So, after kind of a late start on Saturday, my husband and I made it to our first stop for Open House Chicago, which is sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and saw the Our Lady of Sorrows basilica. After walking from the Blue Line to the basilica on a cold blustery day, we were glad to enter the beautiful environment. The most remarkable thing about this structure is that the plain exterior belies the beauty inside.
We accidentally walked in just as their Saturday morning Mass was starting. I had been eating chocolates on the train all the way there, so my first thought was, "shit! I'm not prepared!" since I hadn't fasted the full hour before Communion. Even though we weren't planning on being there that long, we stayed through Mass, and got more pictures of the basilica afterward. In retrospect, we could have probably sat further toward the front, because I couldn't read the priest's lips and thus didn't know where we were in Mass. Which makes me quite glad that we do Catholic Calisthenics by sitting, standing, and kneeling so I have a better idea of what's happening.
After this, we hopped on the handy Open House Chicago shuttle and went to the old Sears tower. The elevators were out, so Jeff and I decided to climb the stairs since it was only 14 floors tall. We did have to state our intention on the waiver so we don't sue if the stairs collapsed on us or some sort of other construction calamity happened, since the Sears Tower is an actual construction zone.
It was so worth climbing those stairs. Had we taken the elevator, we would have missed the Chernobyl-like abandoned rooms. Granted, they weren't nearly as creepy as the abandoned buildings in Detroit because most of the fixtures and furniture were cleared out as part of construction.
Finally, we made it to the top of the 14th floor, and were rewarded with an awesome view of downtown Chicago on a nice sunny day.
Part 2 is coming up next, with the Tribune Tower, a mosque, and the Methodist Temple.