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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/PROWally Gobetz

Six cool new places to tour during Open House New York

By Tolly Wright
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For over 10 years Open House New York (OHNY) has given Gothamites the chance to ooh and aah over the city’s finest architectural achievements with a weekend of free visits, talks and tours across the city. From restricted rooms in iconic turn of the 20th-century public spaces to brand spanking new technological marvels, there are buildings to please a huge range of design aesthetics. The full guide to this year’s offerings won't be released until early October, but the 2015 edition (October 17 and 18) might just be the best yet, with the addition of new stops in each borough. Here's the six new locations that should be on your radar when it's time to reserve your spot:

1. Appreciate the grandness of City Hall without suffering through political grandstanding, with a glimpse at the freshly renovated French Renaissance Revival beauty. Built in 1812, it is not only one of the city’s longest-standing creations, but is also the oldest city hall in the nation.

2. On the complete opposite side of the spectrum is Google’s Chelsea headquarters, which is designed like a modern love letter to the city, with subway grates and fire hydrants decorating the hallways and conference rooms created to mimic small New York apartments.  

3. For a fun Queens history lesson, look no further than the New York State Pavilion, a site designed by famed architect Philip Johnson specifically for the 1964-65 World’s Fair.

4. Not to be outshone by other boroughs, CUNY’s Bronx Community College campus has four different offerings including a Beaux-Arts library, two halls exemplifying the modernist style from the mid-twentieth century and a new library.   

5. Head underground at the Art Deco Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library with tours of the collection kept in the basement of the literary Mecca, which—after major delays caused by World War I and the great Depression—took nearly 30 years to build.

6. Take a step away from urban architecture at the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island, where plenty of lighthouse models and important design elements necessary for the lighthouses of yesteryear are on display.

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