Open House New York Weekend (Oct 20–22) is just a few days away, and with over 330 partners participating this year, it’s impossible to do it all. So we scoured the Weekend planner and highlighted some of our favorite spots. So don’t be surprised if you see one of us there, leading a tour or taking in the experience on our free time!
Brooklyn Navy Yard
The Brooklyn Navy Yard will throw open its gates on SATURDAY ONLY, 12pm–6pm, and at least 35 artists and manufacturers are taking part. There’s so much to see at the Yard, but we wanted to highlight artist Nick Golebiewski (who also leads tours for Turnstile) and welder and sculptor Michelle Greene in Building 280, jewelry makers Carey Bilbo and Casey Sobel in Building 131, and electric motorcycle manufacturer Tarform in Building 303. Some companies will be hosting tours on a first-come basis—you can sign up when checking in at the Yard’s gates (more info).
Enter the Yard via Building 77, Sands Street, or the NYC Ferry landing, and BNY staff and OHNY volunteers will help you navigate the 300 acres and 70 buildings of the vast Yard. If you get hungry, the Food Manufacturing Hub in Building 77 will be open, including Russ & Daughters and Transmitter Brewing. You can stop by the Naval Cemetery Landscape on the Williamsburg side of the Yard, open Saturday and Sunday, 10am–6:30pm. Elsewhere in Fort Greene, step into the crypt of the 1908 Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, commemorating the 11,500 lives lost in prison ships in the Wallabout Bay, on Saturday, 11am–2pm. Or on Sunday at 12pm, you can take a guided tour of the historic campus of Pratt Institute (RSVP required).
Brooklyn Army Terminal
This year marks 10 years of leading tours of the Brooklyn Army Terminal in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, but it was on OHNY Weekend 2012 when we first visited this remarkable place. Our staff will be offering highlights tours of the Terminal’s iconic atrium on both Saturday and Sunday at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. No need to RSVP, just show up and join us! And if you want to just come and explore the grounds, the site will be open 12pm–6pm both days (more info).
Some tenants in the Brooklyn Army Terminal will also be holding open houses. During OHNY’s “Factory Friday,” the nonprofit MakerSpaceNYC will be open 10:30am–3:30pm for tours and open access, and they will be doing machine demonstrations on some of their equipment at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm (more info). BioBAT Art Space, the only art gallery in New York City dedicated to sci-art, will be open on Saturday, 12pm–5pm, showing their new exhibit, “Embodied Futures: Exploring Interspecies Ethics Towards an Ecology of Care” (more info).
Compost and Cans
And while you’re in Sunset Park, visit the Brooklyn Grange, a 2.5-acre farm located atop the Liberty View Industrial Plaza. OHNY coincides with their Fall Fest on Sunday, 10am–3pm, when they will be hosting farm tours, a farmer’s market, and education programs for families. You can even get your hands in the dirt and help with the weeding! Head one block down towards the water, and you can visit the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, which processes all of the city’s curbside glass, metal, and plastic recyclables. You can see the facility in action (the garbage never stops coming), and it is also home to the Recycling Education Center. Open access is Saturday only, 11am–3pm.
If you’re really interested in recycling, you should head across the borough to Bushwick to visit Sure We Can, a nonprofit communal space run by and for the city’s canners. More than one million cans and bottles are redeemed each month at this facility, each rescued by hand from the city’s trash cans, but Sure We Can also provides support services to their community of 1,000+ canners. Tours will be offered on the hour on Saturday, 12pm–5pm on a first-come basis (more info). Can’t make it out to Bushwick? Then watch our virtual tour of Sure We Can with executive director Ryan Castalia from 2020.
Olmsted’s New York
There are several events taking place at the Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted-designed jewels of the city. On Saturday, 11am–2pm, will be a special open house at the recently-restored Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park, including tours of the exhibit currently on display, the J’ouvert Genesis Immersive Experience. In Central Park, there will be special events at the Chess and Checkers House and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. Or make your way out to Staten Island to the Olmsted-Beil House, Olmsted’s former farmstead where he developed his skills in horticulture and landscape architecture. The site will be open Saturday and Sunday, 12pm–4pm, and on both days at noon, there will be an illustrated lecture, “The Olmsted-Beil House Through Time.”
Though not officially part of OHNY, on Saturday, 11am–3pm, the Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park will host an open house. It is a unique 10-acre landscape that is separate from, but surrounded by Prospect Park and is still an active cemetery owned and maintained by the New York Quaker Meeting. Founded in 1849, 16 years before park construction began, the park’s designers decided to just build around the cemetery, and this incredible oasis contains some of the oldest and largest trees in the park.