Photo by Beowulf Sheehan via the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Today at 11 AM, Open House New York reservations begin for the annual weekend on October 12-14th. There are 266 participating sites this year, with 123 requiring reservations. Here are our picks for the must-visit reservation only sites – get ready to hit the refresh button on your browsers!
We’re also announcing our annual giveaway for two OHNY Weekend Passports, a VIP pin that gives the wearer and a guest front-of-the line admittance to Open Access sites, which are free-of-charge and do not require advanced reservation. The giveaway is spearheaded by Untapped Cities, with participating partners Brooklyn Based and 6sqft. There are numerous ways to enter the contest (see our Rafflecopter embed below). You can win entries by interacting with us by signing up for our and our partners ‘ email lists, follow us on Twitter, and Tweeting about the giveaway.
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1. Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church Clocktower Tour
Photo by Porter Blinks courtesy Open House New York
Step inside one of New York’s last remaining Gilded Age treasures. Completed in 1875, the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church predates the nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1878) and Plaza Hotel (1907). The stunning ceiling of this Victorian Gothic masterwork rises six stories above the floor. The 1,800-seat Sanctuary contains no iconography (in keeping with early Presbyterian austerity) and no right angles; the curvature of the balcony and pews draws all eyes to the impressive pulpit.
On this tour, Derek Maddalena, director of facilities, will escort you into the Sanctuary attic, six stories above the main floor, where you will get an up-close view of the church’s distinctive, “building within a building” architecture. From the attic you will climb into the clock tower, where the original, 19th-century clockworks (recently restored) are still in use. This is one of only two tower clocks by E. Howard & Co. of Boston still in operation in New York City.