museum at Eldridge Street
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Old Stone House & Washington Park
Gowanus/Park Slope, Brooklyn

Queens Museum
Flushing Meadows, Queens

US Coast Guard Cutter LILAC
Tribeca, Manhattan

Welling Court Mural Project
Astoria, Queens


The growth of Open House New York Weekend over the past decade and a half has roughly paralleled that of a city initiative that has had an extraordinary impact on the quality of civic architecture in New York: the Design + Construction Excellence program of the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC). DDC is the city agency responsible for building many of the municipal facilities that New Yorkers use every day: buildings and interiors such as libraries, museums, and senior centers, as well as courthouses, fire stations, and even roadways and sewers.

With the creation of the Design + Construction Excellence (DCE) program in 2004, the city reasserted its commitment to giving New Yorkers public buildings worthy of the greatest city in the world. Working with some of New York’s best architects and designers, DCE has invested in design to elevate not just how a building looks, but the durability of its materials, the way it functions, and most importantly, how it enriches the lives of the New Yorkers who use it. It is in part because of DCE that New York City is now considered among the leading centers of architecture in the world.

Working in partnership with DDC, Open House New York is proud to open a small selection of the hundreds of projects that have been built through DCE, as a way to recognize and celebrate the importance of the civic realm to shaping the day-to-day lives of all New Yorkers. Some Civic Excellence sites will have Open Access hours and may be visited free-of-charge on a drop-in basis; others require Advance Reservations. Full tour descriptions and information about how to visit these sites will be available on October 4.


Celebrating Civic Excellence Sites

Brooklyn Historical Society
Christoff : Finio Architecture

Elmhurst Library
Marpillero Pollak Architects

Kew Gardens Hills Library
Work Architecture Company (WORKac)

M1/2/5 Sanitation Garage & Salt Shed
Dattner Architects and WXY architecture + urban design

New York Hall of Science
Ennead Architects

Noguchi Museum
Sage and Coombe Architects

Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex
Sage and Coombe Architects

The Public Theater
Ennead Architects

Queens Museum

Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility
Selldorf Architects

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Marble Fairbanks

Staten Island Ferry Terminal + Peter Minuit Plaza
Frederic Schwartz Architects

Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype
Garrison Architects

West 215th Step Street
WXY architecture + urban design


Images: Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility by Nikolas Koenig courtesy of Selldorf Architects; Public Theater courtesy of Ennead Architects;Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex by Paul Warchol; Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype by Andrew Rugge / Archphoto; New York Hall of Science courtesy of the site; West 215th Step Street by Albert Vecerka/ESTO;The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture courtesy of Marble Fairbanks; and Noguchi Museum by Nick Knight.