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Open House Chicago 2019 Announces Sites

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Posted  2 months ago  in  LandmarksFamily FriendlyTrendingLoop List

10 MIN READ – Chicago Architecture Center announced the complete lineup of locations participating in Open House Chicago 2019. Now in its ninth year, the largest architecture festival in the world will feature about 350 sites across 38 neighborhoods. Use this guide to help you plan your itinerary for sites in the Chicago Loop and beyond during this free weekend-long event.


1 North Dearborn

1 N. Dearborn St.
Saturday, October 19, 10 am.. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Originally built in 1917 to house the Boston Company department store, 1 North Dearborn has recently undergone extensive renovations to modernize its offices and amenities. The crowning feature is the building’s new rooftop deck: impressive in scope, it features a bar, fireplace, lounge, and garden. A mural pays homage to the building’s original 1917 tenant, the Boston Co. department store.

Visitor Experience

Take a break from sightseeing at this impressive new rooftop garden and lounge, located in the heart of the Loop.

1 North Dearborn - Photo Courtesy of Open House Chicago

111 West Jackson

111 W. Jackson Blvd.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Zip to the roof of this 25-story Loop office tower for stunning panoramic views to the south, a bird's eye view of the federal prison's rooftop basketball court, a full, uninterrupted profile of the Willis Tower, and a close-up look at the Chicago Board of Trade Building. The 1961 building revamped its roof deck in 2012, part of a trend toward outdoor amenity spaces for downtown office workers. The roof deck shares a floor with another OHC site, Gentleman's Cooperative / Penthouse 111.

Visitor Experience

Gaze to the south from the building's rooftop deck, located on the same floor as Gentleman's Cooperative.

111 W Jackson Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

300 East Randolph

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
300 E. Randolph St.
Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Tower is a curiosity among Chicago high-rises due to its construction in two phases over two separate decades. The original 30-story building was completed in 1997 to satisfy the health insurance company’s immediate space needs. However, it was also engineered to allow for future upward growth. From 2007 to 2010, 24 stories were added, seamlessly extending the building to 54 floors in height. The tower's extensive use of glass, inside and out, creates stunning atrium spaces and provides outstanding views of Grant Park and Lakeshore East.

Visitor Experience

Visit the 30th floor event space--normally only available to tenants of the building--with stunning views of Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park. Videos and models will interpret the unique construction process of this building. Visitors must show photo ID upon arrival.

300 East Randolph - Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

33 North LaSalle Street

33 N. LaSalle St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Description

This 38-story Art Deco treasure was originally known as the Foreman State National Bank Building, though that bank moved out after only a short time. The building spent most of its history as the American National Bank Building and has been altered heavily over the years. Recent renovations have transformed the historic bank's basement into trendy amenity spaces and the original vault is now a high-tech conference center lined by original safety deposit boxes.

Visitor Experience

Visit the lounge and basement conference room inside the old vault lined with safe-deposit boxes.

33 N LaSalle Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Inland Steel Building
30 W. Monroe St. Suite 400
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 19: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Description

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) designs high-performance, energy-efficient, and sustainable architecture on an international scale, applying their approach to everything from low to mid-rise residential buildings, mixed-use supertall towers, and cultural centers. In July 2018, AS+GG relocated their Chicago studio to the historic Inland Steel building. The 19-story Inland Steel Building was the first tall building to be completed in the Loop after the Great Depression. Its column-free floor layouts and glass and stainless steel exterior make it an iconic building and a Modernist landmark.

Visitor Experience

Walk through the studio at your own pace to see futuristic 3-D models, a 15-foot Prysm interactive digital screen and a VR station. Listen in on brief presentations from staff.

bKL Architecture

Aqua
225 N. Columbus Dr., Suite 100
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

bKL Architecture, founded in 2010, is committed to designing projects that enhance the contexts in which they build, responding to the needs of clients, users and surrounding communities, while anticipating future uses and desires. bKL’s offices are located in Aqua, a location that puts the firm in close proximity to some of their notable projects in Lakeshore East. bKL's recent projects include GEMS World Academy, MILA Chicago, Wolf Point West, and Renelle on the River.

Visitor Experience

Visitors will enjoy a self-guided tour of the bKL studio. See models and designs for past, current, and future projects. bKL architects will be stationed around the studio to answer questions. No photos are allowed throughout the studio, but photos can be taken of the Downtown Chicago context model.

bKL Architecture Phoot by Darris Lee Harris

Broadway In Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre

1. W. Randolph St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The James M. Nederlander Theatre, originally named the Oriental Theatre, opened to much fanfare as a motion picture palace in 1926. Designed by George L. and Cornelius W. Rapp for theater managers Balaban & Katz, the theater is a virtual museum of South Asian-inspired art with an auditorium of "hasheesh-dream design." It presented popular first-run motion pictures complemented by lavish stage shows, and hosted such legends as the Three Stooges, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, and Duke Ellington. Like the other great Loop theaters, it went through a period of decline despite being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and was nearly demolished. Fortunately, restoration of the theater as a home for live stage musicals was completed in October 1998, at which time it re-opened with the Chicago premiere of Ragtime. It has since staged a long list of premieres and traveling hits, including the record-breaking run of Wicked and the long-run production of Billy Elliott. In February 2019, it was renamed the James M. Nederlander Theatre, in honor of the legendary Broadway theatre owner, producer, and founder of Broadway In Chicago.

