Open House Chicago(OHC) is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to over 150 buildings across Chicago...no tickets are required. This 5th annual event is organized by the Chicago Architectural Foundation, a nonprofit cultural organization, in collaboration with numerous community sponsors and partners.
I started Day One of Open House Chicago at the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum. There, I got the chance to not only visit the museum, but to see the huge gears that operates the raising and lowering of the Michigan Avenue DuSable Bridge. It was cool photographing the bridge from the bridgehouse, as I am always photographing it at street level. My next stop was the Hampton Inn Michigan Avenue(Chicago Motor Club). At this building, I explored the newly restored Art-Deco building. Walking up to the mezzanine of the lobby, I photographed the awesome spiral staircase. It wasn't as lit as I wanted it to be, but it was still a good capture. Above the lobby, is a 1928 Ford Model A that is spectacular to see. From there, I went to the Old Republic Building where I got great city views atop the building. I also visited the interior of one of Chicago's oldest clubs where a reconstructed pub that was shipped here from England was on full display with nice table settings. Up next was the Aon Center. The Aon Center doesn't have an observatory deck, but they opened the 71st floor for sweeping 360 degree views of the city. The Aon Center is also the 3rd tallest building in Chicago. Virgin Hotels Chicago, which is a restored bank building was my next stop. There, I was able to visit the Cerise rooftop, and photograph more city sights. My final stop on day one was the Oriental Theatre. There, I was able to photograph the fabulous East Asian-inspired architecture in the main lobby as well as inside the theatre itself.