Open House Chicago is maybe the coolest thing ever.
It happens over one weekend in October. The Chicago Architecture Foundation gets over 200 buildings to open their doors, and the people that love this city and the buildings in it, get to see things they’ve never seen ever before.
It is impressive. And it’s free, so it’s REALLY impressive.
I am always working during Open House. Saturdays and Sundays are my busiest days, so I never get to OHC. But this year, I had some time on Sunday afternoon.When I wrapped up my morning tour downtown, I just couldn’t do it. The lines for things I truly wanted to see were too long. My instinct when I’m done with tours downtown is to get out of dodge.
But see, the great thing about OHC is that it’s ALL over the city, so I hopped on the train, took it back to my hood and saw things in my neighborhood and it was the best afternoon ever.
Preston Bradley Church at 941 W. Lawrence
I’ve been past the church one zillion times exactly and I’ve never gone in, I’m always on my way somewhere right? I finally went in and it was really neat and peaceful and simple.
Preston Bradley was a Chicago preacher who had a radio ministry, very famous. The church was built in 1925 and it was designed with a purposeful simplicity. There are no frills, no naves, no tower, as Bradley put it, it’s an “open room, airy, warm and inviting fewllowship and the breezes of fresh ideas.”
The mural was done in 1959, it’s Christ greeting the crowds but they’re in their contemporary clothes.
Bridgeview Bank Building
The bank sits right on the corner of Broadway and Lawrence in Uptown. It is BEAUTIFUL. It was designed by Benjamin Marshall (who also did the Drake and the unfortunate Iroquois Theater which you’ve heard about on my Disaster Tour). Finished in 1924, it is the recipient of magic light almost every night. It really has this stately presence on the corner there. One can always go into the bank, but one can’t always take photos and one usually can’t GO INTO THE VAULT.
The Buddhist Temple of Chicago.
That was so neat too, I have Buddhist leanings but white, western girl fear, so I tend not to go into the temples because I feel don’t like I don’t belong enough, I know, it’s weird. The thing I love about Buddhist temples is just how simple, airy and quiet they really are.
It was so great wandering my neighborhood and seeing places that are so familiar to me and yet so unknown.
Spectacular weekend! Thank you OHC!!