Every fall, the city flings open the doors to some of its most amazing, off-limits spaces for a weekend-long celebration known as Open House New York. OHNY has given New Yorkers the opportunity to see the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an MTA substation and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, to name just a few, and it's always been free... until now.
Rumors are flying that this year's OHNY, scheduled for October 15th and 16th, is instituting a $5 charge for reservations for the weekend. That would include roughly 30 percent of the sites—and most of their most popular destinations. OHNY rep Linda Miller confirmed to us that "there has been talk of a $5 processing fee for sites and programs requiring an RSVP," but as of yesterday, the organization was still deciding whether they would go through with the plan. If they do pull the trigger, the reservation fees would raise about $15,000.
In the meantime, OHNY is asking supporters to donate money to keep the weekend's events up and running. So, it's up to you: pay now and hope you don't have to later, or do nothing and start saving up your quarters.
UPDATE 48:0 PM: We just received the following statement from OHNY:
"New for the 2011 OHNY Weekend, OHNY has taken a new step to make it easier for OHNY-goers to enjoy the select tours, lectures and other special programs that require advance registration. The OHNY website will be the one-stop-shop for reservations to nearly all sites and programs that require them, rather than contacting each site individually for this purpose.
The new system will make it easier for participants to take advantage of select programming throughout the weekend, while lessening the administrative burden on those organizations that are gracious enough to open their doors for the public. A $5 processing fee will be applied to each reservation, which will cover expenses associated with the new system. These funds will also make possible a major expansion and improvement to the OHNY website, which will make its debut with the 2011 OHNY weekend."
The schedule for this year's sites will be announced on October 5, and we'll be back with some must-sees when the full lineup is confirmed.