CHICAGO — In a city famous for its architecture, Chicago opened its doors to let the public get a glimpse inside this weekend.
For nearly a decade, the Chicago Architecture Center has organized Open House Chicago. This year, 350 sites throughout Chicagoland opened their doors, giving people a unique chance to step inside at no cost.
From Beverly, to Edgewater; South Shore to Austin, hundreds of sites draw in thousands hoping to see the storied history of Chicago skyscrapers, high-rises and notable buildings.
Leanne Clarke from Santa Barbara, was among the many tourists to be found in line.
“It’s really cool… I mean we don’t have any of these kind of buildings in California,” Clarke said.
Vaidehi Patel used the Open House weekend to explore the city and post her adventures to Instagram.
“On a weekend like this, it’s a great way to get in some shots, be able to come in here for free, make use of it… I know we only have 48 hours to get through sites like these,” Patel said.
Sites like the famous Chicago Board of Trade, with its faceless statue watching over LaSalle Street.
Last year, about 100,000 people took advantage of the free weekend, 90 percent of them locals. More than half visited a neighborhood they’d never been to.
“We are able change people’s perceptions of the city… get them to see places they’ve maybe only seen on the news for the wrong reasons and I think that’s probably the most important thing this can do,” said Eric Rogers, Chicago Architecture Center.