In a city like Chicago, it’s easy to take our architectural scenery for granted. But this weekend the Chicago Architecture Foundation is giving you a chance to really appreciate the diversity and depth of the buildings that surround us.
With more than 200 sites open for exhibit, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out how to narrow down your itinerary.
At the Open House website, you can filter potential site visits by both neighborhood and category, depending on what type of day you want to have.
For example, perhaps you want to go on a Frank Lloyd Wright themed tour. This could take you all the way from the Frederick C. Robie House in Hyde Park to the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in Bronzeville all the way to Wright’s home and studio in the West Suburb of Oak Park.
No matter your beliefs, there are some gorgeous sacred spaces like the St. Nicholas Catholic Cathedral in the Ukrainian Village, the Ling Sheng Ching Tze Buddhist Temple in Bridgeport, or the Chicago Loop Synagogue.
Looking for some sweet skyline views? Nichols Tower (aka, the original Sears Tower) in North Lawndale let’s you take in the entire breadth of the skyline from the West Side.
Perhaps there’s just one neighborhood you’re really looking into exploring. Most sites are clustered together in neighborhood pockets from Portage Park and Uptown on the North Side to South Shore and Pilsen on the South Side.
Of course, you can narrow down your search with practical purposes as well, if you need to know that a location is wheelchair accessible, is family friendly, or might have a long line.
Consider too that some sites work better with nicer weather so consider that before heading out for the day. Also remember that some sites have different times between Saturday and Sunday and some sites require an RSVP ahead of time or may only be available for CAF members.
Wherever your interests may lie, this weekend is a prime opportunity to get out there and explore the city.