Visitor Experience

Experience the lobby and main level of the auditorium in this stunning theater--usually only open to the public during performances. Broadway In Chicago staff will be on hand to provide information about the theatre.

Broadway In Chicagos James M. Nederlander Theatre Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

CallisonRTKL

1 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1800
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Chicago office of CallisonRTKL is housed on the 18th and 19th floors of 200 South Michigan. This Modernist skyscraper is distinguished by its blue enameled steel spandrel panels, large windows, stainless steel mullions and set-back ground floor ringed by thin pilotis. CallisonRTKL is a global provider of end-to-end planning, architectural and creative services. Its spaces reflect a dramatic yet minimalist ethos, including a cafe-like area that offers spectacular views of Grant Park, Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.

Visitor Experience

Navigate CallisonRTKL’s space to discover the evolution of the immense Chicago landscape. Their curated installation intertwines facts of the past with a glimpse into the future. Come view the city through a divergent lens and offer your perspective.

Callison Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Chicago Architecture Center

111 E. Wacker Dr.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Chicago Architecture Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. The CAC's new home is a great place for locals and tourists alike to learn about Chicago architecture and the pivotal role Chicago has played in shaping architecture around the globe. Exhibits include an expanded and immersive Chicago City Model Experience, the Building Tall exhibit featuring large-scale models of notable skyscrapers, and more.

Visitor Experience

Freely enjoy the CAC's expanded exhibits, including the Chicago City Model Experience and Building Tall.

Chicago Cultural Center featuring the Chicago Architecture Biennial

78 E. Washington St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m – 5 p.m.

Description

Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library, the building was designed to impress and to prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis. The country’s top architects and craftsmen used the most sumptuous materials to create an architectural showplace. The world’s largest Tiffany stained glass dome was restored to its original splendor in 2008. The building also contains a dome in an intricate Renaissance pattern, designed by Healy & Millet. In 1991, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center, the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents hundreds of free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers. The third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial will convene the world’s leading practitioners, theorists, and commentators in the field of architecture and urbanism to further explore, debate, and demonstrate the significance of architectural concepts in contemporary society. The 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial is led by Artistic Director Yesomi Umolu with curators Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares.

Visitor Experience

Explore designated spaces in the Chicago Cultural Center and displays and installations of the third Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Chicago Loop Synagogue

16 S. Clark St.
Sunday, October 20: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Chicago Loop Synagogue was founded in 1929 to serve the religious needs of Jews working downtown as well as Jewish visitors to Chicago. The current building was designed by Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett. It was built in 1957 to replace a structure on the same block that had been lost to fire. The entrance is marked by a sculpture by Henri Azaz called "Hands of Peace" that features a blessing in both Hebrew and English. A wall of stained glass by Abraham Rattner breaks the reserved minimalism of the sanctuary, leading one critic to describe it as "perhaps the most beautiful synagogue interior in the United States."

Visitor Experience

Visit the various sanctuary spaces. View the eastern wall of stained glass entitled “Let There be Light” designed by Abraham Rattner. Visitors must show photo ID upon arrival.

Civic Opera Building

20 N. Wacker Dr.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Description

Built in 1929 and fully restored in 1996, the Civic Opera House is a Chicago landmark and a spectacular hybrid of Art Nouveau and Art Deco architectural styles. Comprising a 45-story office tower with two 22-story wings, the multi-use complex is home to the world-renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago. A close stylistic cousin to the high-rise towers of New York City's Rockefeller Center, completion of the Civic Opera House actually preceded Rock Center by a few years and, unlike that project, it made good on the inclusion of an opera.

Visitor Experience

Pass through the sumptuous Art Deco lobby and look out over the Chicago River from this office building's 15th-floor rooftop deck.

Columbia Yacht Club

111 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Since 1892, Columbia Yacht Club has been celebrated as one of Chicago's premier boating clubs and sailing organizations. It is located where Randolph Street meets the Lake Michigan shoreline. In the winter of 1982-83, Columbia Yacht Club purchased the MV Abegweit, a 372-foot, 7,000-ton train ferry from Canada. Its lower level held railcars and motor vehicles during the ship's service on the Northumberland Straight from 1947 to 1982. The ferry now serves as the club ship and headquarters. Once the most powerful icebreaking ship in the world, "Abby" remains "in service" today as an exclusive dining room and event space that offers unparalleled views of the Chicago harbor, skyline and Grant Park.

Visitor Experience

Step aboard the MV Abegweit and tour this private club's dining room, outdoor deck and steering room.

