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Explore Open House Chicago's Loop Venues

The Loop is home to many of the city’s most iconic architectural treasures. And while you may have marveled at these buildings on the street-level, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is offering the unique opportunity to explore the inside of these spaces rarely, if ever, open to the public through their annual Open House Chicago festival. Over 200 venues throughout the city and surrounding suburbs will be free and open to the public on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15.  

With behind-the-scenes access to hundreds of architectural gems, picking the right venues to visit during for your architecture-filled weekend can be tough. That's why we put together a list of our must-see Loop sites. For more information on Open House Chicago and a complete list of participants visit: openhousechicago.org

The Rookery Building

Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 10:00am to 4:00pm | 209 S. LaSalle St. 

One of the few remaining original skyscrapers built after the Chicago Fire of 1871, The Rookery Building was designed in 1888 by Daniel Burnham and John Root. It contains one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most dramatic interior compositions – a luminous and brilliantly articulated central light court. In 1905, Wright was commissioned to remodel the Rookery light court and lobbies. He realized a stunning balance between Burnham & Root’s ornamental ironwork and his own vision to create a spectacular environment.

If you can't make it to the Loop's Financial District this weekend, guided tours of the Rookery Light Court and Burnham Libary are available year-round with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

The Monroe Building

Saturday, October 14, 2017 | 9:00am to 5:00pm | 104 S. Michigan Ave. 

The Monroe Building, located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street, has been a striking gateway to the Loop since the early 1900s with its Spanish-tile gabled roof that harmonizes with the height of the Gothic-inspired University Club across the street. Home to one of the most beautiful lobbies in the country, guests are greeted with a vaulted ceiling made with one of the world’s largest collections of Rookwood Pottery tile. The building is also home to the award winning Pritzker Military Museum & Library who will also be opening their doors on Saturday October 14 from 9am-5pm.

Civic Opera Building and Lyric Opera of Chicago

Saturday, October 14, 2017 | 9:00am to 4:00pm | 20 N. Wacker Dr. 

This Art Nouveau and Art Deco landmark is home to a 45-story office tower and the second largest opera auditorium in North America that serves as the main performance venue for the world-renowned Lyric Opera. Explore the dramatic Rice Grand Foyer, the elegant Ardis Krainik Theatre, and see the sets being changed over live onstage!

Palmer House Hilton Chicago

Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 10:00am to 4:00pm | 17 E. Monroe St. 

The Palmer House Hilton is one of the Chicago's most historic and famous hotels. The 25-story building, as it currently stands, was rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire and re-opened in 1927. Full of impressive and grand detailing, the hotel includes a stunning lobby designed in the French-Empire style with intricate ceiling murals by French-muralist Louis Pierre Rigal, Tiffany light fixtures, as well as several unique and colorful ballrooms. See the boldly beautiful Red Lacquer Room on the fourth floor, with a table setting recreating a famous 1879 banquet.

Joffrey Tower

Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 9:00am to 4:30pm | 10 E. Randolph

With grand views of State Street, Joffrey Tower is home to impressive list of residential and commercial tenants including the award-winning Joffrey Ballet. Learn about one of Chicago's most well-known cultural institutions on a guided tour of their rehearsal studios overlooking State Street.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Money Museum

Saturday, October 14, 2017 and Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 9:00am to 5:00pm | 230 S. LaSalle St. 

The Chicago Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that—together with the Board of Governors—make up the Federal Reserve System, our nation's central bank. One of its many responsibilities is making sure that there is sufficient supply of U.S. currency in good condition. Visit the Money Museum and peek inside the Great Hall, which is not normally open to the public. All visitors subject to security check.

Photo Credits (top to bottom): Frank Llyod Wright Trust (The Rookery), Matt Ballogg (The Monroe Building), Eric Allix Rogers (Civic Opera), Erix Allix Rogers (Palmer House Hilton), 


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