When you start to see people line up outside random buildings in the city that means Open House Chicago is going on, and you better get in line with them.
For 48 hours this festival from the Chicago Architecture Foundation gives the public free, exclusive access to 200 hidden gems and architectural landmarks that are rarely ever seen by the public. While downtown has plenty of buildings to see the festival stretches across 19 different neighborhoods. As a visitor you’ll notice that practically every inch of the city has some architectural and historical significance, and locals will appreciate their walks to and from work a lot more when they learn about the majesties they’ve been walking past for so long.
Highlights include visiting the Suite of Presidents at the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel where 12 sitting presidents have stayed, exploring the breathtaking Red Lacquer Room of the Palmer House, traverse the glass-block walkways of the famous Rookery building, meet muralist Hector Duarte at his art covered studio in Pilsen, and much more.
Open House Chicago takes places Oct. 17 – 18 at various sites across the city. For a complete list of sites and creating an itinerary for the 48 hours make sure to visit openhousechicago.org.