Sep, 18, 2014,
3:50 PM

Open House Chicago Offers Look Inside Chicago’s Best-Known and Little-Known Spaces During a FREE Two-Day Event


CHICAGO—The largest architectural festival in Chicago is back for its fourth year! Drawing more than 55,000 people, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s (CAF) Open House Chicago (OHC) event is October 18 and 19, and includes more than 150 of the city’s greatest spaces and places from 18 neighborhoods across the city. This free public event offers participants behind-the-scenes access to many areas that are normally open “by invitation only.” Whether you are an architecture buff, history enthusiast or just looking for a unique weekend festival, OHC is a fun must-see event for every kind of adventurer:  locals and visitors to suburbanites and city dwellers.

Showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s architecture, sites include uncommonly seen and “restricted access” areas of public buildings, factories, historic mansions, private clubs, sacred spaces, schools, professional offices and cultural institutions, among others. Illinois Institute of Technology is a proud participant in this year’s event, which will include S. R. Crown Hall, Carr Chapel, and the McCormick Tribune Campus Center.

“CAF inspires people to discover why design matters, and OHC is the perfect example of that. This event gives locals and visitors a reason to explore Chicago’s culturally rich neighborhoods and engages the public in experiencing and learning about the city’s built environment,” said Lynn Osmond, CAF president and CEO. “We hear from thousands who participate in this annual event that OHC fosters civic pride in neighborhood landmarks, histories and culture.”

In 2013, the third OHC event attracted more than 55,000 guests from all 50 states and 71 countries around the world. The economic impact of that event weekend was $5.1million.

Modeled after popular programs in New York, London and Tel Aviv, OHC invites visitors to take self-guided visits throughout the following Chicago neighborhoods:

 Ukrainian Village – New for 2014

Bronzeville - New for 2014

Edgewater – New for 2014

Lincoln Square/Ravenswood – New for 2014

Goose Island – New for 2014

Bridgeport/Back of the Yards


Garfield Park/North Lawndale

Gold Coast

Hyde Park

Lincoln Park

Near West Side/West Town


Prairie District


Rogers Park

South Shore


Using a printed event guide or, OHC guests can select the sites and neighborhoods they want to explore and create their own self-guided experiences.

For a complete list of participating sites, visit Get the latest news and fun facts about OHC too by following Chicago Architecture Foundation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up to receive the OHC newsletter for updates on venues and the latest information on special programming.

Access to OHCsites is free and does not require a reservation, but participants are encouraged to sign up to receive event newsletters and last-minute announcements. Sites will accept visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition to free access, OHC offers activities in various sites all weekend long, including cultural performances, lectures, workshops and more.

Become a CAF member at to receive a “CAF Member Priority Access Pass,” which grants you preferred access to OHC sites. Similar to last year’s event, there are a select handful of Members Only Sites. Consider volunteering over the weekend. It’s fun, easy and provides special benefits including priority access to all OHC sites!

OHC is a celebration of Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities. The community partners helping make OHC 2014 happen are: Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council and Public Media Institute, Quad Communities Development CorporationBronzeville Area Residents and Commerce Council, Building Owners and Managers AssociationChicago Loop Alliance, Magnificent Mile Association, 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman’s OfficeEdgewater Historical Society, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, Foundation for Homan SquareSouth East Chicago CommissionLincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Glessner House Museum, Historic Pullman FoundationPullman State Historic Site, Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, Rogers Park Business Alliance, South Shore Chamber, Inc., Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association, Uptown United and West Loop Community Organization.

OHC is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Kemper Corporation; sponsors National Endowment for the Arts, ComEd, James S. Kemper Foundation and the Chicago Transit Authority; and media sponsors Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and WBEZ.


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