Open House New York Honors the Trust for Governors Island with 2021 Open City Award

May 13, 2021—Open House New York announces the presentation of the 2021 Open City Award to the Trust for Governors Island in recognition of their visionary stewardship. Over nearly two decades, the Trust has led efforts to open up more of the island’s unique public spaces and create year-round access through diverse cultural, environmental, and educational experiences. The award will be conferred at Opening the City: Spring Benefit 2021, an in-person sunset celebration taking place Tuesday, June 8, 2021 on Governors Island.

The Open City Award recognizes efforts which make New York a more open, accessible, and equitable city. Whether through the creation of welcoming public spaces, the launch of innovative initiatives that broaden opportunities for marginalized New Yorkers or the city at-large, or by fostering forward-thinking models for engagement and transparency, the Open City Award celebrates openness as a defining feature of New York today and into the future. Past award winners include Cornell Tech (2018) and the TWA Hotel (2019).

This year, the Open City Award will be given to the Trust for Governors Island, a nonprofit organization responsible for the planning, operations, and ongoing development of Governors Island. The Trust accomplishments include building over 43 acres of new, award-winning park space, offering a robust lineup of public programs, rehabilitating historic buildings in partnership with educational and cultural tenants, investing in the island’s infrastructure, and welcoming nearly one million visitors annually.

“As New York begins to open up after more than a year of lockdown, we could not think of a more deserving honoree. Over nearly 20 years, the Trust has steadfastly opened up the island to provide magical experiences for visitors. Its latest plans demonstrate a compelling vision and commitment to excellence, which will together help shepherd the city’s growth well into the future,” said Rob Rogers, president of the Governing Board of Open House New York.

“We are thrilled to receive the Open City Award, and thank Open House New York for this incredible honor” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “Governors Island is an amazing resource for the entire city, and we are proud to continue our work in realizing its full potential as a one-of-a-kind public place that will be enjoyed for generations to come. Since the early days of its transformation as a beloved destination, Open House New York has been an incredible partner in introducing visitors to Governors Island, and we look forward to continuing our partnership as we connect more New Yorkers to this special place.”

The Spring Benefit will provide Open House New York supporters and friends an opportunity to gather for a picnic dinner while enjoying entertainment and stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

As part of the Open City Award, Open House New York and the Trust for Governors Island will partner on public programs to help New Yorkers reconnect with their city and their communities and experience the marvel of our resilient city following the year-long lockdown from the pandemic. These efforts include launching a new audio walking tour, in collaboration with Brooklyn-based media tech company, Gesso, to create an immersive audio experience that invites audiences to explore how Governors Island’s layered history shapes its future design and development plans.

“In its earliest days, Open House New York brought the first public audiences—nearly 1,000 excited visitors—to Governors Island and nearly two decades later, the island continues to delight and inspire New Yorkers and tourists alike,” said Pamela Puchalski, executive director of Open House New York. “Given the Trust’s commitment to ramp up access while also creating pathways for equity and inclusion, there is no one more deserving of the Open City Award.”