After focusing on virtual and outdoor programming in 2020, Open House Chicago will return to form in 2021, once again offering in-person, behind-the-scenes access to buildings and spaces normally off-limits to the public.
The free two-day architecture festival, produced by the Chicago Architecture Center for the 11th year, is scheduled for Oct. 16-17.
More than 100 venues across Chicago and adjacent suburbs will open their doors to visitors over the course of the event, from skyscrapers to cultural centers, private clubs to rooftop farms. An online searchable database will be continuously updated as sites and details are added.
“Chicagoans love their city, and Open House Chicago is a reflection of that passion,” said Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Center, in a statement.
New buildings taking part in Open House Chicago 2021 include the Sable Hotel at Navy Pier, the Pullman National Monument Visitor Information Center, Quinn Chapel and the Herman Miller Showroom, which recently relocated from the Merchandise Mart to Fulton Market.
To complement the site visits, online programs will be offered throughout the month of October and maps for self-guided walking trails will be available via the Open House Chicago mobile app starting Oct. 1 (download from the iPhone App Store or Google Play Store for Android).
The themed neighborhood trails, designed for walking or biking unless otherwise noted, include past favorites such as “Beer Baron Row” in Wicker Park and “A Women’s History of Lincoln Park.” Several newcomers have been added to the 2021 lineup:
— Obamas in Hyde Park: highlighting the Obamas’ lives in Hyde Park and Kenwood.
— Great Chicago Fire: recognizing the 150th anniversary of the fire (driving or biking trail).
— Helmut Jahn: a downtown loop of Jahn buildings and the architecture center’s Jahn exhibit.
— Uptown Entertainment District: historic entertainment sites clustered near North Broadway and Lawrence Avenue in Uptown.
— Preservation Across Chicago: preservation wins and ongoing campaigns in Chicago.
The Chicago Architecture Center is following Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines requiring the use of masks indoors. Individual Open House sites may have additional requirements for entry, such as proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, etc.
Below, check out images of some of the new sites taking part in Open House Chicago 2021.