Archive for May, 2011

OHNY’s Annual Benefit & Auction Re-Cap

OHNY’s recent Annual Benefit and Auction at the DiMenna Center on May 18 was a huge success! Thank you to everyone for joining us and helping make it the biggest and best fundraiser in OHNY’s history!

With your support and generosity, we raised a third of our annual budget. We are so grateful for everyone’s commitment to openhousenewyork!

We could not have done it without the help of our Board, as well as our fantastic event planner, Chris Lipari, of Lipari Production Group; food by GO Catering; auction consultant Gwynne Rivers; and Barry Cherwin from Cherwin and Cherwin Auctioneers.

Check out photos from our event, courtesy of David Wharton of David Wharton Photography.

Eva Frank, Renee Schacht, Anne Guiney and Matthew Blesso

Project Trio

Honoree Hugh Hardy

Honoree Leslie Koch

Honoree Red Grooms and guests

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers

Silent Auction


Field Trip Friday: Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center

Last Saturday, OHNY staffer Hae-In helped organize a tour of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), with GMDC and the Fourth Arts Block, led by Project Manager Cassandra Smith. The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center is the premier nonprofit industrial developer in NYC and since its inception in 1992, GMDC has rehabilitated six North Brooklyn manufacturing buildings for occupancy by small manufacturing enterprises, artisans and artists. Currently GMDC owns and manages five of these properties, which together represent more than half a million square feet of space. These buildings are occupied by more than 100 businesses that together employ more than 500 people.

group outside the building

Cassandra started with the history of the building complex, which sits on an area created by landfill in 1858 and started as the Chelsea Fiber Mills in 1868, with just a few brick buildings along the Newtown Creek waterfront. Built by Standard Oil, the mill focused on manufacturing marine rope. More buildings were added and by 1891, eight buildings made up 366,000 square feet of industrial space and basement area.

artist Barbara Campise describes her studio

The Chelsea Fiber Mills employed many Greenpoint residents and supplied rope to the U.S. military throughout World War I and World War II. Activity began to decline during the second half of the 20th century and the facility shifted to textile producers and fabric dyeing mills until the early 1970s.

woodworking studio

The City of New York took over the building in a tax foreclosure in 1974. Although the City held title to the property, funding for maintenance was lacking and the building fell into non-code compliance: elevators, sprinklers, roofing, electricity, and water distribution systems were in disrepair. A group of artists set up studios anyway and the City gave them month-to-month leases.

pottery studio

In the mid 1980’s the City considered demolishing the complex because upgrading would be too costly and local businesses, community organizations, building tenants, and elected officials came together to shape a redevelopment plan that would convert the property into an arts and industry center. The North Brooklyn Economic Development Corportation got it for $1 and GMDC acquired the property and leveraged the public and private capital required to make it code compliant.

design studio

Today, 75 small business and artisan tenants utilize this building and 360 employees from adjacent communities work here. The spaces range from 1,000-5,000 square feet and leases are flexible and below market rate ($12-16 per square foot versus up to $30). Although GMDC’s main mission is economic development and jobs, there is also a preservationist angle and promotion of affordable, flexible production space to local artists and manufacturers. In order to finance these ventures, GMDC uses a combination of tax credits, grants, funding from city council members and bank loans.

cluster of 8 buildings

When tenants move in, they are basically given a vanilla box. There are no lights or furniture, and there are shared bathrooms but no plumbing within the studio (as this often leads to living there, which is prohibited). It was wonderful to hear the stories of the artists working here, ranging from a painter, clay potter, woodworker and a cnc design studio. Takeshi (scroll up for woodworking studio photo) told us about having studied architecture in Japan and working in construction in Tokyo. Twenty years ago, he moved to the United States and began apprenticing with a master cabinet maker and learning carpentry. He started by making cabinets and architectural models, and has now expanded to a wide array of simple but beautifully crafted furniture.

inside building 5

Cassandra also showed us the last empty space within the complex, known as building 5, which has not been developed yet. It was amazing to walk around the empty space– you could still see old furnaces through a crack in the wall– and imagine how much effort was put in to rehabilitate this complex!

Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center
1155-1205 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Congrats Room & Board Raffle Winner!

Congrats Jen, who won the recent Room & Board Modern Life Concept House Raffle!

The Modern Life Concept House is ELLE DECOR’S first New York designer show house in Chelsea, featuring a Room & Board-furnished space designed by Jesse Carrier, one of ELLE DECOR’S A-List “Designers to Watch.”

Jen won the Louis chair, a modern interpretation of a European club chair, valued at $899.

