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The nine best Open House New York tours that don’t require a reservation

Written by
Leah Faye Cooper

At the 13th annual Open House New York next weekend, more than 300 sites will open their doors to the public. The annual celebration of urban design gives the public access to a myriad of civic buildings, historic homes, gardens and more across the five boroughs. And best of all? Entrance to all of them is absolutely free. 

Registration for OHNY tours that require a reservation went live at 11am this morning, and many of the most popular tours have already sold out. But not to fear! There are plenty of fascinating interiors opening their doors to the public that don’t require a reservation. All you need to do to catch a glimpse of these jaw-droppers is show up. Happy exploring! 

RECOMMENDED: The best of Open House New York 2015

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
Construction on this Beaux Arts beauty was completed in 1907, and it’s been used to collect taxes on imports (and confiscate illegal contraband) ever since. The ornate, Tiffany-designed Collector’s Office is mesmerizing. 1 Bowling Greene; Ongoing tours Sat, Sun 10am–5pm  

The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation
Check out the former home and studio of late sculptor Chaim Gross and his wife Renee, which is filled with the couple’s extensive art collection, as well as Chaim’s works, tools and unfinished projects. 526 LaGuardia Pl; Open Sat, Sun 10am–4pm 

Jefferson Market Library
Up for some exercise? Climb 149 steps to the top of this Venetian Gothic landmark for sweeping views of the Village. 425 Sixth Ave; Sat noon–4pm 

Kings Theatre
If you haven’t had a chance to gawk at this Paris Opera House–inspired film and performance venue, which reopened in January after 38 years of being closed, prepare to be stunned. 1027 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn; Sun 1–4pm 

Brooklyn Army Terminal
Gaze at the hypnotic staggered balconies in this massive industrial complex, which was once the country’s largest military supply base. 140 58th St, Brooklyn; Tours on the hour Sat 10am–6pm 

TWA Flight Center
Take advantage of what may be your last shot to see Eero Saarinen’s midcentury modern structure; in a few months, demolition and construction will commence to transform it into an on-site airport hotel. JFK International Airport, Terminal 5, Van Wyck Expy S to JFK Expy, Queens; Sun 11am–3pm

Bronx Museum of the Arts
The draw here is twofold: a chance to roam the state-of-the-art north wing designed by Miami firm Arquitectonica and the last weekend to catch “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York,” a multimedium exhibit charting the rise and prominence of Puerto Rican social activists in the 1960s. 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx; Sat, Sun 11am–6pm

Edgar Allen Poe Cottage
Tour the home where Poe spent the final years of his life (1846–49) and is believed to have written the tragic classic, “Annabel Lee.” 2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx; Sat 10am–4pm, Sun 1–5pm

Alice Austen House
The trailblazing photographer called this Dutch farmhouse turned Gothic cottage home for most of her life; step inside the S.I. digs for a look at her living space and recently renovated darkroom. 2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island; Sat, Sun 11am–5pm

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