Cheryl Durst's Top Ten Selects for Open House Chicago 2021
The Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association shares her favorite in-person OHC sites.
By Cheryl Durst, Hon. IIDA Fellow, IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO
Chicago is a city rich with design history of every type, and my selections point the way to some of the city’s most amazing interiors. These sites demonstrate the expansiveness of our community and the power of design to bring us together, lift us up and spark both wonder and wondering. See where they take you!
The exterior may be a former poultry warehouse, but Herman Miller has turned it into a temple of modern design, with interiors that showcase some of the most beautiful and iconic pieces ever created for home or office.
This lively exercise in place-making shows us how a space can be so much more than the sum of its parts. Infused with color and art, Boxville invites the community to mix, mingle and celebrate — and supports the work of diverse designers and artists.
The Streamline Moderne-style church is the work of Illinois’ first licensed Black architect, Walter T. Bailey; inside, restored murals by Black artist Frederick D. Jones set the tone for a sanctuary that turns eyes upward with a lit cross that appears to hover above the congregation.
Not only is bKL an acclaimed firm, showcasing projects like Cira and St. Regis, but the firm also celebrates diversity in every form and puts a large focus on collective talent that represents females and diverse industry leaders. This space is a true behind-the-scenes peek at how these designers work.
The CAC’s building (which also happens to be home to IIDA) was designed by the Office of Mies van der Rohe — inside their space, get a start on your design education at the Chicago Model Experience, which lets you explore the city’s evolution and diverse neighborhoods.
Orchestra Hall offers intricate, stunning design details and historic relevance — a procession of Chicago designers lent their vision to this interior for more than a century. This is a great stop to test out the much-discussed acoustics and celebrate the remarkable talent that has graced this stage.
The second largest Holocaust Museum in the United States, this space offers reverence for generations that have suffered and sacrificed. Designed by the late acclaimed Architect Stanley Tigerman, it educates on how to combat hate in artistic form and helps us appreciate life on a deeper level.
Discover even more sites that add to the city's rich history of design, and learn what Chicagoans are doing to protect them, on the Preservation Across Chicago self-guided walking tour on the OHC app. Preservation efforts at places like Altgeld Gardens, the Phyllis Wheatley Home and the Little Village Arch illustrate how saving sites can help keep communities vibrant, diverse and rooted in our common humanity.
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