New Frank Lloyd Wright program, OHC wrap-up and more walking tour options

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NOVEMBER 5, 2020 • ISSUE 23

Open House Chicago


Extended to 17 days, Open House Chicago 2020 was an “inspired and effective reimagining” of the festival, said one CAC member, with “impressive, diverse cross-cultural conversations” that “brought positive, thoughtful voices to [neighborhoods] often overlooked,” said two online programs attendees.

We completely reconfigured OHC for its 10th anniversary, to support public health and safety. Please share your thoughts with us. Tell us about your experience and enter for a chance to win a CAC Friends and Family membership!

The CAC extends its gratitude to everyone who took part, in person and remotely, from our 37 community partners, to the 50+ organizations represented by our audio narrators and online programs panelists, to the 100+ sites and buildings along our 25 self-guided trails, to the more than 12,000 people who installed and explored the OHC 2020 mobile app. None of this would have been possible without generous support from our sponsors and partners: Presenting Sponsor Wintrust, the National Endowment for the Humanities through its CARES Act grant program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the TAWANI Foundation, ComEd, Regenia Stein and Roland James, Orren Pickell Building Group, Ozinga, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority, Open House Worldwide, Chicago magazine, the Chicago Reader, WBEZ 91.5 Chicago and Vocalo Radio. Thank you all—and stay tuned for dates to save for Open House Chicago 2021.




The CAC is proud to take part in a 48-hour, FREE international festival being convened November 14 and 15 by Open House Worldwide. Featuring contributions from architects, designers, urbanists and citizens in more than 40 global cities, Open House Worldwide will address important issues facing built environments around the world, from the climate crisis to housing and from transportation to post-pandemic design. Browse the festival schedule and please join CAC docents for Revitalized: What’s New and Cool on the River, Saturday, November 14 at 8pm Central Time.


As promised, online programs and virtual tours continue through this fall and winter. Upcoming programs include:

Frank Lloyd Wright in Glencoe
Wednesday, November 11 at noon

Discover the stories behind two Frank Lloyd Wright gems in north suburban Glencoe: Booth Cottage, 107 years old and recently relocated, and Ravine Bluffs, a collection of homes that showcase Wright’s interest in community planning. Register now to learn more from architect Peter Van Vechten and Glencoe Historical Society president Karen Ettelson.

FLW program

Sacred Spaces in Downtown Chicago
Wednesday, November 25 at noon

Chicago’s skyscraper-studded downtown core is home to a surprising number of houses of worship, serving believers of multiple faiths and representing a wide variety of architectural styles. This daytime program reveals the architectural splendor, intricate details and religious symbolism of five sacred spaces around the city’s center. Register now to learn more from CAC docent David Utech.

Sacred spaces program
Walking tours


Among our most popular walking tours, Historic Treasures of Chicago’s Golden Age is back, departing Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am, now 90 minutes and reconfigured as an outdoor-only experience.

With each CAC walking tour temporarily limited to six attendees, they’ve never sold out faster. (For maximum flexibility, consider booking a private tour—discounted for CAC members—or a custom tour.) Additional departures are now available for Evanston Along the Lake, Fulton-Randolph Market: From Gritty to Gourmet, Lake Forest Cemetery, Louis Sullivan, Mies and Modernism, Old Town Triangle, Riverwalk West, University of Chicago, Vice to Nice: Transformation of the South Loop and Lights, Camera, Architecture!

River cruise


Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady are still departing from the Chicago Riverwalk—just steps away from the Chicago Architecture Center. Book a safely distanced, photo-friendly cruise along the Chicago River, lined on both sides with brand-new buildings and projects under construction. Choose your departure and don’t delay—seating is strictly limited and fills fast.



Read along with CAC Director of Interpretation Adam Rubin as we flip through “What Do You Do With An Idea?” by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by May Besom—then try the self-guided activity linked below!

Read and build
Newhouse competition


The 39th annual Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition is an opportunity to showcase the talents of Chicago-area students who create projects that solve real-world problems. This year’s competition highlights the City of Chicago’s INVEST South/West initiative by concentrating students’ efforts on projects that improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods of Auburn Gresham, Austin and Englewood. Dates to save include the competition launch on November 10, the start of registration on December 1 and the submission deadline of April 9, 2021.


JGMA project

The CAC extends its congratulations to Industry Council member JGMA (Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects), recognized by Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards. The firm won honorable mentions for Design Company of the Year and its Richard J. Daley College MTEC project, in addition to being named a Spaces and Places finalist for its Esperanza Health Centers Brighton Park, seen above. View Fast Company’s complete Innovation by Design Awards coverage online and, if you haven’t already, visit our YouTube channel to hear from Moreno, Kimberly Dowdell and Ernest C. Wong in conversation as part of the CAC’s contribution to International Museum Day 2020.


The Chicago Architecture Center, including all exhibits and the CAC Design Store, is open Saturday and Sunday from 10am–4pm. CAC building and neighborhood walking tours, departing from locations other than the Center at 111 E. Wacker Dr., are available for purchase on the 15th of the month prior to the month of the scheduled departure.

The CAC remains committed to providing the safest possible experience for its entire community of members, staff, visitors, volunteers and tour attendees. All Center visitors and CAC tour attendees are prompted to acknowledge and accept the CAC’s safety policies supporting recommendations from public health officials from the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago.

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