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Chicago Architecture Center plans programs for Open House Chicago

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CHICAGO ( October 8, 2019 ) — The Chicago Architecture Center ( CAC ) today released the list of special programs for Open House Chicago 2019—now in its ninth year and one of the largest architecture festivals in the world. This free two-day public event, taking place Saturday-Sunday, October 19-20, offers behind-the-scenes access to almost 350 sites in 38 neighborhoods, many rarely open to the public, including repurposed mansions, stunning skyscrapers, opulent theaters, exclusive private clubs, industrial facilities, cutting-edge offices and breathtaking sacred spaces. In addition to free access, Open House Chicago offers activities at various sites all weekend long, including cultural performances, kid-friendly activities, and more.

Family Festival

Open House Chicago will host a free Family Festival on the Pritzker Pavilion stage Saturday-Sunday, October 19-20 from noon to 4:00 p.m. Participants can get an up-close look at the Frank Gehry-designed performance space. Self-guided tours and make-and-take activities are available both days.

Music Performances

Chicago-based chamber music ensemble Access Contemporary Music ( ACM ) continues its multi-year partnership with Open House Chicago, commissioning music inspired by unique, and uniquely Chicago, spaces. This year, ACM musicians will premiere a work composed specifically for The Forum on 43rd Street on Saturday, October 19 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Performances will take place every 15 minutes. A sampling of other music presentations includes:

Pop-up cabaret performances at Newport Theater on October 19-20 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. both days

A 1935 Moller Organ concert featuring selections such as the "Game of Thrones" theme music and the famous Bach Toccata at Carl Schurz High School on October 19-20 at 2:00 p.m. both days;

An afternoon of organ music from a variety of styles at Luther Memorial Church on Saturday, October 19 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

An organ and electronic bell system performance at St. Mary of the Lake on Saturday, October 19 at 2:30 p.m.

Sunday Service with DJ Duane Powell at Stony Island Arts Bank on Sunday, October 20 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Jazz Vespers at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 20 at 4:00 p.m.

The Spanish-language Los Angelitos Children's Choir at St. Mary of the Lake on Sunday, October 20 from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Guided Tours

Guided tour highlights include:

Special guided tours of the Convent of St. Anne at the Church of the Ascension on Saturday, October 19 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

A Michelin-starred brunch and guided tour of Thalia Hall on Saturday, October 19 at 11:00 a.m. ( reservations required )

A brewery tour at Eris Brewery & Cider House on October 19-20 at 12:30 p.m. both days

A behind-the-scenes tour of LEED sustainability features at the Rotary International World Headquarters BuildingOctober 19-20 at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. both days ( reservations required )


Continuing its celebration of the City's 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, Open House Chicago includes special theatrical presentations at several sites, including:

30-minute lively readings of the classic book Corduroy with Emerald City Theatre at Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Saturday, October 19 at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:15 p.m.

Blood Line, an acoustic installation and performance that remembers the 1919 Chicago Race Riot and those who died in the uprising of that "red summer," at Augustana Lutheran Church on Saturday, October 19 at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 20 from noon to 5:00 p.m.

A film screening of the documentary The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow at the Stony Island Arts Bank on Saturday, October 19 at 3:00 p.m.

The premiere of Chicago-produced TV show "Dearly Departed" about Chicago's south and west sides at Ingersoll-Blackwelder House on Saturday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m. ( RSVP required )

Information about Open House Chicago special programs is available at For a complete list of participating Open House Chicago sites, visit Most Open House Chicago sites are free and do not require a reservation but select Open House Chicago sites require advance registration ( usually due to security or capacity constraints ) and will not accept drop-in visitors. Participants are encouraged to sign up to receive event e-newsletters and last-minute announcements. Get the latest news and fun facts about Open House Chicago by following the Chicago Architecture Center on Twitter ( @chiarchitecture ) and Facebook ( ).

Become a CAC member at to receive a Priority Access Pass, which gives exclusive access to Members Only sites and the ability to skip the lines at busier Open House Chicago sites.

Open House Chicago is a celebration of Chicago's neighborhoods and communities with some 50+ community partners helping make the event each year. The Open House Chicago Community Partners for the Northwest Side expansion include the Six Corners Association and Northwest Chicago Historical Society.

In 2018, Wintrust became the Presenting Sponsor for Open House Chicago through 2020. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, ComEd, TAWANI Foundation, and DCASE ( Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ). Open House Chicago partners include Choose Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority and Open House Worldwide. Media sponsors include Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and WBEZ 91.5FM/ .

Open House Chicago is part of a worldwide movement of free open house events that began in London in 1992. Today more than 50 cities worldwide hold similar weekend festivals. Open House Chicago is the second largest event of its kind globally.

—From a press release

About the Chicago Architecture Center

The Chicago Architecture Center ( CAC ), formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation ( CAF ), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. As an education leader in architecture and design, The CAC is a hub for everything architecture in Chicago offering tours, programs, exhibitions, field trips, curricula and online tools that are part of a dynamic learning journey for all ages. Proceeds from CAC's tours and store, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission. For more information, visit .

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