I'd always wondered what this place was. Credit: Kate Schmidt

From the Brown Line platform at Irving Park you can see what looks like a field house or maybe even a hangar, a tall, window-filled building with an unusual shape. I’d always wondered what it was, and during the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s annual architecture tour, Open House Chicago, I got to find out. At 4025 N. Ravenswood, it’s a former billboard factory that’s now been repurposed into the Ravenswood Event Center. See for yourself below, where there are also peeks at some other sites.

This foyer isn’t really what I’d expect of a factory, would you?

Credit: Kate Schmidt

It’s complete with a small statue of a garden sprite by Frank Lloyd Wright.Credit: Kate Schmidt

But it’s the atrium that’s really stunning. 

This is where the billboards were painted.Credit: Kate Schmidt

Photographer Logan Javage, meanwhile, was hitting another place with an elaborate foyer: the Tribune Tower, which may soon be on the market.

World’s Greatest Newspaper?Credit: Logan Javage

He also went behind the scenes at Goose Island Brewery’s barrel warehouse, at 1800 W. Fulton.

The taped sign reads “Shhhhhh . . . the beer is sleeping. Please do not disturb.”Credit: Logan Javage

And while on Goose Island, he checked out the fabrication studio Chicago Scenic Studios, at 1315 N. Branch, a 160,000-square-foot space that got its start in 1978 making sets and the like for off-Loop theater. 

Credit: Logan Javage

Chicago Scenic Studios supplies things like the Blackhawks helmets worn by the Art Institute lions when the Hawks were in the Stanley Cup. Hopefully a pair of lionsize Cubs caps is on order.