September 10, 2012

Open House Chicago, Oct. 13-14

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The Driehaus Museum exterior from the southwest. Photo by Steve Hall of Hedrich Blessing for the Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

On Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, the Driehaus Museum will open its doors and offer free self-guided admission as just one of 150 participants in Open House Chicago 2012.

Open House Chicago, created by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, offers a generous glimpse of the city’s architectural treasures and other spaces. All of those stunning buildings you thought you had no business being inside? During that weekend only, wander in at will to any of the sites listed—free of charge, no registration necessary, etc. Now, you would need a solid year to visit all of them, so you’ll have to troll through this list and prioritize. A few highlights:

  • Pay a visit to the office of the American Institute of Architects Chicago, located at 35 E. Wacker, the domed 1926 skyscraper better known as the Jewelers Building.
  • Have a cocktail in the Cape Cod at the luxurious Drake Hotel. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio’s initials are carved into the vintage seafood restaurant’s wooden bar.
  • Take in the soaring interior of Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, a gold leaf-paneled, Renaissance-style church on W. Jackson Boulevard. There’s also a life-sized reproduction of Michelangelo’s Pieta. Nearby you can also visit the original Sears Tower and the always-free, always-beautiful Garfield Park Conservatory.
  • Wander through the Mediterranean Revival halls of the Marshall & Fox-designed South Shore Cultural Center. Several of the preservationists who fought for its restoration in the 1970s and 80s will be there to lead tours.
  • Travel back to the Roaring Twenties in any of the Uptown neighborhood’s offerings, like the Aragon ballroom or the historic Green Mill jazz club.
  • Stroll down Prairie Avenue, known as Millionaire’s Row during the Gilded Age. The Glessner House Museum, Clarke House Museum, and several other surviving residences will be open.

The Driehaus Museum will offer free self-guided general admission during extended visitation hours on October 13 and October 14. We’ll be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. In order to best accommodate all of our guests, guided Highlights of the Museum tours will not take place. Our knowledgeable guides will be, as always, on hand to answer questions and share stories about the mansion.

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