This weekend, Chicagoans will once again have a chance to see the soaring ceilings, sweeping views, and endearing quirks of the some of the city’s architectural gems during the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago.
For some guidance navigating the more than 200 options, Morning Shift turned to Eric Rogers, manager of Open House Chicago.
Here are his recommendations:
For something new this year: Logan Square and Avondale sites
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave. / Closed Sunday
It’s the first time Open House has a cluster of buildings to check out in Logan Square and Avondale, Rogers said. He pointed to the Congress Theater as a standout of this new set.
“It’s a historic 1926 theater building that’s been shuttered for a couple of years, and this is an exclusive opportunity to get inside as it’s sort of embarking on a really major transformation,” he said.
For sights and smells: Metropolis Coffee Company
3057 N. Rockwell St. / Avondale
Also in the Logan Square and Avondale group of sites is this building where the Metropolis Coffee Company roasts some of its goods. It’s a bit hard to find as it’s located off of an alley, Rogers warned, but once you locate it you’ll see “beautiful bow truss industrial architecture” as well as the coffee roasting machines “producing that wonderful smell.”
For a unique view: 150 N. Riverside
The 26th floor of this skyscraper is currently completely empty and offering views to every side, Rogers said, which in this case means a chance to look down all three branches of the Chicago River.
And one extra tip for those seeking shorter lines: stick to neighborhoods, Rogers said, as downtown sites tend to be most popular.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the “play” button to listen to the entire conversation.