Key to the City: Unlock NYC in a New Public Art Project


Last week, New York City officially became a playground when artist Paul Ramírez Jonas unveiled his latest work, Key to the City. The project — co-sponsored by Creative Time — is an inclusive spin on the tradition of mayors handing over symbolic keys to visiting dignitaries, victorious athletes, and local heroes. The difference is that now anyone willing to participate in the project can bestow an honorary key upon anyone else, and the keys actually unlock doors, PO boxes, and secret compartments in over 20 locations situated in all five boroughs. Jonas awarded the first key to Mayor Bloomberg at the opening ceremony in Times Square on June 3.

Those eager to access New York’s hidden treasures can hand out and receive one of the 25,000 keys at a kiosk in Times Square through June 27. Click past the jump to see some of the places and things you can unlock and explore.

A box on the counter at the Whitney Museum coat check, Manhattan

A padlock to Trinity Church’s cemetery, which holds Alexander Hamilton’s tomb, Manhattan

A locker in Gleason’s Gym, Brooklyn

A gate to the garden at a Buddhist Vihara, Staten Island

A pedestrian walkway on the George Washington Bridge, Manhattan