December 27, 2010 – Chicago - A new insiders’ look at Chicago’s architecture, culture, economy and history is planned for October 14-16, 2011. The first annual openhousechicago weekend, offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, is modeled after similar programs in New York, London and Toronto. www.openhousechicago.org.Known for their 85 tours, exhibitions, educational programs and a great retail shop, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is well poised to create an in-depth weekend of events. “openhousechicago is an excellent addition to our Foundation,” said Lynn Osmond, Chicago Architecture Foundation President and CEO. “We can illustrate past achievements, highlight current trends and suggest how each person can play a role in generating a city’s landscape.”
Participants in openhousechicago 2011 will enjoy free admission to more than 100 of the city’s more significant, but often restricted, places and spaces. Sites should appeal to all ages and families are urged to participate. The wide variety of locations include: factories, office towers, restaurants, sporting facilities, cultural institutions, schools, infrastructure installations, private businesses and other special places where invitations are required to enter. Local residents as well as out-of-town visitors will visit parts of the city with which they may not be familiar. It’s like a “backstage pass” to the city.
A major innovation of openhousechicago is the focus on the city’s very diverse neighborhoods because the weekend is being created in partnership with six community and economic development organizations: Quad Communities Development Corporation, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, Enlace Chicago, the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, the Chicago Loop Alliance, and the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.
Organized around five “hubs” (one each in the Loop and on the South, Southwest, West and North sides), openhousechicago will offer convenient locations from which participants can venture to explore the city.
The experiences will be self guided but supported by a widely distributed printed event directory as well as mobile enabled technology. The program should draw at least 100,000 participants in its first year but many openhousechicago events elsewhere attract twice that number, or more. It is anticipated that openhousechicago, located in America’s first city of architecture and design, will become one of the globe’s leading annual Open House events. Support for the openhousechicago weekend is provided by a generous grant from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, the lead foundation supporter of openhousechicago. The event is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a leading group of corporate sponsors.
Special efforts are being made to support travel to the city and arrangements are being confirmed with hotels and tour operators to facilitate participation by out-of-town visitors.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. The Chicago Architecture Foundation pursues this mission through architecture tours, exhibitions, panel discussions, and youth and adult education programs. A permanent exhibition, Chicago Model City, includes a highly detailed scale model of Chicago. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is located at 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604. For further information visit www.architecture.org or call 312.922.3432 or become a facebook fan: www.facebook.com/chicagoarchitecture or follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/chiarchitecture