20 neighborhoods. 10 days. Endless places to explore.

Open House Chicago is back with a reimagined event for 2020. The beloved architecture festival, hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center, will now span 10 days (Oct. 16 − 25) and include both online and outdoor events that showcase the fascinating history, architecture, and culture of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

This year’s in-person events include self-guided outdoor tours that showcase the culture, history, and architecture of various neighborhoods. These curated trails, available for free on the new Open House Chicago app, can be done by foot, bike, or car.

Download Open House Chicago app

Stony Island Arts Bank exterior
Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. Photo by Tom Harris.

Open House Chicago neighborhood tours

Here are the self-guided architecture trails, available exclusively on the Open House Chicago app.

Architectural Innovation Trails

  • Chinatown
  • Fulton Market District
  • Hyde Park

Bicycle/Driving Trails

  • A Ribbon of Green on the West Side
  • Chicago’s Tied Houses
  • North Shore Historic Homes
  • Olmsted’s South Park
Héctor Duarte Studio in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood
Héctor Duarte Studio in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Photo by Eric Allix Rogers.

Neighborhood Trails

  •  Austin: Frederick R. Schock Homes
  • Beverly: The Prairie School
  • Bronzeville: Performance Spaces in the Black Metropolis
  • Downtown: Lakeshore East
  • Lincoln Park: A Women’s History
  • Logan Square: Homes of the Boulevards
  • Near North Side: Gold Coast Tales
  • Near South Side: Prairie Avenue Homes
  • Oak Park: The Young Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Pilsen: Mosaics
  • Pullman and Roseland Today
  • Rogers Park: The Mile of Murals
  • Wicker Park: Beer Baron Row
The Columbus Refectory in Columbus Park
The Columbus Refectory in Columbus Park on Chicago’s West Side. Photo by Eric Allix Rogers.

Open House Chicago virtual events

Open House Chicago will also offer roughly two dozen virtual programs and tours throughout the festival. The line-up includes both free and paid events; advanced registration will be required for most. Here’s a preview of a few upcoming events; full details on online event listings and schedules are available from Open House Chicago.

  • Revitalized: What’s New and Cool on the River
  • Women in Architecture Virtual Tour
  • If Walls Had Ears: Historic Chicago Music Venues
  • South Shore Neighborhood Virtual Tour
  • Chicago Landmarking at 50: Past, Present and Future

About Open House Chicago 2020

Now in its 10th year, Open House Chicago is one of the largest architecture events of its kind in the world. The free festival typically offers access to hundreds of sites across Chicago, from iconic locations to under-the-radar architectural gems.

This year, the event has been reformatted for outdoor and online participation to accommodate for social distancing and ensure the safety of all participants. The Open House itineraries will focus less of specific sites and more on larger themes — forgotten or under-celebrated architects, how community areas develop specific architecture styles, and important places for understanding the city’s history. This year’s highlighted neighborhoods include an emphasis on the South and West sides.

The Givins Castle in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood
The Givins Castle in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. Photo by Eric Allix Rogers.

Visit openhousechicago.org for details and updates. And follow the Chicago Architecture Center on Facebook at facebook.com/chiarchitecture, on Twitter at @chiarchitecture, and on Instagram at instagram.com/chiarchitecture.