Almost two dozen of the city's historic sites will be welcoming visitors Saturday and Sunday as part of the Parks Department's Historic House Festival. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Urban Park Ranger Rob Mastrianni has a cool job. He gets to give tours of the Little Red Lighthouse, located along the Hudson River beneath the George Washington Bridge.
"It's one of our most popular ones especially with school groups, because of that world famous book 'The Little Red Lighthouse' written in 1942," Mastrianni says.
The 132-year-old star of the children's classic once stood in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, but was moved to its current site in 1921. It was taken out of commission in 1947 and nearly dismantled, but a campaign to save it was successful. There will be a party at the site on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the city Parks Department's Historic House Festival that will run all weekend.
"It's just a great opportunity to get people down here to a park that isn't the most accessible but people will absolutely come out for this festival, be able to come out on a Saturday, enjoy the Hudson, and just enjoy some easy fun entertainment," says Jordan Dyniewski of the New York Restoration Project.
Nearly two dozen other historic buildings in parks around the city will also open their doors, including the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage and the Bartow-Pell Mansion in the Bronx, the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, and the Morris-Jumel Mansion, and Gracie Mansion in Manhattan.
There will be tours, lectures, and some tasty treats too.
"All 23 of the houses are having great food related events," says Historic House Trust Executive Director Franklin Vagnone.
The Historic House Festival coincides with Open House New York Weekend, which annually promotes the best of architecture and design around the five boroughs.
"After ten years we've really become a city-wide festival, where we provide access to over 200 sites of architectural significance for free, and we have 150 programs associated with that," says Open House New York Board President Margaret Sullivan.
For more information on all of the weekend events, visit historichousetrust.org and ohny.org.