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Open House New York offers rare peek inside city's gems

Built in 1661, John Bowne’s Anglo-Dutch style house

Built in 1661, John Bowne’s Anglo-Dutch style house is one of the city's oldest. (NYC Picks/Tom Beer) Photo Credit: Built in 1661, John Bowne’s Anglo-Dutch style house is one of the city's oldest.(NYC Picks/Tom Beer)

New York City doormen and velvet ropes keep snoopers at bay — except this weekend, when hundreds of buildings and architectural sites, many closed to the public the rest of the year, open their doors for the ninth annual Open House New York.

Peek into the American Irish Historical Society mansion on the Upper East Side, or Eero Saarinen’s swooping TWA Terminal at Kennedy Airport.

It’s all free, but an “OHNY Passport” ($150) will allow you and a guest to cut to the front of the line at any site that doesn’t require reservations (visit ohny.org for more info). Here are some highlights of the weekend:

 
 

Duane Street Live/Work Loft
WHAT: Architects Sandro Marpillero and Linda Pollak converted this 1860s industrial building into a hip downtown home/studio, where they now live. Check out the state-of-the-art details. WHEN and WHERE: Sunday, tours every half-hour from 1-4 p.m., 132 Duane St. (at Church Street)

Little Red Lighthouse
WHAT: Hildegarde H. Swift wrote the children’s book that made this 1880 lighthouse so popular there was public outcry when the city wanted to tear it down. Its lights helped ships navigate before and after construction of the George Washington Bridge, which towers nearby. WHEN and WHERE: Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., Fort Washington Park (enter at the 181st Street footbridge over West Side Highway)

Nitehawk Cinema
WHAT: A former two-story Williamsburg warehouse that morphed last year into a sleek cinema with a zinc-panel facade, 2,000 hand-cast glass disks backlit by low-voltage LED lights, and three new residential floors up top. WHEN and WHERE: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon (architect-guided tours every half-hour), 136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
WHAT: From herbs and jalapeños to heirloom tomatoes, it’s likely growing (or being planted) three stories up. This 6,000-square-foot organic veggie farm sits atop a Greenpoint warehouse. WHEN and WHERE: Sunday at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, 44 Eagle St. (between West and Franklin streets), Brooklyn

Bowne House
WHAT: Built in 1661, Quaker and religious freedom advocate John Bowne's Anglo-Dutch-style house is one of the oldest in the city. WHEN and WHERE: Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. 37-01 Bowne St. (at 37th Avenue), Flushing

St. George Theatre
WHAT: The St. George Theatre features a combination of Spanish and Italian Baroque design. Guests will have the opportunity to view the grand staircases and intricate bullfighter paintings. WHEN and WHERE: Sat., 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 35 Hyatt St. (at St. Marks Place), Staten Island


Joseph V. Amodio is a writer for Newsday. amNewYork contributed to this story.

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