Weekend Agenda ~ Open House Chicago

Happy Friday! As I sit at my computer trying to write, and think of anything else I could possibly come up with to avoid actually going through everything in my apartment to do a seriously overdue purge of my space, I remembered that Open House Chicago is this weekend!

Stop. Everything.

If you have any spare time this weekend, check out Open House Chicago. Once a year, a plethora of spaces are open to the public that are usually off limits. There is a mind boggling array of types of buildings, in so many different neighborhoods it’s actually impossible to see everything. Which kind of sucks, but it’s kind of great because there will definitely be something for everyone. Here is a map just to give you a sense of the scale of this event. That’s a lot of places to see!

OH Chicago site map

I’m a total Architecture nerd {well, hello, I am an architect so duh, but anyway…}, and I absolutely LOVE seeing old buildings, walking through the spaces, feeling the energy, imagining what they were like in their glory days, the stories and lives that were lived. Ugh, I could just get lost in there forever. But they also have newer spaces, a bunch of Architecture firm offices, some abandoned spaces and just so so so much more. Here are some that are on my list as must-sees. I’m bummed that this kept popping up and then falling off of my radar, and of course I work on the weekends now, but I am determined to get in at least a handful of this years treasures, and I hope you do too!

The Blackstone Hotel

A spectacular example of Neo-Classical Beaux Arts Architecture and turn of the century luxury hotel. I am just dying to see all that ornate trim and detailing… be still my heart.

blackstone hotel

Carbon & Carbide Building {modern day moniker ~ Hard Rock Hotel}

This building is SO beautiful! And access to the interior is somewhat limited ever since 9/11, so take advantage of the opportunity to explore more of this gorgeous space.

Carbon & Carbide.jpg

Zap Props

I don’t even think you can buy any of the amazing things this place has inside its walls, it’s an extravaganza of spectacular from every decade and generation that movie and tv shows utilize… get me in there! You know how I love vintage!


The Rookery

This Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece is one not to be missed… I mean, look at that detailing on the interior… there are no words {drool}


Edgewater Beach Apartments 

I just blogged about this building in my ‘If I Could Buy Anything’ post! Isn’t it a beauty? Love that this one is on the list this year.

edgewater beach hotel 1.jpg

Okay, just one more or I’ll literally list all 200 of them!

Schulze Baking Company 

I’m always amazed at the transformation of a space when it’s occupants move on and no one tends to it for years. This place was first built in 1914 but is now abandoned.. and you can just wander around this huge space and imagine what it was like when it was brand new and you could smell all the delicious things being created in there… yum…


Some other cool places {because seriously, there are just. so. many.} are:

Stockyards Brick ~ this place salvages and re-sells brick and other building materials… way to help save this big beautiful earth we live on… and help get beautiful buildings built, and save beautiful materials from the past all at the same time. Bravo. <3

Berger Park North Mansion {Gunder House} ~ I’m always on board to see an old mansion. Always. I like to think I might have lived a past life {or two… or three} in one. Just sayin’

Colvin House ~ again, mansion. This one was neglected for years but is now getting a facelift and being brought back to life. Yay!

Yale Building ~ This building is just breathtaking with it’s interior atrium. It was offered as luxury apartments during the Columbian Exposition. Wow.

Go check it out, and enjoy! Happy Architecture lover weekend!

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