DePaul University Merle Reskin Theatre

Blackstone Theatre
60 E. Balbo Dr.
Sunday, October 20: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The former Blackstone Theatre has a lot in common with its neighbor, the Blackstone Hotel: architects, Beaux-Arts style, developers and even, until 1992, a name. The six-story building houses a tall, ornate auditorium with an original capacity of 1,325. It mainly presented touring productions from New York for its first few decades--with some of the best-known actors of the time gracing the stage. After the difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II, the New York-based Shubert Organization operated the theater. They gradually scaled back productions as television diminished audiences and many of the great Loop theaters declined. The Theatre School at DePaul University--founded as the Goodman School of Drama in 1925--acquired and renovated the theater in 1988. It is now a main performance venue for one of the oldest and best-known theater conservatory programs in the region.

Visitor Experience

Explore all three levels of this large and ornate theater, one of the few remaining historic Downtown theaters.

Design Museum of Chicago

EXPO 72
72 E. Randolph St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Popping up in the ground floor gallery space of the Expo 72 building, the Design Museum of Chicago has an exhibit showcasing items and artifacts on loan from theaters across the city. The exhibit looks into how design is used to bring the stage to life, and how different theaters across the city take new approaches to set and costume design. Expo 72 is a three story brick-and-glass building whose diagonal glass walls draw visitors into the building, which is frequently used for exhibits.

Visitor Experience

Take in the Design Museum of Chicago’s exhibit "Setting the Stage: Objects of Chicago Theatre."

Eastlake Studio

333 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2600
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Explore the elegant offices of Eastlake Studio, a workplace architecture and design firm, on the 26th floor of Holabird & Root’s landmark 333 North Michigan. The studio suite--once home to the legendary Tavern Club--is split into north and south wings with historic and contemporary treatments, respectively, and spectacular views up Michigan Avenue and across the Loop. The north wing is quiet and serene, with formal conference rooms and executive suites, while the south wing supports essential workspaces and collaboration areas enclosed within a 17-foot glass curtain wall. Furniture includes Herman Miller workstations, Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs, and a reproduction of a Richard Bock sculpture in a nod to the diverse architectural history visible from Eastlake's windows. A large private roof terrace, open in good weather, offers skyline views in three directions.

Visitor Experience

Take a guided tour of the stunning offices of Chicago architecture firm Eastlake Studio. Weather permitting, take in the amazing views from the outdoor terrace.

Fine Arts Building

410 S. Michigan Ave.
Saturday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Fine Arts Building was originally a carriage assembly plant and showroom for the Studebaker Company. It was designed by Solon Spencer Beman and opened in 1885. An extensive 1898 remodeling converted it into a home for what is now one of the nation's oldest artist communities. Its rented studios, offices and shops have housed some of the city's most illustrious literary and artistic talents, including Frank Lloyd Wright, sculptor Lorado Taft and Wizard of Oz illustrator W. W. Denslow. The interior features stunning Art Nouveau decorative details and murals dating from the 1898 renovation. The building continues to house art galleries, theater and performing arts studios and other arts-related businesses.

Visitor Experience

Admire the beautiful Venetian Court, step inside the Studebaker Theatre, and explore ten floors of historic artist workspaces.

Fine Arts Building Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Money Museum

230 S. LaSalle St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

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 a sufficient supply of U.S. currency in good condition. They oversee the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Iowa and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. The building's most recent renovation, started in 1986, upgraded its existing 820,000 square feet and included a 165,000-square-foot, 14-story addition. The Money Museum, on the first floor, opened to visitors in 2001.

Visitor Experience

Visit the Money Museum and peek inside the Great Hall, which is not normally open to the public. Visitors must show photo ID and pass through security.

First United Mehodist Church at the Chicago Temple

77 W. Washington St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

This 568-foot tall skyscraper is the tallest church building in the world. It serves as a Neo-Gothic monument to the Methodists’ commitment to the Loop at a time when pressure was great to move to the suburbs. It is home to the First United Methodist Church of Chicago, the oldest congregation in the city. The tower houses the "Sky Chapel" at its highest level, a sanctuary on the ground floor and office space on the floors in between.

Visitor Experience

Tour the lower levels of world’s tallest church before climbing up 172 stairs to the "Sky Chapel" beneath the church's soaring steeple.

GEMS World Academy Chicago

350 E. South Water St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Description

Chicago is home to the first GEMS World Academy in the United States. The first of two buildings, designed by bKL Architecture, opened in 2014 to house preschool through 10th grade, while the second building opens in 2019. The eye-catching, playful exterior is a modernist composition of interlacing colored panels and glass that expresses the configuration of spaces within and fits nicely into the contemporary architectural aesthetic of Lakeshore East. The state-of-the-art school features technology tailored to cutting-edge education methods. The elite GEMS network includes schools in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Visitor Experience

Take a self-guided tour exploring floors 5-10 of one of the most elite and cutting-edge schools in the United States, just expanded with a new addition.

GEMS Academy Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Gensler

11 E. Madison St., 3rd Floor
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Description

Gensler Chicago is located on the third floor of the Louis Sullivan-designed Carson Pirie Scott & Co. Building (today the Sullivan Center). The space pays tribute to the pedigree of Sullivan’s masterpiece and complements the history and style of his work. The firm has 46 locations worldwide. Gensler specializes in architecture, interior design, graphic design, urban planning, consulting and product design. Recent Chicago-area work includes Vantage Oak Park, Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Gratz Center, 1871 in the Merchandise Mart and the relocation of CBRE’s downtown office.

