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Photos: Chicago Architecture Open House 2013 Highlights

By Benjy Lipsman in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 22, 2013 4:15PM

The Chicago Architecture Foundation held its annual Open House Chicago was last weekend and I hopped around town checking out as many sites as possible. I was in line well before the 9 a.m. start each day, shooed out of spots after 5 p.m. and managed to see 23 sites out of the event's 150. I started in Rogers Park and made it as far south as South Shore while also hitting Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Lincoln Park and the Loop/Downtown, driving over 70 miles and traveled via bus, "L" and taxi while exploring the city, and walked so far my feet still ache.

I was amazed by the craftsmanship of KAM Isaiah Israel synagogue, as well as the care going into the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Emil Bach House. I was wowed by the glass domed reading room at University of Chicago's Manseuto Library and also by its robotic stacks below. After admiring Aqua from the ground for years, I finally had a chance to step out onto one of the curved balconies that gives the building its unique identity. From Aqua, Randolph Tower, the Kemper Building and the rooftop of Testa Produce, I relished unique views of Chicago's sweeping skyline and once again questioned whether I made a mistake by not becoming an architect after visiting the offices of a number of local architecture and design firms.