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.