Louis Chair

Thank you to Jen and the generous donation by Room & Board for supporting OHNY!

Field Trip Friday: ELLE Decor’s Modern Life Concept House

This week’s Field Trip Friday takes us to The Modern Life Concept House, ELLE DECOR’S first New York designer show house in Chelsea, featuring a Room & Board-furnished space designed by Jesse Carrier, one of ELLE DECOR’S A-List “Designers to Watch.”

living room space

OHNY worked with Room & Board to open up the space for friends of OHNY for free! The Modern Life Concept House will be open to the public on the following weekends: May 20, 21, and 22; May 27, 28, 29, and 30; and June 3, 4, and 5 from 10am- 4pm.  Admission is typically $30.


Proceeds will benefit Housing Works, whose mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain its efforts.


The ELLE DECOR Modern Life Concept House features 10 designers – ELLE DECOR’s A-List “Designers to Watch” – who partnered with leading brands to create dazzling indoor and outdoor spaces that offer a fresh approach to contemporary living.

another living room

living space and kitchen

The list includes:  Katie Lydon for Bosch, Beth Martin for Calligaris, Grant K. Gibson, Jesse Carrier of Carrier and Company, designing on behalf of Room & Board, Marie Turner of M. Elle Design for LEMA, Oliver M. Furth for USM Modular Furniture, Rafael de Cardenás of Architecture At Large who will be designing on behalf of Extremis, Aurelien Gallet for Flou, Sara Story or The New Traditionalists, Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe of Nickey Kehoe for Restoration Hardware.


For more information, visit

ELLE DECOR’s Modern Life Concept House
540 West 28th St. between 10th and 11th Avenues

Last chance to Bid on 2nd Row Tickets to the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring ’12 Show!

There are less than 4 hours left to bid on items in OHNY’s online auction, including this exclusive opportunity for you and a friend to sit second row at the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring ’12 Show, taking place September 13, 2011 at 4pm.

Bidding resumes at our annual Benefit:

openhousenewyork annual benefit
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
6:30 – 9pm
Honoring Hugh Hardy, Red Grooms, and Leslie Koch

The DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 West 37th Street, New York, NY 10018

Special performances Project Trio and Anne Akiko Meyers

Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and silent & live auction

Purchase tickets today to make sure you win

Courtesy of Marc Jacobs International.

OHNY Auction Highlight: Tour of the High Line, Section 2

image courtesy of Iwan Bann

At this year’s Annual Benefit, OHNY will be hosting its first ever live auction, with various items including one-of-a-kind art pieces and exclusive tours. Items are now up for online bidding.

Bid now on Item 123 for a private tour of Section 2 of the High Line with Robert Hammond, Co-Founder of Friends of the High Line for you and five guests in late June or July.

Section 2, which is scheduled to open next month, will double the length of the park, bringing visitors all the way up to 30th Street. This private tour will enable you to learn all about the unique design features implemented and the extensive construction done for Section 2.

Tour courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Field Trip Friday: 3rd Ward Member Group Show

Last Friday night, OHNY staffer Hae-In went to check out the 3rd Ward Member Group Show in Bushwick, Brooklyn and learn more about the space. The show highlighted work that is being produced by local artists, designers, woodworkers and photographers.

entering the party

3rd Ward is a member-based design center for creative professionals, an “incubator for innovation and possibility.” They offer a supportive community and access to creative resources. Its facilities include four photo studios, a media lab with Mac equipment, co-working space, a 10,000 sq. ft. fully equipped wood and metal shop, and shared and private office space for freelancers.

member show

3rd Ward was created by Jason Goodman and Jeremy Lovitt to help allow artisans to create work and work affordably in New York City. After they moved to the city in 2004, they recognized the limitations of being an independent working artist here, with little access to the space and tools needed to develop your work.

sculptures and 3-D work

Named for the neighborhood’s district, the facility opened in May 2006, inspired by the facilities and atmosphere they had had as students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

wooden bench

3rd Ward is supported by its members, rather than receiving government funds or being controlled by a board, and has since become an art and design incubator.

handmade guitar

In addition to members who pay a fee for access to various spaces, the 3rd Ward offers a wide array of interdisciplinary courses, events and exhibitions for its members as well as the public. Classes are project-based and small in size, providing an ample amount of one-on-one instruction.

dogs like art, too

3rd Ward offers 100 classes a quarter, from woodwork and welding to digital and web design, illustration and fashion, painting, jewelry, audiovisual multimedia, photography, printmaking, screen printing, and urban ecology.


Whether you want to become a member or dabble in different classes, 3rd Ward has something for everyone.

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237