Free Citywide Chicago Architecture Tours This Weekend

Chicago has several on-going architecture tours that run daily. But this weekend offers a special opportunity to visit some of the city’s less accessible sites. Open House Chicago 2011 is a free, self-guided tour that invites the general public to see inside and learn about a variety of different architectural styles and building types in Chicago. Normally you would only be able see an open house when visiting Chicago homes in which are for sale, but now you get to have open accessibility to some of the best architectural buildings Chicago has to offer. Presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the event is a chance for people to get an up-close-and-personal look at some 130 Chicago buildings—many of which are not usually open to the public.
The citywide open house is going on this Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16 in a handful of neighborhoods around Chicago. Sites welcome visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Free hop-on/hop-off shuttle routes will take guests between neighborhoods, which include Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Little Village, Rogers Park, West Ridge and the Loop.  
Guests should visit the Open House Chicago website beforehand to create an itinerary of places they want to visit. There are descriptions and pictures of all participating locations, as well as downloadable shuttle maps and tips for navigating the weekend. Each neighborhood will have a “Hub” that acts as a home base for the free shuttles and is near public transportation stations.
Neighborhood Hubs for Open House Chicago 2011:
– La Villita Community Church at 2300 S. Millard Avenue (Little Village Neighborhood)
Warren Park Field House at 6601 N. Western Avenue (Rogers Park/West Ridge Neighborhoods)
Garfield Park Conservatory at 300 N. Central Park Avenue (Garfield Park/North Lawndale Neighborhoods)
Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center at 1060 E. 47th Street (Bronzeville Area)
Santa Fe Building at 224 W. Michigan Avenue (Downtown Neighborhoods)
The full list of Open House Chicago locations includes 50 commercial sites, 27 landmarks, 17 residential buildings, 13 public facilities and 3 hotels, among dozens of other places of interest. One of the major themes for this year’s open house is “sustainability.” The event’s GREEN TRAIL itinerary showcases the city’s environmentally-conscious buildings and homes, which boast energy-efficient designs and solar-powered features. A few of the GREEN TRAIL’s most notable stops are the Chicago Center for Green Technology, the Green Exchange, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology.
No tickets or reservations are required for Open House Chicago 2011. Just show up to any participating location and get special access to Chicago’s amazing array of architectural accomplishments. Visit for more information.


Author: Mark Miles

Mark Miles works for Dreamtown, one of Chicago's largest real estate search firms. Editor's note: While Mark works for Dreamtown, his posts are NOT sponsored content. No money or any other compensation is exchanged for his articles.

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