Suggestions for a Successful Sacred Sites Open House May 18th-19th "Welcoming Our Neighbors"

Thank you for participating in the New York Landmark Conservancy’s annual Sacred Sites Open House event. The following pages contain information and suggestions for hosting an Sacred Sites Open House Open House in hopes of supporting participants through the process.

Please contact Tara Ritz at or 212-995-5260 ex. 312 with additional questions. We look forward to your participation.


General Suggestions for Planning


  • This year’s theme is Welcoming Our Neighbors. We encourage you to partner with a nearby house of worship of another faith tradition and coordinate opening hours to welcome visitors to both locations.  You may also highlight how sacred sites create belonging and welcome their communities through the services they offer, social ties they create, and spaces they provide for people from all walks of life.


  • We encourage sites, if possible, to offer programming for the day of the Sacred Sites Open House. This could be a musical performance from the choir or youth group, a pot luck/food tasting, or other activities. Or, you could invite staff or clients from outreach programs to provide information on, their programs and public events, such as youth and senior programming, community food or clothing pantries, theater or concert series. Please note that it is not required for a participating site to create programming around the theme.


  • Typically, participating sites provide tours of the sanctuary, stained glass windows, or other special features of the building, including comments on the founding, significance, historical and current cultural makeup of the congregation.


  • If you need more historical information about your site and your religious institution is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, or is located within a National or State Register Historic District, you can download a copy of the nomination form using the Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS) here: New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation CRIS



  • Host an orientation for volunteers who may have questions or need guidance. Provide them with the information they will need to conduct tours and/or greet visitors, or provide a hand-out for visitors.


  • Use the following hashtags for all online promotion and posts related to the Sacred Sites Open House:
    • #nysacredsites24
    • #sacredsitesofnewyork
    • #welcomingourneighbors
    • #nylandmarks




  • Announce the congregation’s participation in the Sacred Sites Open House. Encourage congregation members to attend, volunteer and spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues.


  • Publicize Sacred Sites Open House on your congregation’s web site, Facebook page, X, Instagram account, newsletter, or any other publication/social media. Be sure to announce Sacred Sites Open House on congregation’s bulletin board and during services in weeks before May 18th and 19th. Be sure to include hashtags, located above, in postings.


  • Like the New York Landmarks Conservancy on both Facebook and Instagram, and repost our Sacred Sites Open House posts on your own newsfeed.


  • Send press releases/letters to the editor of local and denominational print, radio, TV stations and internet media outlets. Here’s a sample press release.


  • Send flyers/calendar postings to local organizations – libraries, civic groups (i.e. Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary Club), senior centers, local historic societies, colleges, etc.


  • Invite local elected officials (Mayor, State Assembly and Senate members, community board, city council, etc.) to visit during Sacred Sites Open House.


  • Invite the clients of organizations that share/rent space with the congregation (day care, dance class, senior center, etc.) to participate.


  • Coordinate activities with other Sacred Sites Open House sites in your community for maximum impact so, if possible, guests can visit nearby sites on the same day. A list of participating sites is available on the Conservancy’s website.



Day of Sacred Sites Open House


  • Have signage (posters, balloons, signs, etc.) to indicate that you are participating in the Sacred Sites Open House. Use our free downloadable flyer in either portrait or landscape layouts. Be sure to create additional signage for any special events taking place during the event.


  • Make sure you mark the entrance for visitors with signage and balloons. We will mail balloons to sites that register to participate by May 1st. Email us at to let us know the best address/contact for balloon mailing, so they reach you.


  • Have volunteers greet visitors and act as docents in order to provide a positive visitor experience.


  • Encourage participants to post pictures on your website, Facebook page, Instagram, etc., and use the hashtags listed on page 2. Anyone can participate in our photo contest.


  • Encourage visitors to complete our visitor’s survey about the event.


  • If applicable, create or print blowup displays/exhibit of “before” and “after” pictures of the building’s restoration, or provide information about renovation or repair projects currently being planned.


  • Visit other Sacred Sites Open House locations in your community. A list of participating congregations will be available on the Conservancy’s website.


After the Event


  • Post pictures of your Sacred Sites Open House experience on your website, Facebook page, etc. (using hashtags) and share them with the Conservancy by emailing


  • The Conservancy seeks to improve further Sacred Sites Open House events using feedback from participants and visitors, so please be on the lookout for a follow up survey after the Open House weekend. Additionally, be on the lookout for the 2025 Sacred Sites Open House invitational email or post card Spring 2025 to participate again! Be sure to update us if contact information changes.