I’d actually never heard about this event before, but in a couple weeks, Open House Chicago will be taking place. This two-day event, taking place Oct. 13-14, offers behind-the-scenes access to over 150 buildings across Chicago, and is free & open to the public. That means you get to go into some of the city’s coolest buildings — no reservations required — and see the city’s hidden gems & architectural treasures. The whole shindig is hosted by the Chicago Architectural Foundation.
Here are some of the buildings I’m most excited to see:
- Jeweler’s Building at 35 E Wacker
- Driehaus Museum: “a fascinating and rare example of the palatial homes erected by the wealthy of America’s Gilded Age”
- Lake Point Tower: I’m interested to see the rooftop garden
- Meyers Ace Hardware/Sunset Café: they still have the former stage of the Sunset Café with its original artwork
- Milton Mizenburg Studio: Oakland Museum of Contemporary Art
- Welcome Inn Manor: what can I say, I like mansions
- Ping Tom Memorial Park: who knew there’s a beautiful riverside park in Chinatown??
- Egyptian Lacquer Manufacturing Company Building: one of the few surviving Egyptian Revival buildings in the city. Are there others??
- Charnley-Persky House: Designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright for James and Helen Charnley in 1891
- Alliance Francaise: I love grey-stones
- Frank Fisher Apartments: who knew this stuff even existed? One of the city’s finest pre-World War II modern designs, this building is a rare surviving example of the Art Moderne style
- Graham Foundation (Madlener House)
- Anything & everything on the beautiful University of Chicago campus
- Prairie District mansions: Keith House & the Wheeler Mansion
- South Shore Cultural Center: it includes a butterfly garden, ballroom, library, solarium (I don’t even know what that is but it sounds fancy) and much more
- Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation: right in my own back yard
There are so many other places listed that you never knew existed, or maybe always wanted to see inside – be sure to check out the complete list of sites!