The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago is one of those cool things that makes you glad you live here. In its second year, they’ve convinced over 150 buildings that the public doesn’t usually get to see inside to open their doors; some give tours, others just let you poke around. It’s an amazing list, from the Louis Sullivan-designed Auditorium Theater to black South Side churches, from 19th century mansions to art deco swimming pools hidden in the basements of apartment buildings. Of course, if you’re going to visit cool buildings in interesting parts of town, you want to have somewhere interesting in the area to eat, too, right? We’ve updated our somewhat randomly chosen list from last year and expanded it to cover 11 of the neighborhoods featured (we figure you probably know where to eat in the Loop or Gold Coast), moving roughly north to south. Find out more and pick the sites you want to see here, then get ready to eat, too.
ROGERS PARK/WEST RIDGE
Check out the Art Deco swimming pool inside the Tudor Park Castle apartment building overlooking Indian Boundary Park, go backstage at the lavishly restored 1912 Mayne Stage on Morse, and discover a dazzling monastic chapel hidden inside St. Scholastica Monastery. Then try:
No, the Uptown Theater isn’t on the list, but the Aragon and the Riviera are, along with the Green Mill, the Preston Bradley Center, the lavish Bridgeview Bank and the Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation. Then try:
Apart from the Humboldt Park fieldhouses, there aren’t a lot of spectacular sights here, but some culturally significant buildings to the west side Latino community. And, of course, plenty of Latino places to eat.
Cafe Colao (2638 W. Division) is an actual Open House Chicago stop as well as a place to eat, with a vintage century-old bakery interior
Grandma J’s is a cute neighborhood cafe
Feed is a funky southern-flavored spot
Puerto Rican favorites are at Papa’s Cache Sabroso
GARFIELD PARK/NORTH LAWNDALE
See the vast renaissance-style Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, the dazzling new Henry Ford Academy located inside the former powerhouse for the original Sears Roebuck complex, or the gold-domed Garfield Park Field House. Restaurants are kind of scarce nearby but head a little ways east or west and you’ll soon find:
Go inside several post-fire mansions plus the imposing Romanesque Second Presbyterian Church.
Tour the onetime Tong headquarters now known as the Pui Tak Center, a Chinese Catholic church or Engine Company No. 8.
See grand churches like St. Adalbert, the studio of artist Hector Duarte, or the 1896 building now lavishly painted as Casa Aztlan.
Go inside the 1917 Apollo’s 2000 (formerly Marshall Square) theater, a preserved historic courtroom in the Cook County Jail, and the workshop of a master stone carver in a former industrial building. Then check out:
See the hardware store that was once the Sunset Cafe owned by Louis Armstrong himself, the Sutherland Hotel (now the Chicago Blues Museum), the Tiffany dome and windows at Grant Memorial AME Church, and the lavish Swift Mansion. Then head for:
See the spectacular art deco Powhatan Apartments, Gothic buildings at U of C like Bartlett Hall, and the Romanesque United Church of Hyde Park.
Check out Louis Farrakhan’s Mosque Maryam, the posh South Shore Cultural Center or the enormous St. Philip Neri church.