Visitor Experience

Explore the intriguing and imaginative spaces designed by Gensler's talented team.

Gensler Sullivan Center - Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Gentleman’s Cooperative / Penthouse 111

111 West Jackson
111 W. Jackson Blvd.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Gentleman’s Cooperative is a Chicago custom suit designer, clothier, barber and stylist that operates as a membership club and corporate event space. This timelessly comfortable penthouse lounge is a one-stop-shop for men who want to make sure they look their very best--and relax over a drink or a game of pool. In addition to tailoring and grooming services, the club manages a luxurious event space.

Visitor Experience

Explore the showroom, ballroom, and private rooftop patio.

Gentlemans Cooperative Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Goettsch Partners

Railway Exchange Building
224 S. Michigan Ave., 17th Floor
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Description

Behind the signature round windows on the top floor of the historic Railway Exchange Building is the home of architecture firm Goettsch Partners. With offices in Chicago, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, the firm has completed a range of prominent projects across five continents. Local completed projects include the gravity-defying 150 North Riverside office tower along the Chicago River, the vertically expanded Blue Cross Blue Shield Headquarters, the Northwestern University Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, the Viceroy, Langham and LondonHouse Chicago hotels, the Wrigley Building Renovation, the Union Station Great Hall Restoration, and the Zurich North America Headquarters. Work under construction includes the 110 North Wacker office tower on the site of the former GGP headquarters and the full-block One Chicago development across from Holy Name Cathedral.

Visitor Experience

Tour the incredible 17th floor and enjoy sweeping views of Grant Park and the lakefront through unique porthole windows. Goettsch staff will give visitors a sneak peek at some of the firm’s current work.

Goodman Theatre

170 N. Dearborn St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Description

Founded in 1925, the Goodman Theater is Chicago's oldest active nonprofit theater company. It is named for Chicago playwright Kenneth Sawyer Goodman, who died at age 35 in the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918. The theater was funded by his parents, who donated $250,000 to the Art Institute of Chicago to establish a professional repertory company and drama school. The first theater was designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in the footprint now occupied by the Art Institute's Modern Wing. By the 1980s, that aging facility was growing inadequate, and the company was persuaded by the city to reinvest in a pair of historic North Loop theaters in need of renewal. The Selwyn and Harris Theaters were renovated into modern auditoriums for the Goodman Theater, which opened in its new home in 2000.

Visitor Experience

Enjoy a self-guided tour of the two theaters with their lights up, and check out "The Alice" education space and patron’s lounge.

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S. State St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Harold Washington Library Center is the central library location of the Chicago Public Library. Opened in 1991, it was named in honor of Mayor Harold Washington, the city of Chicago's first African American Mayor. The enormous building’s red stone exterior references other iconic Chicago buildings such as the Monadnock and The Rookery, but the enormous rooftop acroteria, in the form of copper owls, give it a distinctive presence. Always a hub of activity, the library houses over 1.2 million holdings, an award-winning Maker Lab, the newly-renovated Thomas Hughes Children's Library, cutting-edge Teen YouMedia space, dozens of works of art by notable artists, rotating exhibits, music practice rooms, and a beautiful Winter Garden.

Visitor Experience

On both Saturday and Sunday, drop by for a self-guided exploration of the building. Brochures pointing out special highlights for OHC visitors will be available in the Grand Lobby.

RSVP Only: On Saturday, a special guided experience will be offered. See the automated sorting machine that helps books move across the 220 square miles of Chicago, among the 81 branches of the country’s third largest library system. Then, head upstairs to Special Collections to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the amazing treasures that the Harold Washington Library holds, and learn how they are conserved and made available to the public by archivists. Please go to TodayTix for details on how you can join these tours.

HDR Architecture

Inland Steel Building
30 W. Monroe St., Suite 700
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

HDR's Chicago architecture studio moved into the historic Inland Steel building in 2015, immediately connecting to the legacy of Chicago's modernist roots. Recently expanding to fill the entire 7th floor, the space honors the timeless symmetry, reflection, transparency, line, form and materials of the column-free layout, glass and stainless steel exterior and separate service core that make the building iconic. HDR is an employee-owned, global design firm specializing in architecture, consulting and engineering services.

Visitor Experience

Take in the beauty of the Inland Steel building and explore HDR's Chicago architecture studio, with its creative work space, model shop and materials library. See pin-ups of designs and experience a project via virtual reality.

HDR Architecture - Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

HKS, Inc.

The National Building
72 W. Adams St., 11th Floor
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

HKS Chicago's office is an embodiment of the architecture & design firm's beliefs, and it celebrates the many ways that design can promote better health for HKS, its collaborators, landlord, community and the environment, too. The office is located in the National Building, a restoration of the 20-story Daniel Burnham-designed Commercial National Bank Building, which was previously headquarters of the Chicago Public Schools.

Visitor Experience

Visit the Chicago office of this global design firm and learn how the space was designed with employee health in mind.

