Open House New York appoints Kristin LaBuz as Executive Director


OHNY delivers unparalleled public access to New York’s built environment through year-round public programs and OHNY Weekend, the city’s largest public design festival

NEW YORK, April 4, 2024—The Board of Directors of Open House New York (OHNY) announced today that it has promoted Kristin LaBuz to the role of Executive Director. Part of the OHNY team since 2018, LaBuz brings a decade of nonprofit leadership experience to this position. LaBuz is an urban planner by training and has worked to enrich the shared public life of cities, improve the built environment, and promote the power of design. Previously serving as interim director, she assumed this permanent role on March 19, 2024.

“There is no one that understands our organization better than Kristin. She is the perfect person to take OHNY into the future. She is a champion for what we stand for and has a strong vision for how to expand our mission and impact,” said Sara Lopergolo, OHNY’s Board Chair. “I know our larger community, volunteers and Board will be over the moon to see Kristin stepping into this role.”

Founded in 2001, OHNY is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing public programs that provide broad, unparalleled access to the city, from book talks to boat tours to policy conversations with civic leaders. Each October, the organization’s signature citywide festival, OHNY Weekend, unlocks 250 sites across the city, inviting thousands of New Yorkers each year to access places that are typically not open to the public.

“My first taste of OHNY was trekking to JFK Airport to visit Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal during the 2015 OHNY Weekend. Exploring this architectural jewel surrounded by hundreds of wide-eyed New Yorkers was a profound experience and a powerful reminder of how design—and the simple act of opening a door—can bring us together,” LaBuz said.

OHNY programs reach an audience of more than 25,000 each year and are made possible with the support of hundreds of partners and thousands of volunteers. As part of her strategic vision for OHNY, LaBuz foresees investing in community-building initiatives and leveraging the power of OHNY’s partner and volunteer network to expand the organization’s reach. In addition, LaBuz seeks to spearhead new outreach initiatives to diversify OHNY’s audience and channel curiosity into civic engagement.

“In many ways, OHNY holds a mirror up to the city. Since its founding in the wake of 9/11, through three mayoral administrations, countless changes to the built environment, and a pandemic that revealed how interconnected we truly are, OHNY has steadfastly stood by the simple but radical idea that the city belongs to everyone,” LaBuz said. “I am thrilled to continue the work of helping New Yorkers make sense of this complex, kaleidoscopic metropolis and create new opportunities to participate in the civic and cultural infrastructure of the city.”

LaBuz joined OHNY as Deputy Director of Development and Communications in 2018. She played a key role in stabilizing the organization through the tumult of the pandemic and was promoted to Deputy Director in 2021. She brings deep experience working for small, dynamic nonprofits, including the Design Trust for Public Space, where she managed development and communications, and the DUMBO Improvement District, where she led neighborhood revitalization initiatives. Prior to joining OHNY, LaBuz was an active design consultant for NYC Health, where she oversaw a portfolio of placemaking projects that combined public health, public art, and public space. She holds degrees in Urban Studies from Case Western Reserve University and an M.A. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

LaBuz succeeds Pamela Puchalski, who stepped down from her role in November 2023.

About Open House New York

Open House New York promotes broad, unparalleled access to the city—to the places, people, projects, systems, and ideas that define New York and its future. Through our year-round programming, including the annual OHNY Weekend festival, OHNY offers a citywide platform for education, exploration, and engagement about the connections between quality of place and quality of life for all New Yorkers. Open House New York is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For more info visit