Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Open House Chicago (OHC)?
Organized by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Open House Chicago (OHC) is a FREE annual weekend festival that gives the public behind-the-scenes access to 150 of Chicago’s greatest places and spaces. OHC is a FREE (no reservations required) chance to discover the architecture, culture and history of Chicago. OHC is part of the Open House Worldwide network of events now spanning about 20 cities on four continents.
When is OHC 2013?
OHC is an annual festival held one weekend every year. In 2013, OHC will be on Saturday and Sunday, October 19-20 from 9am-5pm (times may vary depending on specific site).
Who is organizing OHC?
OHC began in 2011 as a new initiative of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), a nonprofit cultural institution. CAF inspires people to discover why design matters. As part of that mission, OHC gives Chicagoans and visitors access to buildings that tell the stories of Chicago communities and cultures; the event invites residents and visitors to uncover the stories behind the architecture. Aside from OHC weekend, CAF operates year-round and offers tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events and adult and youth education activities. For more information, please visit architecture.org
In addition, many community development and cultural organizations partner with CAF to develop and operate OHC in their communities. These organizations provide critical support is such areas as site identification, program development, grassroots marketing, volunteer recruitment and on-site support during the weekend. A complete list of neighborhoods and partners can be found on the About page. OHC also enjoys the support of several sponsors as well as city and state agencies involved with tourism, culture and economic development.
Who sponsors OHC?
OHC is made possible through the generous support of: Kemper Corporation, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Transit Authority, NBC 5 Chicago, ComEd, Room & Board, as well as CAF members and individual donors.
What kinds of sites will be involved in Open House Chicago?
OHC weekend will provide access to a wide variety of sites with diverse styles and functions. Locations include: residential spaces, offices, hotels, restaurants, theaters and performance halls, private landscapes, design/architecture studios, schools, places of worship as well as retail, manufacturing, cultural and government facilities. This diverse selection of sites allows visitors to plan an itinerary according to their own specific interests.
Where are these sites located?
OHC weekend is a citywide event that includes over 150 sites located throughout thirteen community regions: Black Metropolis/Greater Bronzeville, Chinatown, Downtown, Garfield Park/North Lawndale, the Gold Coast, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Little Village, Pilsen, the Prairie Avenue District, Rogers Park/ West Ridge, South Shore and Uptown. Sites in these neighborhoods reflect the cultural diversity and history of Chicago, as well as the unique character of each community.
How do visitors sort through all of the OHC sites and plan their OHC weekend experiences?
To plan out sites and communities to visit, participants are invited to browse the site list and map pages of this website. Participants can also pick up a copy of the Open House Chicago Event Guide in the October 11th issue of the Chicago Tribune. To stay up-to-date on the latest OHC developments, sign-up for e-news.
Will there be a printed directory of OHC Sites?
Yes! The Chicago Tribune will be printing 500,000 copies of an OHC Event Guide and packaging them in their full regular circulation (home delivery and newsstand) on Thursday, October 11, 2012. A limited supply of free directories will also be available at OHC sites and at the CAF headquarters at 224 S. Michigan Avenue beginning two weeks prior to the event weekend.
What's the best way to get to, from and between OHC sites?
Take a CTA train or bus! Walk! Ride a bike! Roller-skate—any method is welcome. Depending on the community, parking may also be widely available.
What is the Priority Access Pass and who gets to go in the priority line?
OHC Volunteers, CAF Members, and OHC Sponsors/VIPs will receive priority access to all sites. When enough people start to gather at a site—creating the need for lines—two lines will be formed: one for the general public and another, shorter line for volunteers, members, and VIPs. To get a Priority Access Pass, become a CAF member or volunteer for the OHC weekend!