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About Open House Chicago

Every October, the Chicago Architecture Center is proud to host Open House Chicago—a free public festival that offers self-guided history and architecture trails throughout Chicago, talks and programming, and behind-the-scenes access to architecturally, historically and culturally significant sites across the city.

Open House Chicago remains one of the largest events of its kind in the world. In 2024, Open House Chicago's in-person site visits will occur on October 19 and 20.

In 2023 we highlighted more than 20 Chicago neighborhoods, 170 sites, outdoor exploration on themes of neighborhood investment, community engagement, historic preservation and more. 

Stay in the know


What is Open House Chicago?

Open House Chicago (OHC) is a free annual festival hosted by the Chicago Architecture Center that offers behind-the-scenes access to buildings of architectural, cultural and historical significance during one weekend in October.

Who organizes Open House Chicago?

Since 2011, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) has produced each Open House Chicago festival. The CAC is a nonprofit cultural institution that offers tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. The CAC’s mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters. The CAC collaborates with community partners (such as chambers of commerce, neighborhood organizations, arts and culture organizations and historical societies) each year to present Open House Chicago. OHC is also made possible through generous support from festival sponsors, donors and government agencies.

What kinds of sites are included in Open House Chicago and where are they located?

OHC is a citywide event, with sites and events distributed throughout multiple neighborhoods, areas and select Chicago suburbs. OHC sites and neighborhoods represent the cultural diversity and dynamic history of Chicago, as well as the unique character of each community.

How are sites selected for inclusion in Open House Chicago?

CAC staff members curate OHC sites in accordance with multiple criteria. Site consideration and selection may also be informed by each year’s festival focus and themes. Proposals for site inclusion are not generally solicited. See links in the “Stay in the Know” section above to get timely updates about the CAC’s plans for OHC 2024.

What's the best way to navigate the city during Open House Chicago?

Divvy, Chicago's bike-sharing system, and CTA buses and trains are great modes of transit during OHC. Many neighborhoods are easily accessible by CTA. Many sites and self-guided tours are typically located within walking distance of one another. For sites and Self-guided tours not located along CTA routes, Metra train service is available. Some OHC neighborhoods have free or metered street parking.

What are OHC events and how can I attend?

Discover captivating events and activities at various Open House Chicago sites throughout the weekend. These experiences are designed to celebrate architecture, delve into Chicago's rich history, and showcase local businesses and organizations. Explore the offerings of each site by visiting their respective pages and viewing the 'Visitor Experience' section. Stay tuned for information and updates about sites for 2024. 

Which OHC benefits do CAC members receive?

CAC members receive exclusive benefits and discounts throughout OHC. More information about specific discounts and benefits can be found here.

If you need a replacement membership card, please call the CAC Call Center at 312.922.8687 or email

Are there Open House programs in other cities?

OHC is part of the Open House Worldwide family of related events. Open House started in London in 1992 and launched in the United States in 2002 with Open House New York. Now, more than 50 cities around the world have adopted Open House, creating the first global architecture festival reaching more than 1 million people. Visit to learn more. Similar events called Doors Open are held annually in cities including Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

Community Partners

The Chicago Architecture Center extends its gratitude to all OHC 2023 community partners:

77 Flavors of Chicago, Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, Art WORKS Projects, Austin Coming Together, Center for Native Futures, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago Loop Alliance, Crossing Borders Music, Englewood Arts Collective, Glessner House, Greater Chatham Initiative, Hermosa Neighborhood Association, Historic Pullman Foundation, Hyde Park Historical Society, IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Action Network), Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Lawndale Pop Up Spot, Lillstreet Art Center, Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, NON:op Open Opera Works, North Lawndale Employment Network, North Lawndale Historical and Cultural Society, Pilsen Classical, Poems While You Wait, The Abrahamic Center for Cultural Education (ACCE), The Renaissance Collaborative, The Saints, Uptown United, Urban Juncture, 40th Ward - Office of Alderman Vasquez, Jr.