This morning we were watching Chicago Department of Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on WGN-TV tell us that there’s a concerning upward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city. It made us wonder, “Will there be an Open House Chicago this year?” Minutes later, an e-mail arrived from the Chicago Architecture Center confirming that, yes Virginia, there will be an OHC.
Previous Open House Chicagos have left us with memories of grinding bellies with strangers passing in narrow stairwells, and six people leaning over our shoulders exhaling hot, moist breath on us while they pander to the Gram.
If the idea of tingling mingling with your fellow man has your undies in a bundle, know that — just like every other organization from Aardvark Auto Abandoners to Zane’s Zebra Zappers — the Architecture Center pledges “Your safety is our priority.” To that end, the event has been extended from one weekend to ten days, and some of it is going to be online.
The press release from the CAC was written with the millennial jargon meter cranked up to Fail, so it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going to be different this year. But reading past the “sensitivity”s and “reimagined”s and “framework”s, it seems that this year’s OHC will be a series of self-guided walking tours “designed for individuals, families and small groups that have isolated together.” Also, there will be an app for that™.
There isn’t a list of OHC sites yet, but the dates are Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 25. That means if you’re going to take a tour with a bunch of architecture buddies, your group should start self-isolating by October 2. Just remember what the CAC’s web site says: “By visiting the Chicago Architecture Center or taking any CAC tour, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”