Open House New York is excited to welcome back Mathilde Sanson to the team of volunteers involved in the 2015 OHNY Weekend. This year, her wife, Christine Cea, joins her in helping to make this Open House New York Weekend the best yet! Volunteers play a pivotal role on-site, greeting and managing lines and check-in. OHNY Weekend would not be possible without their support. Mathilde and Christine were asked about their experiences as both participants and volunteers during OHNY Weekend. Mathilde and Christine live in Chelsea with their son.


Christine: “Our favorite NYC neighborhood is our very own: Chelsea. Not only because it is our home. I love how it has evolved in so many great ways – the galleries, the High Line, the Greenway and waterfront — while retaining its architectural diversity.  And, its history as the estate of Clement Clarke Moore who wrote ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’.

“I’m looking forward to the added bonus of learning and seeing more from a behind the scenes perspective as an OHNY Weekend volunteer.”

Mathilde: “I like getting to know a site in more detail than by just visiting. Last year I worked a four-hour shift at the Freemason’s Grand Lodge on 23rd Street – which I must have passed hundreds of times!  This is a male membership society and it was fascinating to learn about their closed-doors meetings from the actual members who gave the tours. Meanwhile, it was amusing that the volunteers were an all-female crew running the elevator and managing the visitor crowds.

“Last year, I loved visiting the Woolworth building. The lobby was fantastic but so were the views from the architectural office which participated.

“We have attended in years past both the weekend and architectural boat tours and loved the exposure to so many sights and history. Volunteering is a way to help such a great organization thrive and so that more people can enjoy the architectural wonders of NYC.

“Christine is a native New Yorker who was born in Brooklyn. I moved with my family to Manhattan as a teen and lived midtown. We met at Barnard College of Columbia University. Five other members of our family have graduated from or worked at Columbia. Our son is a native New Yorker and attends high school in the neighborhood and Ubers about town. We are a genuine New York City family.”

A huge thank you to the 1,200 individuals who registered to volunteer during the 2015 OHNY Weekend on October 17 and 18! Looking forward to another great year!