If you're looking for something exciting to do this weekend why not step out and discover some of the great history that can be found through New York's architecture. Labeled "the largest architecture and design festival in the U. S.," Open House New York takes place this weekend, October 12 and 13.
The whole point of OHNY is to open up architecturally historic and exciting sites to the public that they wouldn't normally be able to see. After eleven years of Open Houses, the weekend has now grown to include family tours and workshops, on-site talks, performances, a photo contest, and a grand launch party the night before.
Every building open for the weekend is free of charge, you don't need a pass to get in, and passports are available at many locations around town so you can see just what's going on. Some tours, however, do require reservations so be sure to call ahead.
Open locations participating in the event include the Little Red Lighthouse, New York City Center, The Standard Hotel at the High Line, the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, Maple Grove Cemetery, and more.
And for an even more exclusive look at some of the great buildings in the city, make use of Open House's collaboration with Interior Design Magazine, which allows visitors into the private homes of interior designers. Yabu Pushelberg's and Brad Zizmor's residences, and Marpillero Pollak's and Desai Chia's architecture lofts are some of the spots open to the public, and many will have the designers themselves on hand throughout the weekend.
Family activities this weekend include a skyscraper building workshop at the Children's Museum of the Arts, an arts festival at the Center for Architecture, an architectural scavenger hunt at Sung Harbor Cultural Center, and sketching at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Stop by some of the sites in every borough of the city, many you probably never even knew existed. The Judge Jacob Tysen House on Staten Island is part of Historic Richmond Town, a 19th-century Greek revival residence. In Queens, the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport is part of the National Register of Historic Places and will be open on Sunday with a talk by Jim Stevens of the Port Authority. In Manhattan, the Berman Horn studio town house, a residence and office space of architects, will be open for tours. On Saturday, UrbanGlass will open the doors to their new arts center, highlighting glassworks in Brooklyn. And in the Bronx, the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage will invite visitors to the farmhouse where Poe wrote many of his famous stories.
Also taking place this weekend as part of OHNY is the Historic House Trust Festival, for which the HHT will also open the doors to their historic homes. Sites under HHT domain include the Valentine-Varian House in the Bronx, Wyckoff Farmhouse in Brooklyn, Seguine Mansion on Staten Island, Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan, and Bowne House in Queens, among others.
No matter where you visit this weekend, you'll certainly discover many new and surprising places - New York really is a beautiful place; sometimes we forget to look up and take it all in. Open House New York gives you just that opportunity.