Open House Chicago: a behind-the-scenes look at Chicago's great architecture

Open House Chicago: a behind-the-scenes look at Chicago's great architecture
Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, 4912 N. Western Ave. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

,Open House Chicago, the largest architectural festival in Chicago, is back for year five. The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s (CAF) Open House Chicago (OHC) event, even bigger for 2015, offers a behind-the-scenes look inside more than 200 of the city’s greatest spaces and places in 20 city neighborhoods and Evanston October 17 and 18.

This year’s neighborhood line-up includes: Bridgeport / Back of the Yards; Bronzeville; Downtown; Edgewater; Evanston; Garfield Park/ North Lawndale; Gold Coast; Goose Island; Hyde Park; Lakeview; Lincoln Park;Lincoln Square / Ravenswood;Near West Side/West Town; Pilsen; South Loop/Prairie Avenue; Pullman;Rogers Park; South Shore and Ukrainian Village.

Drawing tens of thousands of people to the city, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s (CAF) Open House Chicago (OHC) is a free public event that offers participants access to many areas that are normally open “by invitation only.”

The event aims to showcase the diversity of Chicago’s architecture sites including some normally “restricted access” areas of public buildings, factories, historic mansions, private clubs, churches, schools, professional offices and cultural institutions and others.

Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of Chicago Architecture Foundation says “CAF is proud to bring to locals and visitors to Chicago, giving them a reason to explore Chicago’s culturally rich neighborhoods, and we hear from thousands who participate in this annual event that OHC fosters civic pride in neighborhood landmarks, histories and culture.”

OHC is part of the Open House Worldwide network of 20 cities, modeled after popular programs in New York, London and Tel Aviv.

This year, as in the past, OHC invites visitors to take self-guided visits through whatever areas and neighborhoods that they are interested in. A convenient site map is available by clicking here.

The hours for both Saturday and Sunday are 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  However not all sites are open for the entire time. Check ahead for times and days for the sites you plan to visit.

Not sure where to start? Next week, Show Me Chicago will be showcasing ten unique sites on the Open House line-up.

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