HKS The Natioanl Building Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

HOK

1 S. Wabash Ave., 14th Floor
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

HOK’s office incorporates a bright, open floor plan that maximizes space efficiency and reinforces the HOK brand through creative detailing. Its LEED Platinum space offers impressive views of the South Loop from the 14th floor of the red former CNA Building. HOK was established in 1955. Their design, architecture, planning and engineering solutions result from a collaborative process that encourages multidisciplinary teams to research alternatives, share knowledge and imagine new ways to solve the challenges of the built environment.

Visitor Experience

Walk through the newly renovated lobby of 333 South Wabash designed by HOK and take a guided tour of HOK’s offices on the 14th floor to view current projects and the model shop.

Holabird & Root

Marquette Building
140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 500
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Holabird & Root was founded in Chicago in 1880. The firm's history since then reflects the evolution of American architecture. The full-service architecture and engineering firm is still one of the most prolific in Chicago and has maintained a reputation for creating carefully-planned and beautifully-crafted buildings. In 2006, Holabird & Root moved to the 1895 Marquette Building - a building the firm designed 111 years prior.

Visitor Experience

Tour the atelier of this legendary and vital Chicago architecture firm in the iconic Marquette Building.

Jay Prizker Pavilion at Millennium Park

201 E. Randolph St.
Saturday, October 19: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

Frank Gehry's iconic outdoor music pavilion is the focal point of Chicago's Millennium Park. Gehry's trademark ribbons of brushed stainless steel billow to 120 feet in the air from the massive bandshell that serves as the setting for more than 100 free concerts, films and programs each year. The 320-by-700-foot great lawn is surmounted by a trellis of soaring, curved steel pipes that support suspended speakers. This design offers a column-free, state-of-the-art listening experience for audiences of up to 11,000. Popular programs presented annually include: the Millennium Park Summer Music and Film Series, Millennium Park Presents, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Visitor Experience

Get a behind-the-scenes look of Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The engineering marvel, designed by architect Frank Gehry, uses its sculptural curves and twists to project sound from the stage to the audience. Learn more about the design of this Chicago icon and design your own sculptural structure through a make-and-take project great for ages 6-12.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Joan W. And Irving B. Harris Theater

205 E. Randolph St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Description

Opened in November 2003 in Millennium Park, this 1,499-seat state-of-the-art theater was the first multi-use performance venue to be built in downtown Chicago since 1929. Today, the Harris Theater features the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, and has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement. It is partially below and shares some facilities with Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Highlights include lobby lighting design inspired by the work of artist Dan Flavin, a Louise Nevelson set piece hanging in the theater's facade, and contemporary art collections displayed in public and private event spaces.

Visitor Experience

Explore every lobby level, the auditorium, and the Donor Room of this intimate and hidden performance space.

HT Exterior - Photo by Hedrich Blessing

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Civic Opera Building
10 N. Wacker Dr.
Saturday, October 19: 1 a.m. 1 p.m.

Description

This throne-shaped 49-story skyscraper is home to the internationally renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago. It features Art Deco and Art Nouveau styling and ornamentation, musical motifs and an impressive arcade that runs the length of the east facade. The 3,563-seat theater is the second-largest opera auditorium in North America. It also holds the largest stage in downtown Chicago. Jules Guerin–famous for his renderings of the 1909 Plan of Chicago–designed the fire curtain, stencil designs and color palette throughout the opera house.

Visitor Experience

See inside the dramatic Rice Grand Foyer and the elegant Ardis Krainik Theatre, and witness the sets being changed live onstage. Due to stage activity, no access to stage or backstage will be allowed.

Lyric Opera of Chicago - Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Monroe Building

104 S. Michigan Ave.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The geometry of this Michigan Avenue masterpiece is softened by a delicate exterior of granite and terra cotta in a Gothic-Romanesque style. The sloping green Spanish-tile gabled roof harmonizes with the height of the Gothic-inspired University Club, with which the Monroe Building forms a dramatic gateway to the Loop. The lobby’s brilliantly-colored, rhythmic vaulted ceiling comprises one of the world’s largest collections of Rookwood Pottery tile. Rookwood is internationally regarded as among the most important and influential art potteries of the early 20th century. The Monroe Building is also home to the award winning Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

Visitor Experience

Step inside one of the most beautiful lobbies in Chicago and visit the Pritzker Military Museum & Library on the second and third floors.

Natural Resources Defense Council

Civic Opera Building
20 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 1600
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Description

The iconic Civic Opera Building has been home to the Midwest office of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) since 2013. NRDC is an organization committed to safeguarding the earth--its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Originally designed by Studio Gang Architects, the office is the first commercial tenant space in the world to earn certification from the Living Building Challenge. The office is also LEED for Commercial Interiors v2009 Platinum certified, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest certification for sustainability. A similarly high bar was applied to NRDC’s 2015 expansion by Nushu, LLC. The office has a minimalist, open concept with views of the river. Access to abundant natural light, fresh air, and recycled, non-toxic materials maximize employee health and wellbeing. Curated works of art that highlight NRDC’s mission further enliven the space.

Visitor Experience

Take in the minimalist aesthetic and sustainable features of this contemporary office space.

