Open House New York – the city’s annual festival of eye-popping architecture tours – kicks off on 15 October offering, unlocking the doors to some the city’s most iconic buildings and little-seen treasures.

Whether they’ve just opened or are usually off-limits to the public, these landmarks are our top picks to visit this weekend.

VIA 57 West

Photography: Iwan Baan, courtesy of OHNY
Photography: Iwan Baan, courtesy of OHNY

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, this trippy ‘pyramid-courtyard’ building on Manhattan’s West Side was completed last month. A hybrid of a European-style perimeter apartment block and a New York City high rise, the angled shape of the building and its skewed balconies maximise views of the Hudson River from its 750 apartments.

Grand Central Terminal Catwalks

Gand Central terminal
Photography: Peter Aaron

Visitors on this tour will get to walk across the terminal’s famous glass catwalks – typically closed to the public – which run behind the windows overlooking the main concourse. Beyer Blinder Belle headed the terminal’s 25-year rehabilitation project and will lead the tour, providing fresh insights into this well-known landmark.

Jennifer Post’s Apartment in The Apthorp

Photography: Peter Krasowski
Photography: Peter Krasowski

Nearly 15 years ago, interior designer Jennifer Post fell in love with a space inside one of Manhattan’s grandest apartment buildings, and transformed it into an impeccable contemporary home. Bright, clean, and filled with an eclectic furniture and art collection, Post’s home is one you’ll want to gawk at.

Manhattan Municipal Building

Photography: Mattia Panciroli via Flickr
Photography: Mattia Panciroli via OHNY

The rarely open cupola of this NYC landmark will host a select number of OHNY tours, giving visitors incredible 360-degree views across Lower Manhattan. Designed by architect William M Kendall of McKim, Mead & White, the iconic building will also have a display of historic documents and photos for perusal.

Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse

Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse
Photography: Jose Olivares

Also known as the Little Red Lighthouse because it features prominently in a famous 1942 children’s book, Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse sits on a secluded site beneath the towering George Washington Bridge. Beloved by locals, the lighthouse escaped demolition in 1948 and was declared a New York City Landmark in 1991. OHNY visitors can climb to the top of this rarely open structure.

70 Pine

Photography: Courtesy of Rose Associates
Photography: Courtesy of Rose Associates

Decked out in Art Deco glamour, this luxury apartment building in the Financial District was built in 1932 to compete with Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. Once the tallest office skyscraper in Lower Manhattan, 70 Pine has been converted into a residential building this year. Visitors can admire the building’s ornate lobby and tour its model apartment.

Woodlawn Cemetery Mausoleums

Photography: Gavin Ashworth
Photography: Gavin Ashworth

Located in the Bronx, Woodlawn is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City. Visitors on this OHNY tour will get to see a set of private mausoleums usually off-limits to the public. Beautiful and unique, the funerary structures provide fascinating insight into the lives of the people they honour and architectural styles of the past.

Surrogate’s Courthouse

Photography: Ken Lund via Flickr
Photography: Ken Lund

The 1907 Surrogate’s Courthouse was designed by notable public buildings architect John R Thomas to be a fireproof, Beaux Arts vault for all of New York’s records. Visitors can explore the building’ French Neo-Baroque interior entranceway and lobby in addition to browsing its historic documents and images.


ADO coworking space in Greenpoint Brooklyn
Photography: A/D/O

This new co-working space and creative hub in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint won’t officially open until January, but OHNY visitors will get a sneak peek of its 23,000-square-foot space designed by nArchitects. A/D/O will offer free communal workspace to designers and makers, as well as rentable desks,  restaurant, design store, and event space.

Modulightor / Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Photography: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation
Photography: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Designed by architect Paul Rudolph – best known for his Yale Art & Architecture Building – this 1994 Modernist townhouse is all about the light. Its facade is a geometric confection of interlocking steel and glass. Inside is a showroom and fabrication studio topped by an airy duplex apartment.

Read next: Fancy living in a huge Manhattan loft for $1 a month?



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