city planning

New York Now Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Check-in: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hunt: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closing Reception: 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Open House New York challenges you to show how much you know about New York’s recent past!

A lot has changed in New York City since the first Open House New York Weekend took place on October 11 and 12, 2003. From the High Line and Hudson Yards to Citibike and the Second Avenue Subway, the city and our experience of it has changed dramatically over the past fifteen years. 40,000 new buildings were built, 450 miles of new bike lanes were laid, and more than a third of New York’s neighborhoods were rezoned.

Through it all, Open House New York was there, opening doors and giving New Yorkers access to the changing city. Now Open House New York invites you to test your knowledge about this vibrant and volatile period in New York’s history! To celebrate the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend, Open House New York has organized a citywide scavenger hunt of recent architecture, planning, and development. Travel the five boroughs while answering clues that send you to New York’s most breathtaking new buildings. Relive some of the city’s most heated preservation battles and uncover the policies and politics that shaped contemporary New York. Join us in celebrating a city that remains the greatest metropolis in the world!

To learn more about how the hunt works, click here.

Closing Reception Hosted by

$35 per person. Advance registration is required, and early registration is encouraged as the number of participating teams is limited.




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from the New York Times:

Outside 85 and 83 Bowery in Chinatown. Along with nine other buildings, they were part of a $62 million investment in 2013. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

Stacked on the chipped tile floor of the vestibule at 85 Bowery were 59 boxes, each addressed to John Doe or Jane Doe.

Modern moneyed New York had arrived at a rickety remnant of the 19th-century city via express mail. Inside the boxes were lawsuits filed by a developer who wants the tenants out of 85 Bowery and the building next door, 83 Bowery.

The Chinese immigrants living in the apartments, some of whom needed their American-born children to read the notices, live in the path of an all-cash, $62 million investment made in 2013 to buy these two buildings and nine others along the Bowery. Once, the buildings were skid row flophouses, but many were converted to apartment buildings and other uses in the late 1970s.

Now that vestibule at 85 Bowery, along with much of Chinatown and large swaths of the Lower East Side, is a crash point for the demands of a growing city: the dwindling number of rent-regulated apartments and a sturdy population of working people of modest means, roaring real estate values and relatively few zoning limits.

Compared with the thickets of regulations governing the East Village and other parts of Lower Manhattan, these are real estate prairies.

Inside 83 Bowery are dozens of boxes — addressed to John and Jane Doe — with documents on lawsuits against the residents, brought by investors who have bought the Chinatown tenement and are seeking to evict them. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times

Just up the Bowery from Nos. 83 and 85, at the corner of Hester Street, a new hotel has risen on land not long ago occupied by two walk-up apartment houses and a movie theater. By one count, a dozen hotels have gone up in Chinatown since 2008.

But a lawyer for the owners of Nos. 83 and 85, who include Joseph Betesh of the Dr. Jay’s clothing chain, said they were not bought to empty them. Structural problems were discovered after they took possession, said the lawyer, Joseph Goldsmith.

“This is something that was thrust upon them,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

The staircase at 85 Bowery is tilted, and engineers say that has resulted from joists separating from the walls. The city has ordered parts of both buildings vacated but has not declared either an immediate hazard, said Alexander Schnell, a spokesman for the Buildings Department.

In the second-floor apartment of 83 Bowery, where Shu Qing Wang, 42, lives with her husband and their two sons, space is rationed with precision. The household’s shoes hang in a plastic organizer on the wall by the front door. Three-legged stools are tucked under the kitchen table. A barred window looks onto a shaft that is perhaps four feet wide.

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from Spoiled NYC: Have You Ever Wondered What NYC’s Streets Looked Like Way Back in 1855?

You thought the library was supposed to be boring, right? Well, not when the New York Public Library messes around and comes up with some cool stuff for the web.

People seemed to dig the interactive map of Manhattan in 1609 we posted recently, and we have to admit: we did too. Sure, you expect that wherever you search, the results will inevitably be “nature,” but that’s what’s mind blowing about it.

A map of New York City’s businesses as of 1855.  Ever wonder how long your bodega has actually been on that corner? What was there before it?

Now you can see what was what. And all thanks to the NYPL’s Mauricio Giraldo, who compiled a ton of data from the Library’s stacks of maps from 1855.

It’s not just businesses, either. There are horse stables (that’s right, stables used to be all over the place), churches, and lots more.


via Codepen

This is simply another great way to get to know the City throughout time.

Granted, New York City is not that old compared to many other places around the world. But it is a fact that since the Dutch arrived in the early 1600s, it’s all all been going down right there in these streets.

So now check out this amazing map right here. (You might be especially surprised by how many schools there were in Manhattan back in the day.)

Explore Manhattan Way Back in 1609 With This Amazing Interactive Map

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Central Park
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series
Barry Lewis
Tue, June 9th, 2015 | 6:30 pm
(members $24)


Built beginning in 1858, Central Park gave all New Yorkers, whatever their class, their own “private country estate” where they could leave the city behind and commune with nature. Designed as a complete artifice—it is naturalistic, not natural—it turned the democratic ideal into a brilliant, three-dimensional concept of city planning as well as a transcendental vision that would civilize urban life. Join Barry Lewis and learn the story of the Park’s origins, its avant-garde architectural details, and its concept of what a public park should look like in a democratic society.

Barry Lewis, an architectural historian who teaches at Cooper Union Forum, is the long-time host of a popular walking tour series on PBS.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


By phone: Please contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open 9 am–5 pm daily.
Online: Click on the orange “Buy Tickets” button at the top of this page.
In person: Advance tickets may be purchased on site at New-York Historical’s Admissions desk during museum hours.

Advance purchase is required to guarantee seating. All sales are final and payments cannot be refunded. No exchanges are permitted. Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers.

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