Natural Resources Photo by Tom Harris

The Palmer House

A Hilton Hotel
17 E. Monroe St.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

One of the city's most famous hotels has been a Chicago mainstay since the 1870s. The Great Chicago Fire destroyed the first Palmer House Hotel, which had opened just 13 days earlier. It quickly rose again from the ashes. Three decades later, it was replaced by the 24-story hotel that stands on the same spot today. The present Palmer House was the largest hotel in the world when completed in 1927. It features a grand gilded lobby designed in the French-Empire style with a formal staircase and Tiffany light fixtures, as well as several unique and colorful ballrooms. In 1945, the hotel was sold to Conrad Hilton, and it remains a Hilton Hotel to this day. A recent, thorough renovation restored this legendary landmark to its original grandeur.

Visitor Experience

See the boldly beautiful Red Lacquer Ballroom on the fourth floor. Place settings with original china and guest names will recreate the "Greatest Banquet of American History" celebrating the return of Ulysses S. Grant from his around-the-world tour after his victory in the Civil War.

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Monroe Building
104 S. Michigan Ave.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

Floors two through four of the Monroe Building are home to this museum and library. It opened in 2003 as a center where citizens and citizen soldiers come together to learn about military history and the role of the armed forces in today’s society. It features an extensive collection of books, artifacts and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. The interiors, by Atlanta-based TVS Design, bring together modern technology with the historic significance of the building’s original architecture. The space includes coffered ceilings, intricate wood paneling and extensive wood molding and millwork. The museum and library’s open design and comfortable atmosphere offer an ideal setting to enjoy its one-of-a-kind collection.

Visitor Experience

Housed in the beautifully-restored Monroe Building, the museum and library is dedicated to the story of the citizen soldier in American history.

Prudential Plaza

One Two Pru
180 N. Stetson Ave.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

One Two Pru was one of the first skyscrapers built in Chicago after World War II. It had the highest roof in the city at the time, slightly taller than the Chicago Board of Trade Building. This 41-story Art-Deco-influenced Modernist behemoth was built above Illinois Central Railroad air rights. It was one of the first and largest Chicago buildings to be built over existing rail lines. It essentially sits atop stilts that meet the ground at 500 separate spots. Each small piece of land was acquired individually from the railroad in anticipation of the building. A bas relief of the Rock of Gibraltar (Prudential’s logo) by sculptor Alfonso Iannelli is prominently visible on the exterior of a 1968 addition. A 73-foot broadcast antenna for WGN was also added. Since the 1990 completion of neighboring Two Pru, the building has been referred to as One Pru.

Visitor Experience

Take in stunning park views from the 11th-floor roof deck and amenity space.

Prudential Plaza Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Revival Food Hall

The National Building
125 S. Clark St.
Saturday, October 19: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Opened in 2016, Revival Food Hall puts a modern, upmarket spin on the ubiquitous food court. The 24,000-square-foot space is located on the ground floor of the National Building, a restoration of the 20-story Daniel Burnham-designed Commercial National Bank Building, previously headquarters of the Chicago Public Schools. The name “Revival” itself is a nod to Burnham’s preferred Classical-Revival architectural style. Designed by Chicago-based HBRA Architects and operated by hospitality collective 16″ On Center, the food hall is an all-local dining concept spotlighting the best of Chicago’s acclaimed culinary scene under one roof.

Visitor Experience

Take a load off and enjoy 15+ food vendors, plus the Revival Cafe Bar--featuring a cocktail menu inspired by historic Chicago architecture!

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Grand Ballroom at MacLean Center

Illinois Athletic Club
112 S. Michigan Ave.
Saturday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The former Illinois Athletic Club Building opened in 1908. In 1985, a $25-million renovation added six stories. The School of the Art Institute took over the building in 1993. The stunning ballroom, restored by the school's Historic Preservation Department to its 1930s appearance, originally served as a club dining room and has won numerous awards for architectural excellence. It boasts 26-foot ceilings, marbled columns and an original terrazzo dance floor. The ballroom's grand piano allegedly came from the former Playboy mansion.

Visitor Experience

See the Grand Ballroom of the former Illinois Athletic Club.

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist

55 E. Wacker Dr.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.


Description

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1924, but it wasn't until 1968 that the church built its first permanent home. The seven-story structure, clad inside and out in travertine, maximizes its prominent six-sided site on the Chicago River at the intersection of Wacker and Wabash. The church auditorium is designed after the layout of a Greek amphitheater. It has a centrally-located wooden podium, and is also home to a 3,316-pipe Aeolian-Skinner organ.

Visitor Experience

Enjoy a brief guided tour of the church auditorium lit by natural light from skylights and bands of clerestory windows.

Sky-Line Club

307 N. Michigan Ave.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

Perched atop the Old Republic Building, the Sky-Line Club is one of the oldest private membership facilities in the city. Nearly 100 years ago, an old ale house from the Sussex region of southern England was carefully dismantled and shipped to Chicago. It was then reconstructed here on the top floor of one of Chicago's early office towers. Paintings and furnishings from the original pub grace the interior today. From within the stately decor of the club, members have watched the city's skyline evolve into a 21st-century metropolis. The intimate space opens onto an open-air terrace with fabulous views.

