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Geoffrey Baer’s Open House Chicago Top 10

A quick guide to some of the OHC sites this year.

Chicago Architecture Center Docent and WTTW talent has recommendations for the return of OHC in-person site visits October 16-17.

Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center

2500 W. Lunt Ave.

One of many Chicago Park District buildings by Clarence Hatzfeld. Its ornament seems to celebrate Native Americans, but the park’s name is a reminder of the hostile treatment of Indigenous people by white settlers.

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Bank of America Tower

110 N. Wacker Dr.

Goettsch Partners’ latest riverfront addition. The dramatic base along the river’s edge supports the tower with giant trident-shaped columns to pull the façade back from the river’s edge creating a dramatic river walk.

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332 E. 51st St.

Such a place of positivity and inspiration for the future of Bronzeville. Creative and hip!

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Sable Hotel

900 E. Grand Ave.

Maybe the best views from a hotel room in Chicago. And it also dramatically improves and updates the appearance of Navy Pier when viewed from the Grant Park lakefront.

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Pullman National Monument Visitor Information Center (Historic Pullman Foundation)

11001 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Remarkable reconstruction of the Pullman Administration Building at the epicenter of the amazing rebirth going on in the historic Pullman neighborhood. New industries and employers like Amazon and Walmart, restored housing and eateries in an area that just a few years ago was a food desert.

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Pui Tak Center

2216 S. Wentworth Ave.

Encrusted with exuberant Chinese ornamentation. Designed by two Scandinavian architects because Chicago didn’t have any Chinese architects at the time this building was built. It is a must see.

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KAM Isaiah Israel

5039 S. Greenwood Ave.

Fantastic Byzantine style synagogue with a dramatic domed sanctuary. Home to Chicago’s oldest Jewish congregation previously housed in a Sullivan and Adler masterpiece that became Pilgrim Baptist Church (and tragically burned in 2006).

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Chicago Maritime Museum

1200 W. 35th St.

Few people realize Chicago’s origins as a maritime city. The Maritime Museum in Bridgeport brings that history to life. Cool relics and models. And about as close as you can get to Bubbly Creek with its own important history!

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Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

125 W. Fullerton Pkwy.

One of Chicago’s great hidden gems. Amazing story of restoration. And Caldwell himself is a character and a half.

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Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist

55 E. Wacker Dr.

Brutalism is back! And architect Harry Weese is such a dramatic story.

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Interested in seeing Chicago through the eyes of another local celebrity? Follow in the footsteps of former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on the Obamas in Hyde Park self-guided walking tour, available throughout October on the OHC app.

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