Congress Plaza Hotel Ballroom

The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, now in its 6th year, is a free public festival that gives you the chance to go behind-the-scenes at more than 200 iconic buildings across Chicago. This 48-hour program, taking place October 15–16, uncovers Chicago gems that are usually closed to the public. Here are seven downtown spots we can't wait to check out during Open House Chicago 2016.

 

 

Cliff Dwellers Club

Cliff Dwellers

Founded in 1907 as the Attic Club and renamed the Cliff Dwellers in 1909, this private club for creatives, located on the 22nd floor of 200 South Michigan Avenue boasts Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Lorado Taft and Hamlin Garland as past members. Usually closed to the general public, Cliff Dwellers is opening its doors during Open House Chicago to allow visitors to take a peek at the famed club — the only chance you'll get this year.

 

 

Chicago Board of Trade Building

Chicago Board of Trade

The iconic Art Deco Chicago Board of Trade Building is best known for its three-story statue of Ceres, goddess of grain, and its multi-story lobby. During Open House Chicago, visitors will have the chance to see the expansive vault with its thousands of steel safe-deposit boxes, located in the basement.

 

 

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago (Carbide and Carbon Building) 

Hard Rock Hotel
Once the Union Carbide and Carbon Co. headquarters and now a Hard Rock Hotel, this stately skyscraper is an Art Deco treasure. During Open House Chicago, visitors will have the chance to explore the first and second floor lobbies to see newly restored architectural detailing.

 

 

Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center

Congress Plaza Hotel

The Congress Plaza Hotel was once one of the largest and most prominent hotels in Chicago. During Open House Chicago, guests will be able to peek inside the glorious Gold and Florentine Ballrooms. 

 

 

Columbia Yacht Club

Columbia Yacht Club

Columbia Yacht Club is Chicago's premier boating club and sailing organization. Today the club resides aboard the MV Abegweit — a 372-foot, 7,000-ton train ferry from Canada. Step aboard this impressive ferry and see the exclusive dining room and event space that offers unparalleled views of the Chicago harbor, skyline and Grant Park.

 

 

Blackstone Hotel

blackstone

Step into the stunning Beaux Arts lobby of the Renaissance Blackstone and you'll feel as if you've stepped back in time to turn-of-the-century Chicago. The Blackstone, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, opened its doors in 1910 to much fanfare. During Open House Chicago, you'll have the chance to see the historic Suite of Presidents, where 12 sitting presidents have spent the night.

 

 

The Rookery

The Rookery

Designed by Burnham and Root and completed in 1888, the Rookery's lobby is truly a grand souvenir of Chicago's Gilded Age. During Open House Chicago, visitors will have the chance to check out the glass-block walkways above the lobby's atrium and visit a basement vault that's packed with architectural fragments from the building.

 

Check out the rest of the Open House 2016 locations around the city and go beyond downtown with our 3 OHC neighborhood recommendations.