This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Chicago Architecture Center's beloved Open House Chicago program, which traditionally gives the public access to architecturally significant buildings throughout the city. The annual event will still take place this October, but the 2020 edition of Open House Chicago will be reimagined to address the safety guidelines and social distancing measures that have been passed down by the city and the state, with an emphasis placed on admiring buildings from the outside rather than touring their interiors.
Expanding to 10 days (October 16–25), Open House Chicago's programming encourages individuals, families and small groups to visit more than 20 neighborhoods throughout the city, where they can see significant buildings and learn more about each area's history. Many of the neighborhoods featured are concentrated on the city's South and West Sides, including Auburn Gresham, Austin, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Englewood, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Pullman, Roseland and South Shore.
Programming is still being developed, but Open House Chicago participants can expect a mixture of self-guided exploration (aided by the Open House Chicago mobile app) and virtual programs that will take viewers inside some of the buildings that aren't accessible this year. There will be both paid and free online programming, with advance registration required for those who'd like to attend.
While some may be disappointed that they won't get to take in the views from the Cliff Dwellers Club in the Loop or step inside the historic Forum assembly hall in Bronzeville, the fact that Open House Chicago is moving forward in some capacity feels like a small victory for curious Chicagoans. Keep an eye on the Open House Chicago website for additional information about programming and updates ahead of the event's kick-off in October.
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