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OHNY Weekend: New York’s Annual Hats Off to Architecture

The Little Red Lighthouse on the Hudson River, which opens its doors during OHNY


By Deborah Hay

On October 15 and 16, openhousenewyork (OHNY) presents the 9th Annual OHNY Weekend, an all-borough celebration of the outstanding architecture and design of New York City. For two days, New Yorkers and tourists alike have rare access to homes, offices, and hundreds of buildings of cultural and historical significance — many of which are not normally open to the public.

Some 200,000 enthusiasts are expected to attend OHNY Weekend, whose venues span the history of New York’s built environment. Perennial favorites will once again open their doors: The Alice Austen House (built 1690), the New York Marble Cemetery (established 1831), the beloved Little Red Lighthouse (1880), the magnificent Grand Lodge of the Masons, and 7 World Trade Center (2006).

Hotel Americano

More recently completed architectural gems on this year’s lineup include: Hotel Americano, a glass hotel adjacent to the High Line, sheathed in a scrim of steel mesh; PS90, a Collegiate Gothic-style former public school in Harlem, renovated and transformed into apartments; Queens Theater-in-the-Park, designed by Philip Johnson for the 1964 World’s Fair but only recently finished with the addition of an elliptical viewing pavilion; and Myrtle Hall, a sleek, brick-and-glass LEED Gold-certified structure on the campus of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Most OHNY sites offer free, walk-up access; some require advance reservations. New this year, reservations can be made directly through the OHNY website, www.ohny.org, beginning 9 a.m., October 4, 2011. A $5 processing fee applies. OHNY also offers a limited number of Passports, which allow front-of-the-line access to those sites and programs that don’t require reservations. Cost: a $150 donation (100% tax deductible) to OHNY.

A complete list of OHNY Weekend sites, tours, talks, and kids programs will be available at www.ohny.org beginning 9 a.m., October4, 2011.


Deborah Hay writes about travel, arts, culture, architecture, and New York City. She is the former associate editor of Diversion, Hearst’s travel and leisure magazine for physicians. She lives in Manhattan.

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