What should I see during Open House Chicago?
October 16, 2014 1:56 PM   Subscribe

It's Open House Chicago this weekend. Last year I focused on my area, Lakeview & Lincoln Park, and saw the churches, war memorial and some classic apartment buildings. What cool buildings should I go see this time around? My preference is for ones that are only available for the Open House.

I'm a member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation and have done most of their tours so I have already seen many of the big important buildings in the Loop.
posted by srboisvert to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I feel like this thread is going to just be a bunch of Chicago people waiting and refreshing the page until crush and eriko make their way over to the Green this evening.

Personally I always love poking around in hotels, but you can do that any old day. I don't know if you've been to the Lyric Opera building, but that's one place where they don't let you in (I've tried!) unless you're actually there seeing something, and it's pretty neat.
posted by phunniemee at 2:56 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Last year the lines in the Loop were very long and we didn't get to see half the things we thought we could. The Tribune took you on a tour which I think was longer than it needed to be and a bit of a waste of time. The Kemper Building has amazing views of the river.
posted by readery at 3:18 PM on October 16, 2014

Response by poster: CAF membership gets you past the lines with a priority pass that comes in the mail btw.

One cool building I saw last year that I recommend for its historical architectural appeal is the Brewster Apartments on Diversey (the apartment building that dropped a water tower on some movers last year). Very cool iron staircase/elevator/interior halls.
posted by srboisvert at 3:40 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Park Castle Condominiums has an amazing pool. Like, really--a seriously amazing pool. My sister-in-law had her sweet 16 party there, and 16-year-old me is jealous. There are a few other sites around Indian Boundary Park. Last year we also saw Casa Bonita. The terra cotta exterior is stunning, but I guess you don't need open house to see that. The interior and pool couldn't compete with Park Castle.

The People's Church in Uptown was interesting. I'm considering making my weekend focus houses of worship, because I visit them when I'm a tourist but never in my home town.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:54 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Tip Top Tap is open to the public for the first time since 1961 as part of Open House Chicago. For decades, it was a tony nightspot for the likes of Sinatra. If you've spent any time in Chicago, you've probably seen the sign atop the Allerton Hotel. But it's only been available for the odd private event for the last fifty plus years. More info here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:27 PM on October 16, 2014

Best answer: Out of anger over the hole that is Prentice Women's Hospital, I'd prioritize the one Goldberg on the list: The Foundation Room. That positions you best for the downtown stuff, though, so it's probably not the most strategic decision.

It's not too far from the Museum of Surgical Science, which I went into while looking for wedding venues. Definitely grab the chance to get inside for free.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:26 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I was actually too tired (a bit too overwhelmed by options) that weekend. The one thing I saw from the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Days was the Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club which was pretty cool. (They are having another open house on the 16th of November.)
posted by srboisvert at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2014

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