The Open House Chicago Schedule Is Here. Get Ready to Pound the Pavement – WTTW News

First Church of Deliverance in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. (Eric Allix Rogers / Chicago Architecture Center)

The Chicago Architecture Center has released its slate of programming for Open House Chicago, scheduled for Oct. 16-25, and the revamped format is impressive in its scope.

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Rather than provide access to hundreds of typically off-limit buildings, 2020’s Open House in the time of COVID is heavy on walking/biking/driving trails that will lead Chicagoans on a path of self-guided architectural discovery. The focus is on 20 Chicago neighborhoods, along with Evanston and Oak Park, with a particular emphasis on the rich history of the South and West Sides.

Most trails are designed to take approximately one hour. Among the highlights:

“A Ribbon of Green on the West Side” will take participants on a bike ride or drive through the boulevards and parks of the West Side, including Douglas(s), Garfield and Humboldt parks. Another ride or drive will follow a route linking the city’s tied houses — the bars and saloons “tied” to specific breweries.

Put on your walking shoes and stroll through Bronzeville along the “Performance Spaces in the Black Metropolis” trail, or head to Pilsen, where a trail will take guests past the neighborhood’s many mosaic murals. 

Several of the trails, of which there are 20 in total, include audio narration. As a reminder: Sites mentioned on trail routes are not open to visitors. 

In addition to the trails, panel discussions and virtual tours round out the programming. Though most programs are free and open to all, “My Neighborhood, My Story” virtual tours — led by local celebrities including hip-hop artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith and former WRXT personality Lin Brehmer — are exclusive to Chicago Architecture Center members.

Much of the content associated with Open House Chicago, particularly route information, text and audio descriptions of trail sites, photos, videos and more will be available through a new OHC 2020 mobile app; iPhone and Android versions will be ready for download in the days leading up to Oct. 16. An abridged version of the app content will be available via

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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