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Go Inside 250+ Of Chicago's Most Fascinating Architectural Sites Next Month

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 11, 2017 9:09PM

Our favorite annual, free architecture fest is back for another year next month to take us inside over 250 historically- and architecturally-significant Chicago sites that aren't always open to the public.

It's Open House Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation's mega popular, two-day event (last year over 100,000 people participated), which will run from Oct. 14 to 15 at famous buildings and somewhat-hidden gems around the city. And by "around the city," we definitely don't just mean the Loop; there are sites open in 22 neighborhoods, including many on the South and West sides, and several that we highly recommend, known for their beauty, history and views of the city: Englewood's Yale Building, The Plant, and Zap Props in Back-of-the-Yards, to name a few.

We imagine it would be impossible to hit up all the sites, but we recommend playing around with the map on Open House Chicago's website to curate your own weekend-long architecture tour, and following your interests, whether they include viewing the skyline from atop some of Chicago's tallest buildings, exploring historic churches or poking around architecture and design studios that are normally closed to the public.

This year, the folks behind OHC are singling out Logan Square and Avondale as new neighborhoods on the list, with 12 sites worth checking out: They are: the Congress Theater and Logan Square Auditorium; Stan Mansion and Aloft Circus Arts; Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church and Armitage Baptist Church; Revolution Production Brewery, Chicago Distilling Company, and Metropolis Coffee Company; L- Logan Square, Pumping Station: One, and Northeastern Illinois University’s El Centro.

There are also a few other new sites entering the Open House Chicago scene for the first time this year, including the First Church of Deliverance, the Bahá’í House of Worship, St. Helen Roman Catholic Church, Wintrust Arena, and the apartments at 2650 North Lakeview and at the Powhatan.

You can check out our gallery from last year's OHC, above, and check back here later this week for our recommendations on where to go this year.