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The OHC 2020 Mobile App Is here!



The Chicago Architecture Center is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Open House Chicago festival with 10 days of urban discovery. Get access to exclusive self-guided outdoor excursions and site visits through the OHC 2020 mobile app—available beginning Oct. 13 to members and Oct. 14 to the general public—and powered by Vamonde, for iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) devices.

Download and install the OHC 2020 mobile app for the best experience. If you prefer not to use the app, you can access all app-based content in your web browser here.

OHC 2020 App FAQ

How should I use the OHC 2020 app to enhance my experience?

On the homepage of the app, select “Neighborhoods” and pick one that you would like to explore for a morning, afternoon or evening. Most neighborhoods include a self-guided trail—a series of sites you can visit in about 60-90 minutes by walking, biking or driving. In addition, trails often include audio narrations or videos you can enjoy while viewing the neighborhood’s sites. Along the way, we encourage you to patron local businesses as part of your neighborhood exploration. View a demo of the app here.

If you are not in Chicago or do not want to visit neighborhoods in-person, we still encourage you to download the app! You can read about OHC sites, view videos and listen to interesting audio narrations. We also encourage you to participate in one of our 20+ virtual public programs. View the complete list on the Programs page.

Can I download the app to my desktop or laptop computer?

No. The app only works on smartphones and tablets. It’s accessible for both Apple and Android devices.

How long will the app be available? Can I use it after Open House Chicago ends?

The app will only be available until November 1, so don’t delay—get out there and explore!

I’m not comfortable downloading the OHC 2020 app, or I don’t have a smartphone. Is there a different way to access the information and audio stories contained in the app?

Yes. You can receive all the content that is in the OHC 2020 app by visiting It allows access to most everything the app can do without needing to leave home. It also includes an accessibility widget (lower right corner of the screen) for changing font sizes, activating audio assistance and other tools.

What’s the best navigational tool to use while on the trails?

For the bike and motor trails, we advise you to use the mapping app of your choice (e.g., Google Maps, Waze), versus our in-app navigation. Especially when cycling, we strongly encourage you to travel on designated bike routes and consult the city’s bike map. The app will offer an efficient route, but not always the ideal route for your trail.

How can I get my phone to navigate me between sites and along trails?

First, make sure you’ve given the OHC 2020 mobile app permission to access your device’s location (GPS). If your GPS receiver is turned off, be sure to turn it on. Google Maps and Waze are also recommended for biking, as those will more consistently route you along existing bike lanes.

My Android phone is displaying the app differently than my friend’s iPhone. Is something wrong?

No. The app is optimized for iOS users and does have a different graphic layout, but the content on both Android and Apple devices is the same.

I’m using an Apple device and noticed some icons at the bottom of the app. What do they mean?

“Explore” returns you to the app homepage. “Nearby” will pull in all OHC sites within proximity to you. “Favorites” allows you to browse all offerings and bookmark them, which can help in planning all the places you want to visit over the 17-day festival. “Account” contains information about user privacy.

The audio and video files keep pausing on me. How do I prevent that from happening?

For the best experience, go to your phone’s display settings and extend the amount of time the screen stays on before falling asleep/going into timeout. While audio files play, you can also tap the screen occasionally to keep your device awake and continue playback.

My mobile phone or tablet is not the latest model. Will it still support the OHC 2020 app?

The OHC 2020 app for iPhone, iPad or iTouch requires iOS 11.0 or later. For Android, the operating software must be 10.0 or later.

Is the OHC 2020 app complicated to use?

We think most users will find the OHC 2020 app self-explanatory, but we have created this handy video tutorial if you’d like to familiarize yourself with the tool before your download from the App Store or Google Play Store.


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As you explore Chicago during OHC, please wear a face covering, maintain at least six feet of distance from others and do not attempt to enter any buildings. Please be mindful that residential addresses are private property. Visitors are not allowed on private grounds.

Inherent Risk: Using the OHC 2020 app while moving may distract user from paying full attention to their surroundings. Failing to be aware of risks and hazards in any environment may result in bodily injury and/or property damage. Accordingly, user should utilize the OHC 2020 app only in safe locations when exploring trails, neighborhoods, sites or otherwise using the OHC 2020 app. User should at all times be mindful of their surroundings including (but not limited to) traffic signals, road signs, guardrails, train crossing signals, weather conditions and the condition of walkways.