Meet Chuck Hovanic, Program Director

In November 2022, Chuck Hovanic joined Open House New York as the Program Director. In this role, Chuck oversees high-impact events and activities that engage broad audiences in OHNY’s expanded mission to address systemic and long-standing inequities across the city.

Chuck comes from a background in the public and nonprofit sectors, most recently as the Director of Affordable Housing and Resilience at New York’s Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. Chuck holds a Masters Degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation. He is a proud South Jersey native, Fordham University graduate, and AmeriCorps alum who spends his downtime exploring the city, catching a Broadway show, or dining at his favorite restaurants in Sunnyside. 

What excites you about joining Open House New York? 

I’m looking forward to being a part of a team that shares my fundamental values around opening up access and ways of understanding how the built environment shapes the urban experience. I have long admired OHNY and am ready to help it expand in new directions. It’s a huge perk that exploring the breadth and diversity of the city is actually part of my job!

What can OHNY audiences look forward to under your leadership?

Under my leadership, there will be more robust and dynamic programming available to New Yorkers who reflect the diversity and vitality of our great city. I’m fully on board with OHNY’s goal to broaden our reach and impact across a wider range of places and experiences that define the five boroughs—creating ways for audiences to be actors rather than just spectators. I have deep experience empowering residents to actively shape the city they want to live in, and in this way in particular, OHNY is an ideal platform to marry my skillset. I also have big ideas for how Open House New York can amplify the voices and constituents of our partner organizations through connections and support from our passionate and dedicated volunteer and membership bases. And I cannot wait to get started!

What’s your most memorable Open House New York experience?

I have attended every Open House New York weekend for the past 9 years and visited places in all 5 boroughs! The Mmuseumm has a special grip on my heart as it’s the first place I visited during OHNY Weekend. Since then, I’ve enjoyed taking an in-depth look at Weeksville, venturing to the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum on a rainy fall day, getting an insiders’ tour of Douglaston, and checking out the dark room at the Alice Austen House. I’ve made sure to end all of these adventures with stops at unique lunch spots nearby. And sharing these experiences with friends made them even more memorable.

If you could open up any place for OHNY Weekend, what would it be and why?

I’m fascinated by the outer reaches of the city where you stop and say “I can’t believe this is New York.” To that end, I’d love to facilitate a walking tour of Broad Channel that explores both the neighborhood’s history and the resiliency measures underway to protect its future. Additionally, I’d love to find ways for the city’s “private communities” and inaccessible neighborhoods to open their streets to the public. So please reach out if you have ideas about this!

I’m an Open House New Yorker because…

Open House New York’s values of access, connection, and engagement align with my personal and professional ethos. I am an adventurer at heart. Since coming to New York, I’ve had an endless fascination with the city and its history. I have a burning curiosity to learn alongside others about the factors that have shaped the city into what we see today—and how we can individually and collectively affect change to create a better New York for all.