Openhousechicago 2011 is targeted at everyone who has ever
passed a building and thought, "I wish I could see what the inside
looks like." The event gives backstage passes to more than 100
spaces around the city, requires no tickets or reservations, and is
free and open to the public.
On October 15 and 16, the Chicago Architecture Foundation will
set up five community hubs in downtown, Bronzeville, the Rogers
Park/West Ridge community, Little Village and the Garfield
Park/North Lawndale community. Each hub will serve as a spot to get
your bearings, take a breather and get a family-friendly
explanation of how to "read" a building.
"The idea for everybody is that Chicago is not just about
downtown; there are riches throughout the community," says Barbara
Gordon, vice president of program operations for CAF. "Our hope is
that locals will come and experience something new."
But it isn't all about arches and Tiffany glass. Unique
educational opportunities will be offered throughout the weekend,
such as a visit to the rooftop garden at Uncommon Ground on Devon
Avenue, a re-enactment of the jazz club days of Meyers Ace Hardware
in Bronzeville, a backstage tour of Lookingglass Theatre, and
behind-the-scenes looks at how frozen pizza is made or how plastic
bottles are converted into raw material, both in Little
Since sites are clustered together, you can choose a particular
neighborhood and visit all the locations there, or take the free
neighborhood shuttle to move between hubs. Gordon says families
should arrive early, but cautions that there will be lines (CAF
members can jump the queues). The CAF Twitter feed will keep
attendees posted on waits at different locations.
The CAF website also will post ADA accessibility in the
description of the individual sites, a good indication of stroller
Gordon says the weekend probably appeals most to kids in the
later elementary years, but each visit can be tailored to kids'
ages and interests.
"I think it's about seeing some really cool things," she
Check out other happenings in October.
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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