Archive for August, 2009

Field Trip Friday: First Church of Christ Scientist

OHNY staff recently visited The First Church of Christ Scientist, located on 68th and Central Park West.  This copper domed Beaux-Arts church is an OHNY Weekend site and the location of our first volunteer training session on September 24.

Having recently emerged from a renovation that began in 2005, the Church (formerly The Second Church of Christ Scientist) was originally designed by Frederick R. Comstock and completed in 1901.  Highlights include the white marble exterior, huge stained glass windows and prominent organ case above the musicians’ gallery.

The Church’s magnificent organ tells its own story.  Renovated and expanded in 1928, the original organ pipes were built over a century ago in 1899 by J.H. and C.S. Odell of New York City.  For years, the Church has offered an organ recital on Thanksgiving Day for the benefit of those attending the Macy’s Parade, which begins only a few blocks north of the church.

Read more about the church’s history and consolidation in this New York Times article.

Entrance to Church of Christ Scientist

Entrance to Church of Christ Scientist

Lobby area

Lobby area

Main sanctuary

Main sanctuary

Staircase

Staircase

First Church of Christ Scientist
10 West 68th Street, New York, NY

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Field Trip Fridays: Brooklyn Bridge Park

The OHNY staff just returned from an exclusive tour of Brooklyn Bridge Park, currently under construction and the future home of what is sure to be one of NYC’s most beautiful public spaces. Jennifer Klein, Project Manager and Ellen Ryan, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation led the staff on a walking tour of the site.

Pier 1, which is about the size of Manhattan’s Bryant Park, is only one of six piers that spans the 85 acre, 1.3 mile waterfront park site, and it is the first to open this December. The construction crew is making great progress, having already having installed the Pier’s amphitheater steps and the framework for its “Tot Lot” playground. Park visitors can also look forward to the Pier’s tide pools for kayak launching and its leveled series of fountain pavilions. Plans call for the preserved “Nature Island,” several athletic fields, an expansive waterfront picnic pavilion, and an entire pier devoted to court sports that will be partially covered with a translucent roof that will allow visitors to use the site during three seasons of the year.

Check out the Park’s plans and learn more about their progress here.

Brooklyn Bridge Park pier

Brooklyn Bridge Park pier area, with the downtown Manhattan skyline

stairs, re-using granite from Roosevelt Island

Stairs, re-using granite from Roosevelt Island

Jennfier and Ellen lead us through the site

Jennifer and Ellen lead us through the site

Walking past the planned salt water marsh area

Walking past the planned salt water marsh area

Exploring the court sports pier

Exploring the court sports pier

Field Trip Fridays: Brooklyn Bowl

OHNY staff was able to get a preview of Brooklyn Bowl earlier this summer, before it opened this July. Housed in a 20,000-square-foot former iron foundry built in the 1880’s in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl is the city’s first L.E.E.D. certified bowling alley.

Justin Bolognino, Media Director, led us through Brooklyn Bowl, which was still under construction at the time.  Featuring 16 lanes, a 35-foot stage and a restaurant area offering food by Blue Ribbon, Brooklyn Bowl doubles as a bowling alley and event space– the ultimate entertainment center! You can also find out more about the building’s green elements on their website.

Justin shows us the space

Justin shows us the space

Adding finishing touches

Adding finishing touches

The view from the stage

The view from the stage

The lanes

The lanes

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Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Volunteer Recruitment Happy Hour

five year volunteer party photoJoin OHNY and the Volunteer Council for our first Volunteer Recruitment Happy Hour event on Tuesday, August 18 at SideBAR. Bring a friend and receive complimentary drinks from 7-8pm.

Learn about volunteer opportunities for OHNY Weekend and year-round and how you can help OHNY raise funds to keep OHNY Weekend free! Please RSVP using this link or via Facebook.

We hope you will encourage friends, family and co-workers to join the fun and volunteer for this year!

SideBAR is located at 120 East 15th Street and Irving Place.

Field Trip Fridays: Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant

With over 200 sites participating in OHNY Weekend, OHNY staff does not get to visit each and every site.  We do, however, have occasional staff field trips to see some of these spaces, which is always a great opportunity for us! Every Friday we will post photos from a recent field trip to an OHNY site, such as the Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Located in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, the Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest of the 14 Plants throughout New York City. Apart from being an important part of the City’s water infrastructure, Newtown Creek also showcases some very unique public design elements, such as the eight digester “eggs,” the Nature Walk, and the Visitors Center. The digester eggs break down the sludge, which is removed from sewage, into more stable materials. The digested sludge is then formed into dry cakes and after additional processing, used as fertilizer.  Learn more about them here.

Connie Fitzgerald, Director of Communications & Marketing for the Department of Environmental Protection; Jim Pynn, Superintendent; and Cristina Carlson and Greg Clawson, of Polshek, led us on a tour of the plant.

Be sure to check it out during the 7th Annual openhousenewyork Weekend, when there will be special tours of the Visitors Center and eggs!

The Digester "Eggs"

The digester "eggs"

At the top of the Egg

At the top of an egg

View of Manhattan's skyline from the egg

View of Manhattan's skyline from the egg

Staff photo

Staff photo

Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant
Greenpoint Avenue and Provost Street, Brooklyn, NY

Volunteer Registration Starts Now!

Morningside Heights Walking Tour 043Register to volunteer for the upcoming OHNY Weekend, October 10 & 11, 2009. Join our growing number of volunteers to help make the 7th Annual OHNY Weekend our biggest success.

Volunteer for a four hour shift and receive a signature OHNY button that allows front-of-the-line access at non-reservation sites and programs. Opportunities are also available to volunteer throughout the year, please contact us at volunteer@ohny.org or 212.991.OHNY.

Newyorkology blog features OHNY Weekend preview

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Our friends at Newyorkology, a free guide to New York City events, featured us today, highlighting upcoming OHNY Weekend sites and programs.  Click here to read the full post.