Your Guide to Open House NYC
On October 14th and 15th in New York City, hundreds of buildings that are usually off-limits will be opened up to the public. For two days only, Open House New York Weekend will unlock the doors of some of the Big Apple’s most important and historic buildings in an effort to highlight the importance of architecture and design.
With talks, tours and performances, Open House NYC is one of October’s hottest tickets, and it’s a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy an unrestricted look at New York City. Here’s what you need to know.
New York City is known across the world for its iconic architecture, and Open House NYC is all about meeting the people who design, build and then preserve this beautiful concrete jungle. OHNY Weekend began in 2002 and aims to promote the idea of an open and inclusive city. By allowing residents to peek behind the curtains of some of the city’s secret spaces, OHNY Weekend hope to start a conversation about how to build a better New York.
(Photo by Ken Yuel)
From historical to modern, residential to industrial, this year there are hundreds of sites and attractions across the five boroughs that are open for exploration. Popular locations include Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Little Red Lighthouse in Washington Heights and Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, but attendees can also look forward to surveying historic houses from New York’s earliest years, elaborate Art Deco theatres and strikingly innovative new builds.
Open House Tips
If you want to check out Open House New York this year, the full list of participating buildings is available online from October 4. Most of the sites are open access and can be visited free of charge, but bear in mind that some tours require reservations. You can make reservations online for $5.
If you’ve never experienced OHNY before, it’s a good idea to put a schedule together based on location, and begin with the sites you think will be most crowded. Make a note of nearby sites you can use as back-ups if there’s a long wait to enter another property. Not sure where to start? Here are a few sites that always deliver.
The Bryant Park Hotel
In 2001, British architect David Chipperfield converted the former American Radiator Company building into the landmark Bryant Park Hotel. During OHNY Weekend, you can get an insider tour of this beautiful and historic building.
Edgar Allan Poe's cottage
Literary legend and master of horror Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life in a small wooden farmhouse in the Bronx. Built in the early 1800s, the cottage has been restored to its original state and features authentic furnishings. If, like Poe himself, you enjoy an element of the macabre, make sure you check out the bed that Poe’s wife died in, which is still in the cottage...
(Photo by Matt Green)
Cycle New York’s Coastal Resiliency Tour
For something a bit different, why not grab a YOTEL Bike and explore the city with Professor Alexandros Washburn, former chief urban designer of New York City? Cycling past working waterworks and public parks, this fun tour is a reminder that NYC is in fact a coastal town.
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Get some exercise while enjoying gorgeous views with the vertical tour of Cathedral Church. To properly explore the world’s largest cathedral, you’ll have to climb more than 124 feet of spiral staircases – but, if you have any breath left, the rest will be taken by spectacular views from the rooftop.
(Photo by Kristina D.C. Hoeppnar)
TWA Flight Center
Designed in 1962 by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, JFK Airport's TWA Flight Center is an excellent example of futuristic architecture – but if you want to explore this iconic building, your time is running out. The TWA Flight Center is about to become a hotel, so OHNY Weekend might be your last chance to see it in all its original red-carpeted glory.
YOTEL New York is ideally situated for exploring the city during Open House New York Weekend. As OHNY Weekend is one of New York’s most popular events, hotels are booking up fast. Check out our cosy range of cabins and check availability here.