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Museum at Eldridge Street | © Peter Aaron
Museum at Eldridge Street | © Peter Aaron
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Here's What to See at Open House New York 2017 for Design Lovers

Picture of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor
Updated: 10 October 2017
Open House New York 2017 is back again for its 15th year. Here’s are our favorite (free) design-centric Open Access Sites to visit this weekend.

Open House New York (OHNY) only comes once a year, but don’t worry—even if you can’t make it this weekend, you can still check out some of the sites throughout the year. Home and Design editor Amber Snider curated a design lover’s guide from nearly 200 OHNY sites, all of which will be open to the public on October 14.

You can now visit the home of one of the world’s most influential jazz artists, a breathtaking historic Synagogue, a folk art shrine, new art galleries and gardens, and more.

Louis Armstrong House Museum

Corona, Queens

The Louis Armstrong House Museum, designed by architect Robert Johnson, was built in 1910 and renovated in 2013 by Buttrick, White & Burtis Architects. Armstrong spoke of his choice to move to the working-class neighborhood in 1964: “We’re right out here with the rest of the colored folk and the Puerto Ricans and Italians and the Hebrew cats. We don’t need to move out in the suburbs to some big mansion with lots of servants and yardmen and things.” Weekend visitors are offered a 40-minute guided tour that starts every hour.

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 12:00 pm—4:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 12:00 pm—4:00 pm.

Louis Armstrong House Museum
Louis Armstrong House Museum | Image courtesy of Open House New York

Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Let’s face it: designers and artists need their quality quiet time. This educational, science-focused green roof was designed in 2016-17 by Alive Structures, and is one of this year’s Spaces of Respite, where weekend participants can find reprieve and tranquility from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof, located in Greenpoint, was conceived through “partnerships with local businesses, community voices, and wildlife experts,” and also functions as a bird habitat.

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 10:00 am—2:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 12:00 pm—4:00 pm.

Brooklyn Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof
Brooklyn Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof | © Andrew Maas

Brooklyn Glass

Gowanus, Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s very own glass-blowing studio, Brooklyn Glass, is opening its doors during the OHNY weekend for a tour of its unique, artist-owned facility. *Note from OHNY: Visitors must wear hard-soled shoes.

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 11:00 am5:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 11:00 am5:00 pm.

Brooklyn Glass
Brooklyn Glass | © Brooklyn Glass

City Reliquary Museum

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

If New York artifacts, ephemera, and relics are your thing, the City Reliquary Museum is a must-see. Offering rotating exhibitions and annual events that “celebrate the local history of New York and unite the diverse communities of the city,” what started as a simple window display in Williamsburg is now a fully-fledged homage to NYC’s past.

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 12:00 pm6:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 12:00 pm6:00 pm.

City Reliquary Museum
City Reliquary Museum | Image courtesy of Open House New York

Museum at Eldridge Street

Lower East Side, Manhattan

Housed in the historical 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Museum at Eldridge Street is one of NYC’s most magnificent architectural and design wonders. With Victorian-era lighting, circular stained-glass windows, intricate wood carvings, and vibrant blue murals, this must-see site radiates New York culture. OHNY weekend visitors can learn more about the building’s award-winning restoration and Jewish immigration history through a series of exhibitions, films, and interactive displays. A special 45-minute talk on “Jewish Worship & Practice” will be led by Museum Program Director and Folklorist Hanna Griff Sleven and archivist Nancy Johnson on Sunday at noon.

Open to the public Sunday, October 15, 10:00 am6:00 pm.

Museum at Eldridge Street
Museum at Eldridge Street | © Peter Aaron

Scandinavia House

Midtown Manhattan

Designed in 2000 by Polshek Partnership (now Ennead Architects), Scandinavia House—The Nordic Center in America “offers a wide range of programs that illuminate the culture and vitality of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.” Scandinavia House is the headquarters of the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) and has been a participating site for over ten years.

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 10:00 am—6:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 10:00 am—6:00 pm.

Scandinavia House
Scandinavia House | © Jonathon B. Ragle

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society of Rosebank

Rosebank, Staten Island

From OHNY: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society of Rosebank is an “historic grotto, tucked away on an unassuming side street, is a stunning work of folk art built by the local Italian American community. Made of concrete and stone, the shrine is made up of a number of small structures, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.”

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 9:00 am—5:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 9:00 am—5:00 pm.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society | © Garrett Ziegler/ Flickr

Noguchi Museum

Long Island City, Queens

Built in 1926 and renovated in 1985 and 2004, the Noguchi Museum was founded by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. It consists of 27,000 square feet of gallery space, plus an outdoor sculpture garden. The museum presents an ongoing installation, including special exhibitions and educational programming that offer insight into Noguchi’s work. Note from OHNY: “Tours of the exhibition Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center with curators will be offered at 1pm on both days. OpenDialogue tours with architect Jennifer Sage of Sage and Coombe, which renovated the building in 2004, will be offered at 3pm on both days.”

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 11:00 am—6:00 pm and Sunday, October 15, 11:00 am—6:00 pm.

Noguchi Museum
Noguchi Museum | © Nick Knight

Lisson Gallery

West Chelsea, Manhattan

From OHNY: The Lisson Gallery contains 4,500 square feet of gallery space and 4,000 square feet of offices, private viewing spaces, and storage in a building underneath the High Line. Constructed around the foundational elements of the old elevated rail trestle, the column-free space is a precise response to the specific conditions of the unique site.” A new series entitled “New Practices New York” will also be on view and explores how designers are transforming the city. On Saturday, there will be OpenDialogue tours with architects Christian Wassmann and/or Joana Bem-Haja at various times.

Open to the public Saturday, October 14, 12:00 pm—6:00 pm.

Lisson Gallery
Lisson Gallery | © Jason Schmidt

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

Upper East Side, Manhattan

Visitors can walk through eight, fully furnished period rooms in this 18th-century converted carriage house on the Upper West Side. Another designated Space of Respite for the weekend, the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden will be open on Sunday. The current exhibit, Democracy in Print: Public Debate and the Rise of the Newspaper, will also be available to view.

Open to the public Sunday, October 15, 11:00 am—4:00 pm.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden | © Geoffrey Gross

Want more from OHNY? Check out our guide to OHNY for architecture lovers here.