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The 12th Annual Open House New York Weekend — chock-full of tours, workshops, and talks emphasizing the powerful experiences that our city’s spaces and buildings create — is coming up on October 11th and 12th. As always, the offerings are expansive. With more than 300 sites open to the public, OHNY attendees will have to make some hard choices when selecting their destinations. This year’s weekend also includes factory visits on October 10th and a lineup of “makerspaces” as part of OHNY’s Making It Here series. And OHNY at Night will bring you to sites throughout the city that showcase particularly well-regarded lighting design.
To help you dig into this year’s list of locations, and to provide some suggested reading from the Urban Omnibus and Architectural League archives to inform your in-person visits, we offer a few recommendations below. For more information on the weekend and to register for those events that require reservations (noted if so), visit the Open House New York website.
Weeksville Heritage Center | Read more in “Black Radical Weeksville” by Jonathan Tarleton
“This award-winning new building and landscape serves as a gateway to the historic houses on the premises, remnants of the 19th century free African American community of Weeksville, and provides the surrounding community with state-of-the-art exhibition, performance and educational facilities.” PS 83 and Stuyvesant Mansion, two historic buildings that are also sites of Weeksville Heritage Center’s and Creative Time’s exhibition Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, will also be open. Tours of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses require a reservation.
The Sugar Hill Museum Preschool | Read more in “Architecture vs. Housing: The Case of Sugar Hill” by Susanne Schindler
“Developed by the nonprofit Broadway Housing Communities, the Sugar Hill Project integrates supportive and affordable housing with education and cultural programs, and is expected to receive Silver LEED certification. Explore the ground level preschool within this distinctive new building.” Tours of the building beyond the museum require a reservation.
Weylin B. Seymour’s | Read more in The Architectural League’s series “Beaux Arts Ball 2014: Craft,” featuring interviews with the individuals responsible for the restoration of the building
“The 1875 Williamsburgh Savings Bank building was instrumental in shaping the trends of architectural design throughout the nation. Experience the spectacular interior of this architectural treasure, which recently underwent a meticulous three-year restoration to become Weylin B. Seymour’s, a vibrant center for gatherings, cultural, and social events.”
Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility | Read more in “Marketing Waste: Recycling New York” with Thomas Outerbridge
“This stunning new 11-acre waterfront facility receives recyclables by barge from throughout the 5 boroughs, and includes an education center where the public can view the recycling process firsthand.”
Old Stone House | Read more in “Under Annihilation’s Sign: Public Memory and Prospect Park’s Battle Pass” by Ben Nadler and Oksana Mironova
“The Old Stone House is a Robert Moses-backed, WPA-era reconstruction of a 1699 Dutch farmhouse. The site of the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, the house was also the original clubhouse for the Brooklyn Dodgers.”
Highbridge Park and Recreation Center | Read more in “Making as Inquiry: Design/Build in Washington Heights” with Alfred Zollinger
“This WPA-era pool house reopened in 2014 after a 3-year collaboration between faculty and students of the Design Workshop at Parsons the New School for Design and the Capital Projects professionals at NYC Parks. Students designed and constructed changing pavilions and transformed the breezeway into a mix of new spaces.”
69th Regiment Armory | Read more in “The Armory and the City: Civic Space of the National Guard” by Cassim Shepard
“Home to the famous Fighting 69th, one of the most decorated units in the US Army, this massive structure is also known as the site of the legendary 1913 Armory Show.”
Red Hook Initiative | Read more in “Local Connections: The Red Hook WiFi Project” with Anthony Schloss and Jonathan Baldwin
“This green building boasts natural light, energy efficient mechanical systems, and environmentally conscious materials. Learn about the Red Hook Initiative’s unique economic development model, unusual for a community center.”
Brooklyn Army Terminal | Read more in “From the Archives: Brooklyn Army Terminal” by Varick Shute
“BAT served as the largest military supply base in the US through World War II. The iconic atrium’s staggered balconies are beautiful and functional, designed to facilitate efficient movement of supplies throughout a massive vertical structure.”
Rocking the Boat | Read more in “Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts: Hunts Point, Bronx” by Joey De Jesus
“This 6,000 sf warehouse as recently renovated to create a spacious, light-filled home to support Rocking the Boat’s work using traditional wooden boatbuilding and on-water education to help young people develop into empowered and responsible adults”
Welling Court Mural Project | Read more in “Field Trip: Welling Court Mural Project” by Ian Veidenheimer
“Since the first mural was painted in December 2009, the WCMP has blossomed into a neighborhood-wide initiative comprised of more than 130 stylistically divers murals. Artist will be on site to discuss their work.”
Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 | Read more in “Urban Industry Redefined: The Brooklyn Navy Yard” by Caitlin Blanchfield
“BLDG 92, a LEED-Certified Platinum exhibition and visitors center, tells the story of the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, the 300-acre site that opened in 1801 as one of America’s first naval shipyards. Today, the Navy Yard is a thriving industrial, commercial, and cultural center. Enter through BLDG 92 to grab a Yard map and explore a curated group of fabricators, designers, artist studios and shops open throughout the Yard exclusively for OHNY Weekend.”
Floyd Bennett Field Ryan Visitor Center | Read more in “Floyd Bennett Field: Recreation in the Wasteland” by FASLANYC and “Field Trip: Camping in Floyd Bennett Field” by Jonathan Tarleton
“New York City opened its first municipal airport in 1931 with the dedication of Floyd Bennett Field. Today, the historic Ryan Visitor Center (which originally served as the airport terminal) has been renovated to reflect the Golden Age of Aviation.”
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage | Read more in “Field Trip: Poe Park and Cottage” by Samuel Freeman
“Administered by The Bronx County Historical Society since 1975, the cottage where Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life has been restored to its original appearance, with authentic period furnishings.”
Site descriptions by Open House New York.
The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.