courtesy Eric Allix Rogers

Open House Chicago (OHC), produced by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), is back this October, with a multitude of ways to discover the city’s greatest treasures. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access to architecturally, historically, and culturally significant sites in over 30 neighborhoods during this free festival on October 16-17. Explore sites across Chicago, in a diverse array of neighborhoods including Austin, Bronzeville, Chinatown, Edgewater, Garfield Park, Oak Park, and many more. 

Chicago is known for its architecture, and OHC is your exclusive ticket to look inside some of the most celebrated buildings in the city, as well as some often-overlooked gems. See Symphony Center from the perspective of a musician in Orchestra Hall, immerse yourself in Chicago’s rich history of Black cultural excellence at The Forum, or live out your royal fantasies at Givins Castle. With over 100 sites on the OHC lineup this year, there’s plenty to discover. 

Enhance your exploration of the city throughout the month on the free OHC mobile app for iOS and Android devices, available October 1. Browse maps, photos, short descriptions, and audio clips provided by guest experts and historians about sites across the city. You can also discover Chicago’s most impressive building exteriors on your bike, by car, or on foot by following OHC self-guided tours on the app. 

courtesy Anna Munzesheimer

There are more trails than ever before on the app. Listen closely for the echoes of past performers while learning about historic music venues in the Uptown Entertainment District, with stops at Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and Aragon Ballroom, among others. Then, trace the path of the infamous Great Chicago Fire as you visit sites that narrowly escaped the blaze and others that provided relief and rose from the fire’s ashes. Or perhaps you’d prefer to explore more contemporary sites in Chicago’s downtown. If that’s the case, follow the Helmut Jahn trail to explore significant buildings designed by the famed architect throughout the Loop like the Board of Trade Building Addition and the Accenture Tower known for the Ogilvie Transportation Center. 

The CAC will also host a suite of online programs in October as part of OHC 2021. Enjoy discussions with design experts, historians, and community leaders about Chicago’s architectural legacy from the comfort of your home. Whether your interests lie in the city’s expansive south-side parks or the new buildings that have defied all odds and managed to still be built during the pandemic, there’s an OHC program for you. 

courtesy Eric Allix Rogers

CAC members receive special Open House Chicago benefits, including priority access passes to skip the line at busy sites during OHC weekend and exclusive access to members-only sites. Become a CAC member to get the most out of your Open House Chicago experience! 

Visit to learn more and use the tag #OHC2021 to share your experiences and photos on social media. 

Presenting Sponsor: Wintrust