If you love history and architecture, you’re not going to want to miss this! Since 2011, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) has been hosting the Open House Chicago Festival – a citywide event dedicated to offering tours and exhibitions at landmark staples all over the city and its surrounding suburbs. Over the course of this upcoming weekend (October 15-16), the CAC will provide free, behind-the-scenes access to historically significant sites all across Chicagoland, from Austin to Evanston and 20 neighborhoods within the city.
Curious to see the inside of the Chicago Board of Trade building? Or the Tik Tok famous Harold Washington Library Center? From theaters to houses of worship, this weekend has it all! Plan your tour spots today by clicking here. Keep on reading for some highlights for this upcoming weekend!
A little background
Interestingly, Open House started in London in 1992 and made its way to the United States in 2002 launching in New York. Currently, over 50 cities around the world have implemented Open House in their community and have reached more than one million people.
The CAC has been hosting Chicago’s Open House for just over a decade, and it gets bigger and better every year! This year, they’re excited to partner with over 30 local community organizations to bring the open house to life.
How to attend
Open House Chicago takes place all over the city and is self-guided, so the world is really your oyster with this one. The CAC recommended taking Divvy or CTA busses and trains to easily hit site to site, but many locations are also within walking distance of each other. The simplest way to go about this festival is to create a list of locations you want to visit and then map out your route beforehand! Check out more details in this FAQ.
And if you’re not local to Chicago, don’t worry, you can still get in on the fun. Beginning in 2020, the CAC set out to create virtual (free) programs that “highlight the themes or architecture, Chicago’s history, preservation and people and places.” Throughout the whole month of October, interested attendees can check out a slew of virtual programs by clicking here.
To all the adventurers dedicated to learning more about the city, we can’t wait to hear what you think! Here’s to another exciting year of history and architecture at the Open House Chicago.