Visitor Experience

Warm up in the cozy fireplace lounge of this transplanted pub, then check out the views from the rooftop terrace.

Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects

One Prudential Plaza
18- N. Stetson Ave., Suite 3100
Saturday, October 19L 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

A 2017 merger brought together the high-tech expertise of Sheehan Partners and the long-running diverse talents of Nagle Hartray in a new firm, which in 2019 relocated to the iconic One Prudential Plaza, the first skyscraper to be built in Chicago after the Great Depression. The new space features three large conference rooms overlooking the lake and Millennium Park, four small group meeting rooms, and a large community commons. The firm's work specializes in the intersection of people, information, ideas, and resources on a global level, with local projects including the Latin School of Chicago and the former Harpo Studios & Headquarters.

Visitor Experience

Learn about recent Sheehan Nagle Hartray projects and check out great views from this architecture firm's expansive new 31st floor office in One Prudential Plaza.

Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Stantec Architecture

Railway Exchange Building
224 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1400
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Description

Stantec is a top 10 global design firm based in Alberta, Canada that employs more than 20,000 people. The Chicago office in the historic Railway Exchange Building was recently renovated by Stantec. The firm's work includes master planning, architecture, landscape, LEED consulting and interior design. Notable local projects include Roosevelt University's Wabash Tower, Wrigley Field renovations, Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, Old Town School of Folk Music and North Park University.

Visitor Experience

Take a guided tour of this newly-renovated architecture studio.

Stantec Architecture Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

The Alfred

30 E. Adams St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Description

The Alfred is a 176-unit apartment building in the Loop, just renovated by FLATS. It joins their extensive portfolio of excellent adaptive reuse projects around the city, including The Lawrence House in Uptown and Bush Temple in River North. Named for architect Alfred Alschuler, who also designed Chicago’s London Guarantee & Accident Building (now LondonHouse hotel), the building first opened as offices in 1925. Many original interior details are preserved, such as herringbone wood flooring, Chicago-style windows, ornate elevator doors, and marble walls. The brick and terracotta exterior has been lovingly restored, and the rooftop now sports a stylish lounge opening onto a lush and expansive new outdoor terrace. The renovated lobby preserves remarkable details and includes coffee shop Heritage Outpost.

Visitor Experience

Visitors may enter the lobby and take elevators to the 3rd floor to view model studio, junior one-bedroom, and one-bedroom apartments. Then, head to the 13th floor rooftop lounge and terrace to take in views of the bustling city.

CAC Members Only: This site is only open to CAC Members, OHC Volunteers, and those who have an OHC Priority Access Pass. Want to visit this site? Become a CAC Member today!

The Blackstone Hotel

636 S. Michigan Ave.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Blackstone is considered a prime example of a turn-of-the-century luxury hotel and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts style structure was designed by prominent local architects Marshall and Fox. It is named after Timothy Blackstone, president of the Chicago and Alton Railroad, whose mansion once stood on the hotel’s site. For decades, The Blackstone enjoyed a reputation as the "Hotel of Presidents." It housed the politically powerful and famous and served as a gathering place for generations of Chicago’s leaders, industrialists and the general public. After years of neglect, the hotel reopened in 2008 following a $112-million showcase restoration.

Visitor Experience

See the lobby and breathtaking Crystal Ballroom of this legendary hotel.

 

The Builders BLDG

222 N. LaSalle St.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The massive 26-story Builder's Building once featured showrooms of construction materials and techniques. The original design, a limestone and terra cotta office building wrapped around a central Beaux-Arts style atrium, is fairly standard. But a curious 1986 renovation extended the building east along Wacker Drive. The addition added floors and a sloping glass wall resembling an oversized mansard roof. The building's tall, elegant lobby doubles as a space for events.

Visitor Experience

Take in the impressive height of one of Chicago’s least-known grand atrium lobbies.

The Central Standard Building

231 N. LaSalle St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Central Standard Building stands across LaSalle Street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, two neoclassical near-twins guarding the main intersection of Chicago's financial district. Interior spaces include a mix of neoclassical and Gothic Revival architecture with Art Deco influences, most notably a massive 88,000-square-foot grand banking hall on the second floor, recently restored as Wintrust's Grand Banking Hall. On this site, in 1883, the General Time Convention divided the United States into the time zones we know today. The need for time zones emerged from the scheduling demands of America’s rapidly expanding, cross-continental system of railways. The name “Central Standard Building” honors that history.

Visitor Experience

Visit the expansive basement vaults--recently re purposed as conference space-- of this historic building. Visitors must show photo ID upon arrival.

