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Open House New York to Give Public Access to 200 City Sites

By Amy Langfield | October 4, 2017 5:50pm
 American Copper Buildings Skybridge will open for tours during Open House New York.
American Copper Buildings Skybridge will open for tours during Open House New York.
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Open House New York

MANHATTAN - Now in its 15th year, the nonprofit Open House New York will allow the public access into hundreds of architecturally interesting locations across the city during the weekend of Oct. 14 and 15.

On Wednesday, OHNY released its full list of sites and tours for the annual event. On Thursday at 11 a.m., it will open reservations for the 98 sites and tours that require advance booking. Those sites, which tend to fill up extremely fast, each carry a $5 booking fee.

The remainder of the OHNY sites are entirely free and require no reservations.

The gymnasium located in the archway of Liggett Hall on Governors Island is among this year's rarely open locations. It was open as part of the 2008 OHNY (a year when OHNY also offered access inside the still-shuttered art deco theater that is said to be where Irving Berlin found the inspiration to pen “This is the Army!”).

 The gymnasium at Liggett Hall barracks on Governors Island was only open to the public once before, during Open House New York in October 2008.
The gymnasium at Liggett Hall barracks on Governors Island was only open to the public once before, during Open House New York in October 2008.
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Amy Langfield/DNAinfo

When it was built in 1929, the McKim, Mead & White-designed Liggett barracks was the largest military building in the United States until the Pentagon was constructed. In 2008, the gymnasium's floor still had the logo of the U.S. Coast Guard, which used the island from 1966 to 1996.

Elsewhere, the New York Transit Museum is offering rare access to its archives.

If you can snag a reservation to the transit archives tour, you'll get to see to the open-shelved collections area where artifacts and archival material will be set up. "We aren't going to be taking requests day-of for material, but we will give people the archives contact info if they have an interest in researching something and want to make an appointment to come back in the future," a museum official said.

The new American Copper Buildings on the East River will be open for reservation-only tours, one focusing on design and the other on its skybridge. The 800-unit luxury rental towers stand  41 and 48 stories tall, connected by a skybridge "where you can swim from one tower to the other."

Other new sites to the annual OHNY weekend include The Bridge at the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island; the west elm headquarters in the historic Empire Stores building in DUMBO; and the Stanford White-designed Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue that now houses the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

READ MORE: Cornell Tech Debut on Roosevelt Island Will 'Bring NYC Back to the Future'

Other sites of note include the birthplace of Mobil Oil in Greenpoint; backstage at the Met Opera; Edward Hopper's studio in Greenwich Village; the remains of the fourth-floor hotel on Schermerhorn Row at the South Street Seaport; the storage facility of the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in Long Island City; the Department of Sanitation's LEED-certified Spring Street garage and salt shed; tours with the brewer at Flagship Brewing Company on Staten Island; and an Art Deco Society of New York tour of the Financial District.