Open House Chicago Is Back With 200 Free Architecture Tours You Shouldn't Miss

By Jessica Mlinaric in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 9, 2016 5:00AM

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is opening doors this fall for the sixth annual Open House Chicago. The free public festival will offer access to more than 200 architectural sites in and around Chicago on Oct. 15 and 16—with new stops in Englewood and Oak Park.

Open House Chicago invites attendees into spaces that most of the public will never see to discover the history and culture behind the city’s world-renowned architecture and offbeat structures. This list of architectural marvels, announced Thursday, includes a rooftop 1960 Airstream trailer, an alleyway distillery, and a yacht club’s 7,000-ton ship headquarters. For the first time, Englewood will be featured among the more than 20 diverse neighborhoods to explore. Oak Park, home to several treasured spaces by Frank Lloyd Wright is also new this year. It joins Evanston in highlighting design in Chicago’s suburbs.

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Credit: Chicago Architecture Foundation

“Open House Chicago gives everyone the opportunity to access hidden gems and learn about the incredible places and spaces that define our City,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press release. “The City of Chicago is synonymous with architectural innovation, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation's plans for this year prove our rich architectural history ‎extends to every neighborhood."

One such hidden gem is Englewood’s Yale Building (6565 S. Yale Ave.). The 1892 Richardsonian-Romanesque apartment building was originally built as luxury accommodations for the World’s Columbian Exposition. Featuring a bright atrium and indoor balconies decked with hanging vines, the landmark building was saved and restored in 2003. CAF bills the Yale as “one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets.”

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Credit: Open House Chicago

No reservations are required to attend Open House Chicago. Guests can plan their self-guided experiences using a printed event guide or an interactive online planner. Whether you embark on a discovery of your own neighborhood or across town, the breathtaking views and fascinating stories of Chicago’s structures are your keys to the city.

Open House Chicago runs October 15 to 16 from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. daily. For a complete list of participating sites, visit www.openhousechicago.org.