The Chicago Board of Trade Building

141 W. Jackson Blvd.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m – 5 p.m.

Description

One of the most beloved buildings in Chicago sits at the southern end of the LaSalle Street canyon. The Chicago Board of Trade Building is on the same site as an earlier Chicago Board of Trade Building, from 1885. The current imposing Art Deco structure was the tallest building in Chicago upon its completion. It's notable for its three-story statue of Ceres, goddess of grain, and its stunning multi-story lobby. An expansive vault in the basement, containing thousands of steel safe deposit boxes, has sat empty for decades, making this forgotten cavern an attraction in itself. Throughout its history, the vault has secured items of importance such as trading receipts, silver bars and safe deposit boxes. It even served as a coat room. The vault was never actually used by a bank, just by traders securing their own belongings.

Visitor Experience

Step inside the Chicago Board of Trade Building's impressive vault and see newly designed and renovated spaces within the three architecturally distinct parts of the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

The Cliff Dwellers Club

200 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 2000
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

This private club was founded in 1907 as the Attic Club and renamed the Cliff Dwellers in 1909. It moved to the 22nd floor of 200 South Michigan in 1996 after inhabiting the top floor of neighboring Orchestra Hall for decades. It remains a private club and nonprofit organization for men and women who support the fine and performing arts. The club is a haven for artists, authors, musicians, painters, architects and sculptors. Notable members have included Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Lorado Taft and Hamlin Garland.

Visitor Experience

Visit one of the most historic private clubs in the city--complete with architectural models, a photography exhibit by Juan Fernandez and one of the best rooftop views of Grant Park. Learn about the history of the Cliff Dwellers from CAC Docents, and enjoy a drink from the Club's full bar.

cliff dwellers cliff dwellers 04

The Rookery

209 S. LaSalle St.
Saturday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Description

This icon of Chicago's financial district is an indisputable architectural masterpiece. Designed by Burnham and Root and completed in 1888, its stunning skylit lobby was renovated by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. It has been meticulously updated and maintained since that date. Today, the Rookery is one of the most-recognized buildings in all of Chicago. It was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972 after being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Visitor Experience

Access the glass-block walkways of the atrium mezzanine, and climb the intricately patterned oriel staircase to the 3rd floor.

Thornton Tomasetti

330 North Wabash / AMA Plaza (IBM Plaza)
330 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1500
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

Thornton Tomasetti is an international leader in engineering design, investigation and analysis. They serve clients worldwide on projects of all sizes and complexity. The firm’s Chicago office is located on the 15th floor of Mies van der Rohe’s 330 North Wabash (formerly IBM Plaza). The LEED-Gold space designed by Garofalo Architects in collaboration with Powell/Kleinschmidt features generous open areas, flexible conference rooms and enclosed offices. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and many of the city’s architectural gems.

Visitor Experience

Visit the offices of a leading global engineering firm and take in amazing river views.

Thornton Tomasetti Photo by Eric Allix Rogers

UrbanWorks

The National Building
125 S. Clark St., Suite 2070
Saturday, October 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

UrbanWorks' office is located in the vintage National Building in the Chicago Loop. The main studio is a single, shared space that encourages constant communication and collaboration. Additional areas support sustained ideation, including a conference room and "Idea Space" that allows for less formal impromptu gathering in small groups in a café-like setting. Naturally stained wood slats provide a visually permeable separation between reception and studio, and help obscure building services at the ceiling. Cork floors continue the palette of light and sustainable materials. Low-slung gray, white, and orange workstations keep the primary workspace bright and engaging. A glass-enclosed conference room permits acoustic privacy while expanding the perceived size of the reception area and reinforcing the theme of openness that drives the office and all its work.

Visitor Experience

Tour the office of this internationally-recognized architecture firm.

Vista Sales Gallery

345 E. Wacker Dr.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Vista Sales Gallery features immersive experiences that introduce people to the luxury lifestyle offered at Vista Tower. Designed by renowned architect Jeanne Gang, Vista Tower will be the third-tallest building in Chicago upon completion in 2020. Composed of three interconnected towers and undulating glass curtain walls, Vista’s design is inspired by the geometry of the frustum — a form that exists in nature, specifically in crystal, fluorite and sapphire formations. The building’s fluid, Lake Michigan-inspired color palette, which transitions between dark and light as it ascends the height of the towers, roots the building in its context.

Visitor Experience

Experience Vista’s breathtaking city, park and lake views from the panoramic view room that demonstrates views from several different floors. Feel for yourself the quality and spaciousness of Vista’s exquisitely appointed interiors. Through the virtual tour of Vista’s exclusive world class amenities, you will be able to imagine what life will be like living in Chicago’s newest architectural icon.

Wintrust’s Grand Banking Hall

The Central Standard Building
231 S. LaSalle St.
Saturday, October 19: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 20: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description

The Central Standard Building stands across LaSalle Street from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, two neoclassical near-twins guarding the main intersection of Chicago's financial district. Interior spaces include a mix of neoclassical and Gothic Revival architecture with Art Deco influences, most notably the massive 88,000-square-foot grand banking hall on the second floor, recently restored. The building stands on the site of the former Grand Pacific Hotel, where the continental United States was officially divided into four standard time zones in 1883, an event commemorated by the building's name and a plaque on Jackson Street.

Visitor Experience

Take in the striking monumentality of Wintrust's Grand Banking Hall.

See the complete list of sites participating in Open House Chicago 2019 at OpenHouseChicago.org.