APRIL 28, 2017
NEW YORK—This past Saturday, Jehovah’s Witnesses hosted the first of two special open-house receptions at their recently constructed world headquarters campus in Warwick, New York. Troy Snyder, facilities manager for the headquarters complex, states: “We have an average of 1,150 visitors a day come to tour our headquarters during the week. But we wanted to open our doors these two weekends to personally thank our non-Witness neighbors and others who supported us during the construction.”
A total of 395 attended Saturday’s open-house reception, which included 205 local residents along with 190 vendors and building contractors. Refreshments were served and the guests were taken on a 40-minute tour of the campus, which included a brief video presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.
Christopher Gow, a resident from nearby Tuxedo Park, stated: “I was very curious and delighted to accept the invitation to visit the facility. I knew about the construction project, but it was done in such a quiet and respectful way, it was almost as if it wasn’t happening.”
Since the Witnesses built their new headquarters along the shore of Sterling Forest State Park’s Blue Lake, many local residents expressed that they specifically came to see how the environment was considered during the construction.
Dr. Richard Hull, professor emeritus of history at New York University, who lives in Warwick and is the official town historian, states: “I’ve studied the area for over 50 years. The Witnesses have done a very good job marrying their needs with the natural surroundings, even considering the needs of the park’s wildlife.”
After touring the facility, Mr. Gow, who is also a member of the Tuxedo Park Tree Advisory Board, noted: “Every single element is top notch—the Witnesses have done a fantastic job. Your environmentally conscious facility is a great inspiration and a role model we all can follow.”
Following the guided tour, visitors also were welcome to explore the three self-guided exhibits that are located on the floors above and below the public lobby. Two of the exhibits chronicle the history and modern-day operations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, while a third gallery features rare Bibles and Bible-related artifacts.
Dr. Hull concluded: “The facility is very state of the art. I can see a lot of good thought and vision went in to the construction of this complex. I have yet to tour the museum, but I look forward to coming back.”
Mr. Snyder states: “We feel the local community deserved a special thank you for all the support and the warm welcome we received since moving to the area. So these two open-house receptions have been arranged exclusively for our non-Witness neighbors.” For those who received invitations or live in the community but were unable to attend last Saturday, the second reception is scheduled for this coming Saturday, April 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.