Open the doors to hidden architectural gems this fall. For one weekend only each year, October 14-15, 2017, the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) hosts the city's biggest architecture and design festival, Open House Chicago. This FREE public event  gets you behind-the-scenes access to the greatest spaces and places in Chicago, illuminating areas that are normally not open to the public.

200 cool places. 48 hours. Go. It's free.

Whether you are an architecture buff, history enthusiast or looking for a unique weekend festival, Open House Chicago (OHC) is a must-do Chicago event and is fun for every kind of adventurer.

Showcasing the diversity of Chicago's architecture both downtown and in the neighborhoods, sites include uncommonly seen and "restricted access" areas. Check out iconic public buildings, as well as factories, retailers, restaurants, sacred spaces, hotels, professional offices and cultural institutions, among many others.

Plan Your Trip

It's an architectural scavenger hunt! And best of all, it's completely free. Just drop in during event hours, which are typically 9:00am to 5:00pm both Saturday and Sunday (check individual site listings for exact times). Sites will accept visitors on a first-come, first-served basis — for the most part, tickets or reservations are not needed. Note that there are a select number of sites limited to CAF members only or require an rsvp in advance. Some key tips...

  • Build out your itinerary in advance by picking up the printed event guide
  • Use the interactive OHC site list and map to narrow down based on area or category (for example, New in 2017 or RSVP Required filters). 
  • Use public transportation to get to, from and between OHC sites: Divvy, Chicago's bike-sharing system, and CTA buses and trains are cheap, reliable and convenient ways to get around
  • Sign up to receive the OHC newsletter and follow CAF for last-minute #OHC2017 announcements on Twitter and Facebook
  • Consider becoming a CAF member or OHC volunteer to receive a Priority Access Pass and skip the general public lines
  • Check out the OHC KIDS programs for a list of the top family-friendly site options to entertain the younger audiences

Participating Neighborhoods

For the 7th annual event, over 200 Open House Chicago sites in 22 communities make up the collection of architectural treasures on display:

Downtown Lincoln Square / Ravenswood
Bridgeport / Back of the Yards Logan Square / Avondale
Bronzeville Near West Side
Edgewater Oak Park
Englewood Pilsen
Evanston Portage Park
Garfield Park / North Lawndale South Loop / Prairie Avenue
Gold Coast/Near North Side South Shore
Hyde Park/ Woodlawn Ukrainian Village
Lakeview Uptown
Lincoln Park West Town


In addition to free access, celebrate the design-themed weekend with additional Open House Chicago programs that include lectures, music performances, art walks and special events.

Visit for details and get up-to-the-minute updates and fun facts about OHC by following Chicago Architecture Foundation on Facebook at, on Twitter at @chiarchitecture, and on Instagram at

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