The Annual Public Festival, Which Provides Access to Culturally, Architecturally and Historically Significant Sites Throughout the City, Will Now Include Opening Parties on Friday

CHICAGO — The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) announced programming for this year’s Open House Chicago (OHC), a free festival that provides behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s most historically, culturally and architecturally important sites. The 2023 event, which will take place October 13-15, will feature 170+ locations across 20+ Chicago neighborhoods. Additionally, for the first time, the CAC will host two Friday events, including one exclusively for CAC members.

OHC, now in its 13th year, is an architecture and design festival that allows Chicagoans and tourists alike to visit important sites across the city, many of which are normally closed to the public. The event will begin Friday, October 13, with a kickoff party at the CAC, where visitors can experience the Center’s exhibits for free and purchase official OHC merchandise. CAC members will also be invited to an opening night party on the 33rd floor of the Willis Tower. The event will feature light bites and a performance of an original piece of music inspired by the Willis Tower and commissioned by CAC.

The rest of the weekend will feature self-guided tours across the city’s diverse neighborhoods, allowing OHC participants to experience Chicago’s deep architectural history firsthand. This year’s program will enable visitors to tour the childhood home of Walt Disney in Hermosa and the National Cambodian Heritage Museum in Ravenswood. Also new to OHC this year is Uptown’s historic Riviera Theater, an ornate concert venue originally built in 1917 as a movie theater.

“Open House Chicago makes architecture and design accessible and is a free program for all,” said Eleanor Gorski, CEO & President, Chicago Architecture Center. “The event is a true community venture, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with chambers of commerce, neighborhood organizations, arts and culture organizations and historical societies across the city to bring the festival to life.”

In addition to the tours, Open House Chicago sites will also host programming and activations during the weekend. This year, CAC has enhanced the festival experience by launching a new app that provides information on programming and allows attendees to create their own itineraries of OHC sites.  

With the support of presenting sponsor Wintrust, OHC enthusiasts will also have the chance to win an annual CAC membership and official Open House Chicago merchandise, a prize package worth more than $250,  through a social media contest ahead of the event. Interested participants can enter by tagging a friend on Instagram posts from @chiarchitecture and @wintrust..

For more information, visit

The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1966, dedicated to inspiring people to discover why design matters. A national leader in architecture and design education, the CAC offers tours, programs, exhibitions, and more that are part of a dynamic journey of lifelong learning.

Opened to the public in 2018, its riverfront location is in the heart of the city, where Michigan Avenue meets the Chicago River, featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space with views of a century of iconic skyscrapers.

Through partnerships with schools and youth-serving organizations, the CAC reaches approximately 5,000 K-12 students annually, while teacher workshops provide educators with tools and resources they need to advance STEM curricula in their classrooms. Committed to serving under-represented communities in construction, engineering, and design professions, the CAC offers many of its education programs—and all its programs for teens—at no cost to participants. CAC programs for adults and members include talks with acclaimed authors and practicing architects, in-depth presentations on issues and trends in urbanism, and classes unlocking subjects related to the built environment.

Proceeds from programs, tours, and the CAC Design Store, as well as from grants, sponsorships, and donations, support its educational mission. Visit to learn more and follow @chiarchitecture and #chiarchitecture on social media.


Latest Stories

Latest Podcast

Fifth Ward Alderman Desmond Yancy