The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) has announced the neighborhoods and sites participating in Open House Chicago (OHC) 2018—now in its eighth year and one of the largest architecture festivals in the world. Beverly and Morgan Park, neighborhoods on the far southwest side, and Austin, on the far west side, join the nearly 30 communities and two suburbs hosting more than 250 sites, many rarely open to the public. This free two-day public event, on October 13 and 14, offers behind-the-scenes access to repurposed mansions, stunning skyscrapers, opulent theaters, exclusive private clubs, industrial facilities, cutting-edge offices and breathtaking sacred spaces.
“OHC gives Chicagoans the rare opportunity to discover hidden gems in architecturally significant buildings all across the city,” said Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the CAC. “But OHC attendees are discovering not only what is near their homes, they are exploring new neighborhoods across town and in the process changing preconceived notions about their neighbors. Last year, 60 percent of OHC attendees visited new neighborhoods. This year, we’re predicting record breaking turnouts and expect Chicagoans to flock to OHC 2018’s new neighborhoods, just as they visited Logan Square and Avondale in 2017 and Englewood in 2016.”
Morgan Park’s OHC 2018 sites include the Ingersoll-Blackwelder House, a lavish Victorian residence now used for private events, as well as Morgan Park Academy’s Alumni Hall. Beverly’s OHC 2018 sites include Optimo, a classic hat maker working out of a 100-year-old decommissioned firehouse re-designed by SOM, and Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery, a craft brewer specializing in mead from its own bees’ honey, with a tasting room designed by moss Design. The Austin locations include Catholic Charities Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center, an elegant former bank building recently repurposed as a community resource center, and Third Unitarian Church, a strikingly unique house of worship designed by noted Modernist Paul Schweikher in 1936.
In addition to the new sites in Beverly, Morgan Park and Austin, returning neighborhoods include more than 50 new locations. For example, three new downtown sites are worth noting: the Chicago Architecture Center’s new home at 111 East Wacker will be an official site with both an RSVP offering and a family festival. A striking new office building, 151 N. Franklin, features a dramatic roof deck and Wintrust’s monumental Grand Banking Hall at 231 S. LaSalle has recently been restored and is a must-see.
“Wintrust is thrilled to work with CAC for its city-wide Open House Chicago festival,” said Wintrust president, CEO and founder, Edward J. Wehmer. “As a company that proudly calls this area home, we know the hidden treasures this city holds. OHC brings them to light, and it’s especially exciting that CAC continues to find more and more locations to highlight, with three new neighborhoods added to the site list this year. We look forward to exploring different places and spaces of our city together because Chicago’s Bank loves Chicago’s architecture.”
Access to most OHC sites is free and does not require a reservation, but participants are encouraged to sign up to receive event e-newsletters and last-minute announcements. Select sites require advance registration due to security or capacity constraints and will not accept drop-in visitors. The CAC is partnering with TodayTix to conduct lotteries for these RSVP-only sites.