NY opens its doors for largest celebration of architecture and design in city history

Open House New York invites the public to tour more than 75 fascinating sites throughout the five boroughs – free of charge

First annual event takes place Saturday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003

From City Hall, Tweed Courthouse, and Gracie Mansion; to Washington Square Arch, the catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery, and turn-of-the-century Pratt Institute power plant; to a cutting-edge art gallery made out of shipping containers, an ultra-modern fashion photo studio in a former gas station and behind-the-scenes look at the construction of the major expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, the public will explore more than 75 fascinating sites throughout the five boroughs, free of charge, during the city’s most extensive celebration of architecture and design, the first annual openhousenewyork (OHNY), to be held on October 11 and 12.

"OHNY will give the public unprecedented access to inspiring and innovative places in neighborhoods throughout the city," said Scott Lauer, executive director of openhousenewyork, a private, not-for-profit organization. "This event could not be timelier; with the rebuilding of lower Manhattan, plans on the table for the 2012 Olympics, and other major building projects, public awareness and interest in architecture and design in New York has never been greater."

OHNY was inspired by the overwhelming success of similar events that have taken pace over the past decade in London, Toronto and other cities around the world. Through an annual citywide event and other public programs throughout the year, OHNY will engage the public in New York=s rich architectural, urban and historical development by providing access to a diverse array of architectural, engineering and design achievements.

"OHNY is a brilliant means of showcasing New York City=s rich architecture and design," said Terence Riley, chief curator, Department of Architecture & Design, Museum of Modern Art and an OHNY advisory board member, who will lead tours of the MoMA expansion. "This important event will catalyze a public discussion about New York=s urban environment and be instrumental in galvanizing meaningful change."

OHNY will be launched as part of the city=s first Architectural Week, which also includes the opening of the AIA NY Chapter=s Center for Architecture, 538 LaGuardia Place, which will serve as the welcome and information center for the event.

The participating sites reflect the diversity of New York City architecture and design, from famous landmarks to new frontiers, substations to skyscrapers, tunnels to towers, monuments to mansions, boardrooms to bedrooms and historic sites to exciting new work.

A guide and map highlighting all participating sites, designed by renowned graphic designer and illustrator Seymour Chwast, will be available at all participating sites and at the OHNY welcome center at the Center for Architecture. Complete event information will also be available on OHNY website, www.ohny.org. In addition, children will receive a special map and "suitcase," also designed by Chwast, containing activity sheets with information about the site history, architecture and design. The map will be stamped at each location so children can track their journey.

openhousenewyork inc. is a private, non-profit organization that is dedicated to engaging the public and increasing awareness and appreciation of New York=s built environment.

For more information, please visit www.ohny.org.


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