Sneak preview of the OHC app, fall on the river and Jeanne Gang

Chicago Architecture Center logo

OCTOBER 6, 2020 • ISSUE 21

Open House Chicago


Available October 14 for iOS (Apple) and Android devices, the OHC 2020 mobile app is your key to unlock all that Open House Chicago has to offer. Give the app access to your location to find OHC sites, trails and neighborhood enhancements near you. Learn which OHC online programs provide deeper dives into your areas of interest. Explore content exclusive to the app including site-specific soundscapes in Auburn Gresham and Evanston from NON:op Open Opera Works, neighborhood improvements designed by CAC Teen Fellows for 19 underutilized Chicago sites, a peek into The Givins Castle in Beverly and more.

Get ready to get the most out of OHC by attending our OHC 2020 Preview program this Thursday, October 8 at 5:30pm.


OHC programs


Sixteen online programs—nearly two dozen for CAC members—begin this week with our OHC 2020 Preview. Visit to browse and register today! Here are just a few to look forward to.

OHC 2020 Trivia Night
Friday, October 16 at 7pm
$15, CAC members $10

To kick off 10 days of endless discoveries during Open House Chicago 2020, join fellow OHC devotees and special guests to compete in teams on trivia questions about Chicago places and spaces. Teams of eight will be randomly created and captained by local personalities like WTTW host Geoffrey Baer and photographer, writer and lecturer Lee Bey. Meet new friends, share memories of past OHC events and win prizes! Capacity is limited, so don’t wait to sign up and guarantee your spot!

Artmaking and Placemaking in Chicago Communities
Saturday, October 17 at 2pm

OHC 2020 community partner Hyde Park Art Center co-convenes this roundtable discussion about artist-driven community activations, creative projects and placemaking across Chicago, ahead of its forthcoming 2021 exhibition, “Planting and Maintaining a Perennial Garden.” Presenters include alt_ co-founders Jordan Campbell and Jon Veal, lead exhibition artist and Floating Museum co-director Faheem Majeed, AMFM founder Ciera McKissick, JNJ Creative co-founders Janell Nelson and Joe Nelson, Borderless Studio founder and principal Paola Aguirre, social justice artist and Folded Map Project creator Tonika Lewis Johnson and Future Firm principal Ann Lui.

River cruise


Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady continue into the fall as long as the weather permits and, with new greenery along the Chicago Riverwalk and Wolf Point, these promise to be among our most colorful river cruises ever!

Choose from departure times including Evening River Cruises at 5:30pm and 7:30pm through October 12, and those with young ones can book a “Sunday Family Field Trip” aboard select departures! Get one FREE ticket for students 14 years or younger with the purchase of each standard adult ticket at full price, plus special activities and a FREE sandwich for students with each purchase of an adult meal (limit two), redeemable day-of at The Northman Beer & Cider Garden on the Chicago Riverwalk.

“Sunday Family Field Trip” river cruises are available only for Sunday cruise departures at 10:30am and 1pm. Capacity is limited. Please visit Ticketmaster to view availability. This special promotion cannot be used in combination with other offers or discounts.


The Boundary-Breaking Designs of Jeanne Gang
Monday, November 2 at 6pm

Over more than 20 years of practice, Studio Gang founding principal and partner Jeanne Gang has challenged the presumed limitations on architects in order to create stunning places that enhance local identity, community and urban sustainability.

Jeanne Gang program

Photo by Tom Harris




Starting October 14, use the OHC 2020 mobile app to view projects recently designed by CAC Teen Fellows, and find OHC sites perfect for young visitors including the recycled wonderland Boxville in Bronzeville, the Firehouse Community Arts Center of Chicago in North Lawndale, the colorfully geometric César E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center in Back of the Yards and many others! Older children and teens can enjoy the full slate of OHC offerings alongside parents and caregivers.

Family walking tours


Enjoy a special, safe walking tour experience from 45−60 minutes with a CAC education guide, as they share secrets and stories behind some of the city’s most famous buildings—all just steps away from the Center. With content curated specifically for young people, the whole family will enjoy learning how Chicago grew and why it became a global capital. Choose from Chicago Architecture Basics, 1893 World’s Fair or Chicago: City on the Move. Contact CAC Group Sales today to get started!

Family walking tours are offered seven days a week and subject to availability. Book via email to The CAC’s safety policies for walking tours apply to all private and custom tours as well, including the wearing of face coverings by all attendees.


Mies Program

“Modern in the Middle” Book Launch
Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 5:30–6:30pm

Building bookworms and mavens of Modernism can register now for a FREE online book launch and conversation about “Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929–1975,” co-authored by Susan Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino. Famed as the birthplace of the skyscraper, Chicago also cultivated a more humble but no less consequential expression of Modernism: the private home. Join Benjamin, Sabatino, the CAC’s own Lynn Osmond and Michael Wood, IIT College of Architecture dean Reed Kroloff, and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and Margaret McCurry on Thursday, October 15 at 5:30pm.

PS: Some of the best photos of Chicago architecture feature fiery fall colors. Looking for places to point your camera this season? We’ve got nine recommendations to get you started and hope you show us your own favorites by tagging @chiarchitecture on Instagram!

Fall photos

Photo by Daniel Bartolo


Unfortunate but necessary contractions in tourism have greatly diminished the CAC’s ability to earn revenue. Open House Chicago, the largest annual architecture festival in North America, is almost entirely free as a gift to the city during this challenging time. We continue to support educators and students learning from home through curricular resources and family activities. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the CAC today, to help us continue to weather this crisis. Thank you.

The Chicago Architecture Center, including all exhibits and the CAC Design Store, is now open Saturday and Sunday only from 10am–4pm. CAC building and neighborhood walking tours, departing from locations other than the Center at 111 E. Wacker Dr. and offered through December 2020, will be 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.

Twitter Facebook Facebook

The Chicago Architecture Center inspires people to discover why design matters.

CAC footer