OHC2014 Leaves Thousands With Happy Memories, Aching Feet


In spite of a rainy start and a few glitches along the way, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s annual Open House Chicago architecture festival was very well attended over the weekend. The early birds were punished for their gumption, and stood in front of buildings across Chicago shielding themselves from the rain with hats, umbrellas, and copies of Friday’s Red Eye.

Open House Chicago

Eager architecture enthusiasts locked out of the Civic Opera House

While the foundation certainly can’t do anything about the rain, it would have an easier time convincing Tom Skilling to rearrange the clouds than convincing security guards at the Civic Opera Building to let people in.  If you’ve ever worked at a seven-day-a-week business, you know how the weekday people don’t always communicate with the weekend people, and that was the case at 20 North Wacker Drive where about 30 attendees shuffled their feet while three C.A.F. volunteers tried to get someone on the phone to authorize the long-planned event.  By the time the doors opened at 9:20am, only two people wandered off in search of more accessible venues.

The view from the top of the Old Republic Building

The view from the top of the Old Republic Building

Open House Chicago may be becoming a victim of its own success.  At Groupon and the Allerton Hotel’s Tip Top Tap, people were turned away after the venues were swamped with gawkers.  Official attendance figures are not yet available, but it’s an indication that the Architecture Foundation might want to look at expanding the length of the event.  The London Festival of Architecture runs an entire month, as does San Francisco’s Architecture and the City Festival.

Even more popular than umbrellas over the weekend were cameras.  From grandmothers sporting free-on-contract Android phones to hard core photophiles decked out like laid off Sun-Times photojournalists, everyone had a lens in their hands to capture the event.

We’d like to see your pics and share them with the other readers.  E-mail them to ChicagoArchitectureInfo@gmail.com, or text them to 206/227-1096.

Disclosure: The Chicago Architecture Foundation provided The Chicago Architecture Blog a priority access pass to cover this event.

We’d also like to acknowledge the support of Loop Spy Daniel who supplied fruit to keep our energy up during the event.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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