Choose Chicago is pleased to announce the 10th annual edition of the Chicago Architecture Center’s (“CAC”) Open House Chicago from October 16-25, 2020. This newly redesigned and expanded event will invite locals and visitors alike to explore architecturally, culturally and historically significant sites in 20+ neighborhoods throughout the city, with a focus on the city’s South and West Sides, through in-person and virtual programs as well as a new mobile application (iOS and Android).
Visitors to each Open House Chicago (“OHC”) neighborhood can maximize their experience with the help of free resources available at openhousechicago.org and a new, free mobile application. These resources will include a selection of themed self-guide themed routes with more information about the chosen buildings, places of interest in each featured neighborhood and section to browse and register for OHC online programs, featuring guest presenters and representatives from more than 50 local organizations.
Examples of these self-guided trails, which are easy to intermediate bike rides or walks designed to last up to an hour unless otherwise noted, include:
Architectural Innovation Trail: Hyde Park (1.5-mile route)
This trail spotlights historic and recently completed sites of architectural significant, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, Keck-Gottschalk-Keck Apartments, Promontory Apartments, University Park Condominiums and Townhomes and Solstice on the Park.
A Ribbon of Green on the West Side Cycling/Driving Trail (7.5-mile route or 26-miles from end to end)
The series of wooded roadways and major parks on Chicago’s West Side comprises more than 1,700 acres of green space, connecting six public squares and eight parks, linked by 18 historic boulevards. Built in stages between 1869 and 1942, the showpieces in this famed “ribbon of green” are the city’s Douglass, Garfield and Humboldt Parks.
Bronzeville Neighborhood Trail: Performance Spaces in the Black Metropolis (1.5-mile route)
Through the first half of the 20th century, discriminatory practices by banks and insurance companies forced Black Chicagoans and new arrivals to the city from the American South to settle in a narrow corridor of the South Side known as “The Black Belt.” This trail connects a few sites still standing from the heyday of Chicago’s “Black Metropolis,” when many buildings operated both as community gathering points and venues for musicians and other performing artists.
Lincoln Park Neighborhood Trail: A Women’s History (1-mile route)
On this trail, visitors will explore locations that broaden the narrative of how a small cemetery was transformed over 150 years into a 1,200-acre recreational landscape today known as Lincoln Park. Learn about the women who envisioned – and continue to improve – this public space along with their important contributions to the creation of the park, which are often overshadowed by men whose names and figures adorn the park’s historic sites and natural features.
Given the public health situation created by COVID-19, the CAC has reimagined Open House Chicago in order to limit the potential transmission of the novel coronavirus. Organizers have outlined the following changes to Open House Chicago for 2020:
- Visitors are prohibited from entering sites and are encouraged to admire exterior details and facades;
- Visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings at all times;
- Visitors should maintain six feet of social distance at a minimum while exploring any neighborhoods, except from others with whom they have already isolated;
- All Open House Chicago tours and experiences will take place outdoors;
- The 2020 event has been expanded to a 10-day event;
- Priority Access Passes are discontinued for 2020;
- The new Open House Chicago app will offer location-based experiences to enhance the visit experience, replacing the Chicago Tribune OHC Event Guide.
Through these changes and the use of the free digital resources, attendees will be better able to safely explore and select routes on a variety of themes, learn more about buildings and sites of interest in each neighborhood, browse and register for related OHC online programs and more. The CAC’s walking tours will continue throughout the festival, with some highlighting OHC neighborhoods.
Open House Chicago 2019 Stats:
Inaugurated by Open House London in 1992, Open House Chicago is the second-most widely attended event of its kind. In 2019, OHC engaged 109,000 individuals, who made 370,000 total site visits to 352 sites in 39 Chicago neighborhoods, plus the near suburbs of Evanston and Oak Park.
For more information about Open House Chicago’s 2020 programming, visit: https://openhousechicago.org/
For a selection of photos, please visit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TE9fZ9OHF5ZXbD_yD54J51g7e2mIVo-h?usp=sharing