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Tour These 200 Historical Sites With Open House Chicago

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Sep 18, 2015 8:32PM

2015Palmer House_Lobby.jpg
The Palmer House/Handout

The Chicago Architecture Biennial isn't the only game in town for architecture buffs to binge on free tours next month: Open House Chicago is back with opportunities for you to explore over 200 architecturally-significant buildings around Chicago for free in one weekend.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's fifth-annual public architecture event, Open House Chicago, just released its list of over 200 sites that will be open to the public for two days in October for free guided and self-guided tours and epic sight-seeing. The sites span the city from Rogers Park to Pullman, and for the truly wonky among us the event also pulls the curtain back on a handful of the city's top architecture and design firms.

Some sites that caught our eye on this year's list:

  • Nichols Tower in Homan Square: It's the city's original Sears Tower, located on the Southwest Side.

  • The Kemper Building: It's a soaring Loop skyscraper with insane, wraparound views of downtown, the lakefront and the near West Side.

  • The Blu Aqua Hotel: This East Side skyscraper was designed by the award-winning Studio Gang architecture firm.

  • The Lake Point Tower: It's that clover-shaped, black residential high-rise overlook the lakefront by Navy Pier.

  • The Plant: This awesome, closed-loop urban farm and aquaponics hub is in an old meatpacking facility in Back-of-the-Yards, and tours usually cost $20 a pop.
  • This year the Open House Chicago website includes an interactive itinerary planner and a map of sites you can search by neighborhood.

    Open House Chicago runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18 at locations around Chicago.