<< Go Back up to Photos Index
Click on the image to open a larger version. All images are Copyright © Mike Hume 2006.
Open House New York is a relatively new initiative which is very similar to the Doors Open Day events staged throughout much of the UK. I visited a handful of some of the more peculiar places normally closed to the public...
The Soldiers' And Sailors' Memorial Arch in Brooklyn was completed in 1892 to honour those who fell in the Civil War. It forms the gateway grand entrance to Prospect Park. The entire plaza around the arch was designed to emulate the Arc de Triomphe. There is an urban legend that there is a small theater inside the arch - this is true as can be seen from the photo below. It's actually a puppet theater and at least 100 puppets are stored in the Memorial Arch!
Federal Hall is where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States. Federal Hall was the first capitol of the United States. The original Federal Hall was actually demolished to make way for the present structure which was the first United States Customs House.
The Highbridge Tower was built in 1872 as part of the Croton Aqueduct system where water flowed from Westchester County to reservoirs downtown. The tower stands on elevated parkland in Harlem (now playing fields and an outdoor swimming pool remarkably reminiscent of Portobello Outdoor Swimming Pool). The tower's picturesque design hid its real purpose as a pressure equalizer.
One of old midtown's grand gathering spaces (located at 15 East 27th Street), the newly-restored gallery and neo-Renaissance ballroom offer a glimpse into NYC's past.
The St George Theatre was Staten Island's premier theatre however fell victim to the general lack of theater-going in the latter half of the 20th Century. It has been restored to some extent. Fabulous Spanish-inspired murals adorn the Lobby and detailed plasterwork is all around the Lobby and Auditorium.