Open House New York schedule released; reservations begin tomorrow

Browsers at the ready: Reservations for select Open House New York programs begin Thursday, September 27 at 10am. Here are our recommendations.

  • Photograph: Ari Burling

    Explore the third section of the beloved elevated park at the High Line at the Rail Yards

  • Photograph: Jennifer Calais Smith

    The Four Seasons, a new addition to Open House New York

  • Photograph: Courtesy the Prospec

    Sign up for the Lakeside at Prospect Park Construction Tour to see how the new complex is coming along

  • Photograph: Matthew Williams

    The Wythe Hotel is a new addition to the Open House New York lineup

  • Photograph: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

    Don a hard hat and check out the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 5

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    See the egg-shaped digesters at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

  • Photograph: Christopher Coleman

    Visit the Coleman-Sanchez Residence

  • Discover community gardens and sites of legendary squats on the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space Tours

    Pictured: St. Mark's Avenue community garden

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Paddle along the Gowanus Canal on the "Super Fun" Site Canoe Tour

Photograph: Ari Burling

Explore the third section of the beloved elevated park at the High Line at the Rail Yards

Open House New York (Oct 6, 7) is an annual weekend-long event during which historic buildings, architectural masterpieces and sundry landmarks welcome the public for tours and nosing around. It's the perfect opportunity to explore normally off-limits parts of New York and have a good old snoop.

RECOMMENDED: Read more on Open House New York

The lineup for 2012 was released today on OHNY's website (and is included as a printed insert in this week's issue of TONY, with free copies made available at select locations in each borough; see for details). There are more than 250 tours and places to visit, many of which are free and open to all. However, some of the big-ticket draws do require reservations costing $5—and these can go fast, in part because of limited space. Reservations begin tomorrow, Thursday, September 27 at 10am at To help you plan your attack, here are 12 spots and tours that require reservations that caught our eye.

The High Line at the Rail Yards (Sat, Sun noon–4pm)
Take a self-guided meander along the third and final section of this elevated park. Yup, this one will be over-subscribed. Thankfully, the High Line opens this stretch the following weekend as well (Oct 13, 14 noon–4pm). Visit for details and to R.S.V.P.

The Four Seasons (Sat at 3, 4pm)
This designated landmark makes its debut at Open House New York this year. Besides a chance to see the famed midcentury modern interior (designed by Philip Johnson) without forking out for a meal, attendees will be led around by architect Belmont Freeman, who oversaw the recent restoration of the space.

Lakeside at Prospect Park Construction Tour (Sun at 1, 3pm)
We are impatiently waiting for this to open in 2013, so we're psyched to get a sneak peek at how it's coming along and harangue construction workers to hurry up.

Wythe Hotel (Sat, Sun at 1, 2pm)
It was once a cooperage factory; now it's a boutique hotel. If you want to see Brooklyn's contemporary architectural style writ large, this new addition to Open House New York is probably a good place to start.

7 World Trade Center (Sat at 11am, 1pm; Sun at 1pm)
Take a tour of the first tower to be rebuilt at the WTC site.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 (Sat at noon, 2pm)
Take a tour of the construction site of the latest addition to this waterfront hot spot, due for completion this fall. We're hoping they'll make us wear a hard hat and fluorescent tabard—we rock those accessories hard.

Newton Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (Sat at 10, 11am, noon, 1, 2, 3pm) and Newton Creek Alliance Boat Tour (Sun at 10am)
The wastewater treatment plant's egg-shaped digesters are instantly recognizable and a perennial favorite. We hear the view from the top is something to behold. The next day, Alliance members lead a tour of the polluted creek on a NYC Water Taxi.

Coleman-Sanchez Residence (Sat 11am–4pm)
Resident and architect Christopher Coleman gives a tour of his bright, funky Williamsburg pad. This tour is one of 15 organized by Interior Design Magazine that focus on residential properties.

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space Tours (Sat, Sun at 3, 5:15pm)
Community gardens and squats are an integral part of the East Village's storied past. Local activists lead this tour that may even stop at a current squatter's apartment.

Gowanus Canal "Super Fun" Site Canoe Tour (Sat, Sun at 1, 3pm)
What can we say? We're a sucker for a pun. Also, for paddling on this Gowanus superfund site with the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club.

Manhole Covers of 14th Street (Sat, Sun at 2pm)
Public artist Michele Brody leads a tour that points out beautiful and functional cast-iron discs. Anything that reveals a facet of the city that we'd otherwise not notice is all right by us.

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Our Open House New York picks from 2011
Sneak peek at Prospect's Park Lakeside complex
Gowanus, Brooklyn: New developments and the best things to do