Open House Chicago expands to 10 days for its 10th anniversary
in fall 2020, highlighting South and West Side neighborhoods
The Chicago Architecture Center’s signature festival reconfigured
for both in-person and remote attendance, October 16−25, 2020
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is pleased to announce the return of Open House Chicago (OHC) for a 10th consecutive year. Part of the worldwide family of 46 Open House events, inaugurated by Open House London in 1992, Open House Chicago is the second-most widely attended event of its kind. OHC engaged 109,000 individuals in 2019, who made 370,000 total site visits to 352 sites in 39 Chicago neighborhoods, plus the near suburbs of Evanston and Oak Park.
In support of public health and with sensitivity to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAC has reconfigured OHC for outdoor and online attendance from Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 25. This reimagined OHC framework—designed for individuals, families and small groups that have isolated together—will highlight and promote visitation of specific areas, encouraging foot traffic and participants to patronize local businesses while learning more about the unique histories and stories of these featured areas.
More than 20 Chicago neighborhoods and two suburbs will be highlighted during OHC 2020, with an intentional focus on, and engagement with, areas and corridors prioritized by the City of Chicago’s INVEST South/West initiative including Auburn Gresham, Austin, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Englewood, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Pullman, Roseland and South Shore. Fourteen additional focus areas confirmed to date are Chicago’s Loop, Near North Side and Near West Side plus Beverly, Chinatown, Evanston, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Oak Park, Pilsen, Rogers Park, Wicker Park and Woodlawn.
Visitors to each OHC 2020 area will be supported in their self-guided exploration by free resources available online at openhousechicago.org, as well as through an application for mobile devices compatible with both Android (Google) and iOS (Apple) operating systems. Using these free resources, OHC 2020 attendees will be able to explore and select routes on a variety of themes, learn more about buildings and sites of interest in each neighborhood, browse and register for related OHC online programs and more. CAC walking tours continue throughout the festival, some highlighting OHC neighborhoods.
Building upon the success of more than 50 remotely accessible CAC Live programs offered continuously by the CAC since April 4, 2020, OHC will include a variety of online events aligned with its 2020 neighborhoods and themes. Featuring guest presenters and representatives from numerous Chicago organizations, these online events may include classes, discussions and lectures, music and performance presentations, virtual tours and other offerings designed to bring the expressions, flavors and voices of OHC 2020 neighborhoods into the homes of people across and far beyond Chicago.
To further embed OHC 2020 into the neighborhoods it spotlights, the CAC will again engage multiple community-based organizations for advice and mutual support in communications and engagement, route creation, site selection, the development of program content and more. Chambers of commerce, cultural centers and neighborhood associations confirmed to date include 826CHI, Beverly Area Planning Association, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago’s North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chicago Public Library, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Evanston History Center, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society, Oak Park Art League, Preservation Chicago and The Renaissance Collaborative. Additional community partners will be announced at later dates, as will the complete schedule for OHC 2020 online programs and details regarding the free OHC app for mobile devices.
Advance registration for most free and paid online events will be required, through the OHC mobile app, at architecture.org or openhousechicago.org. Current CAC members will receive exclusive benefits and discounts throughout OHC 2020.
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