Open House Chicago, a free glimpse inside historically, architecturally and culturally significant buildings, churches, homes theaters and museums not normally open free to the public, will have open doors this weekend, Oct. 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., thanks to the Chicago Architecture Center.
What to expect: Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. The sites open this weekend are in neighborhoods ranging from Andersonville/ Edgewater and Beverly/Morgan Park through Bronzeville/Downtown and Hyde Park to Logan Square, Pullman and Uptown.
This festival is an extraordinary opportunity to explore some of the city’s great places in more that 20 neighborhoods.
Among the sites is the Pullman National Historical Park and the historic Fine Arts Building 410 S. Michigan Ave. that has been featured this week in the Sun Times and Chicago Tribune
Tip: many places will have lines but Chicago Architecture Center Members will receive a priority access pass so of living in the area or have plans to return and take its fame boat or an architecture tour, membership is a good deal.
For a downloadable Open House guide visit Site guide.
Typically, Open House Chicago is a visit in-person experience that involves entering historic and interesting places in and around Chicago.
In 2020, the year of Covid, places of architectural and historic significance are visited outside on mapped trails and sites or virtually thanks to a beautifully constructed app made available through the Chicago Architecture Center.
You could but don’t have to journey to Chicago by plane, train or auto. The app allows anyone, anywhere, to visit the places, hear narrations, read about historic sites and see what they look like inside and out.
Be warned, once started on this journey it becomes addictive. However, it only lasts 10 days, from Oct. 16 through Oct. 25, so better start now before the experience is gone.
What to expect
The app includes explorations of more than 20 Chicago neighborhoods, ranging from Oak Park, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Rogers Park and Hyde Park to Bronzeville, Chinatown, Pullman, Beverly and Evanston.
If you are interested in Open House Chicago, you likely already know that Oak Park is home to several structures designed by famed architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and George Maher. The Neighborhood section not only takes you there but it also has a trail to follow.
In Oak Park, it is the Frank Lloyd Wright; Portrait of a Young Architect Trail of seven houses he designed early in his career.. Click on the speaker to narration about the house by Adam Rubin, Chicago Architecture Foundation’s director of interpretation
In the Pullman neighborhood built by George Pullman to house his workers, you learn that its history is important from a labor and urban planning standpoint and you visit its Queen Anne Style Hotel Florence, an Illinois State Historic site.
Then check out the Tied Houses on the Pullman Trail that include the Schlitz Row Brewery Stable.
In the Evanston neighborhood, the “explore like a local” section takes you to the Mitchelll Museum of the American Indian in Evanston and the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie.
You may get the idea that you can become addicted to the app’s explorations. But for a good demo of how it all works go to zoom/rec/play. And if interested in public programs visit Programs.
There are so many choices of how to explore the city and environs that Open House Chicago really is a travel experience.