Open House Chicago app now available!

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OCTOBER 5, 2021 • ISSUE 47

Open House Chicago 2021 App


Throughout October, you can discover even more of our great city with self-guided exploration of 30+ themed neighborhood trails on the free OHC 2021 app for mobile devices. The complete OHC site and trail content including audio, images and video, is now available for download via the App Store (for iOS devices) and Google Play Store (for Android devices).

Using the app, you can unlock curated experiences and learn more about buildings and sites of interest in each neighborhood, thanks to our ‘Explore like a Local’ section that includes additional recommendations for places to eat, shop and visit. In our new trails this year, you can get to know the Obamas on the Obamas in Hyde Park trail, listen to the echoes of music on the Uptown Entertainment District trail and trace the path of the Great Fire on The Great Chicago Fire trail.

If you're still deciding what sites to visit during OHC weekend October 16-17, use these lists below to help you discover some spectacular spaces around the city.

Pui Tak Center

Geoffrey Baer’s Open House Chicago Top 10

CAC Docent and WTTW talent Geoffrey Baer shares his recommendations for the return of OHC in-person site visits October 16-17.

Skyline Views

Unexpected Skyline Views

There’s more than one way to see the city. You don’t need to be out on the lake to get a good view – plenty of spots on the North, South and West sides offer striking views of Chicago’s skyline.


The Olmsted Legacy in Chicago

The Olmsted Legacy in Chicago
Wednesday, October 13 at 6pm

In 2022 we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth. Join historian Julia Bachrach as she illuminates Olmsted’s significant contributions to Chicago’s South Side parks.

New Buildings From Our Pandemic Year

In Case You Missed It: New Buildings From Our Pandemic Year
Tuesday, October 19 at 6pm

While COVID-19 has driven us indoors and online, Chicago architects have still been bringing their visions to life around town. In this special edition of our Current Projects series, we spotlight exciting new works from the past year.

Celebrating Design Excellence in Chicago's Neighborhoods

Celebrating Design Excellence In Chicago’s Neighborhoods
Wednesday, October 20 at 5:30pm

Join us as we celebrate 25 years of the Driehaus Foundation Award, which encourages quality design in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Our panel discussion will explore the impact of the award and the unique and inspiring partnerships it has fostered.

Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in the Face of Urban Change

Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in the Face of Urban Change
Tuesday, October 26 at 5:30pm

Join us in a conversation with representatives of the Bronzeville Historical Society, Chinese American Museum of Chicago and the National Hellenic Museum on safeguarding cultural heritage in the face of urban change.

Open House Chicago 2021 is made possible by generous support from Presenting Sponsor Wintrust and OHC 2021 Sponsors The Terra Foundation for American Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, the TAWANI Foundation, ComEd and Cassandra Book. OHC 2021 Partners are Choose Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority and Open House Worldwide. OHC 2021 Media Sponsors are Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Reader, WBEZ 91.5 Chicago and Vocalo Radio.


OHC Family Tours


Come celebrate Open House Chicago and commemorate Chicago’s Great Fire with a unique experience designed for families. Take a tour of the Chicago Loop with a trained Education Guide, exploring the lessons learned after the fire and relics that shaped the city. This tour is intended for children ages 8 and up and their families. Hourly departures begin at 11am on October 16th and 17th. Sign up in person at the CAC while visiting the Center.

If you're attending in-person OHC site visits on October 16 and 17, there are dozens of amazing sites to choose from. Don't worry - we have you covered with the top 5 OHC sites to visit with kids!


Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery Tours

You’ll find the final resting places of hundreds of Chicago’s most notable residents at Graceland Cemetery and you can tour it in three different ways during the month of October. Celebrate the achievements of women in Chicago’s history on the Women of Influence tour, explore a variety of mausoleums and distinctive memorials on Symbols in Stone and visit the gravesites of Chicago's movers and shakers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries on Graceland Cemetery. Leave the city behind and enter this peaceful refuge to listen to the fascinating stories of some famed, and not so famed, Chicago residents.


You Are On Potawatomi Land Mural

"You Are on Potawatomi Land" mural by Andrea Carlson. Photo by Anna Munzesheimer.


In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, we would like to feature the work of local Ojibwe artist Andrea Carlson. Her mural “You Are on Potawatomi Land" was recently installed on the Chicago Riverwalk. Carlson’s work illustrates the erasure Native people continue to experience to this day. In the artist’s words:

“The phrase 'You are on Potawatomi Land' is in present tense. There exists a colonial tendency to deny Native people the present tense, to relegate all things Native to the past tense. Fight this inner urge.”

You can read the full interview with Andrea here. The Open House Chicago app, available now, features the “You are on Potawatomi Land” self-guided walking tour, narrated by Andrea. The tour is made possible by generous support from The Terra Foundation for American Art.


Updated Mask Policy

Effective Friday, August 20, the Chicago Department of Public Health requires that everyone 2+ wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. This includes in our Center, anytime a walking tour goes indoors and aboard any enclosed transportation including the enclosed salon area onboard the vessels of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.

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