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Beal Properties’ Top 6 OHC Sites To Visit This Weekend

One weekend every October since 2011, the Chicago Architecture Center has held an Open House. It showcases some of the City’s most jaw-dropping architectural masterpieces; several merely steps away from a Beal Properties property!

While we may live amongst and walk past these wonders daily, the saying, “if walls could talk,” sparks a curiosity that can only be satisfied by seeing what all the hype is about, ourselves.

Too busy to stop by some of the 350+ buildings included in the Open house? We get it, which is why Beal Properties has put together a list of must-see sites near you this weekend!


Baha’i House Of Worship

100 Linden Ave.

Credit: Baha’i House Of Worship on Facebook

Just north of Northwestern’s campus, the Baha’i Temple is one of just ten dedicated temples of the Baha’i Faith in the entire world and the only one in the United States. Construction on the temple finished in 1953, and in 1978, added to the National Register of Historic Places. The structure itself is magnificent; both from the inside and the outside and quite literally, it’s one-of-a-kind. This weekend, visitors will have the exclusive opportunity to take photos inside.



International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.

Credit: International Museum of Surgical Science on Facebook

The lakeshore mansion is the former home of Chicagoan, Eleanor Robinson Countiss. It was a wedding gift designed in the style of Le Petit Trianon, a building at Versailles. The mansion was constructed in 1915, and in 1950 was acquired by the International College of Surgeons. Since 1954, it has been the only museum in the continent dedicated to the field of surgery, displaying photographs, paintings and drawings, sculpture, medical equipment, skeletons, medical specimens, and historical artifacts. This weekend will include a full tour of the museum and mansion, alongside access to the house history exhibition, “This House Was Once a Home.”



Athenaeum Theatre 

2936 N. Southport Ave.

Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

The Athenaeum Theatre, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, is the oldest continuously-operating off-Loop theater in Chicago. It opened in November 1911 and has since played host to several services and activities — from theater to recreation. It’s also been both a social hall and a school. The historic theater has survived the test of time, including a 1939 fire, and continues to greet audiences with its Old World elegance. The main auditorium seats 985 in completely unobstructed seats, while smaller studio theaters sit between 67 and 87. The Open House will take audiences through the lobby and mainstage, while the arts groups in residence will be on hand to talk about their programming and upcoming performances.



The National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

2520 N. Lakeview Ave. 

Credit: National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini on Facebook

Located in Lincoln Park, the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was built in 1955 to celebrate the life of America’s first citizen-Saint, Mother Cabrini. For nearly 50 years, it was located in the heart of Columbus Hospital, founded by Mother Cabrini in 1905. After the hospital closed in 2002, the shrine re-opened in 2012, following a completed renovation. The chapel is an architectural gem of gold mosaics, Carrara marble, frescoes, and Florentine stained glass, and it stands as a center for prayer, worship, spiritual care, and pilgrimage. Volunteers can visit the stunning chapel, courtyard, and museum space.



Airstream Building 

1807 W. Sunnyside Ave. 

Credit: Garrett Karp

If you’ve taken the Brown Line through Ravenswood, chances are you’ve seen the 1960s-era silver Airstream trailer sitting atop an office rooftop. The strange landmark is the creation of architect Ed Noonan and has since become one of the city’s most whimsical sites, as well as a standout venue for events and parties. Visitors can climb to the rooftop deck to take in skyline views, then step inside the vintage Airstream trailer.



The Joinery 

2533 W. Homer St. 

Credit: Eric Allix Rogers

The Joinery in Logan Square has gone through many phases — from a mop handle factory to a letterpress warehouse, to a workshop for a custom cabinetmaker. Now, it’s one of the city’s top event spaces, preserving its historical feel and several iconic elements. Included, old marketing signage, a 100-year-old bandsaw, a sanding belt, and a 2-ton safe. Visitors can check out the main space and its industrial skylight, the speakeasy, and functional woodshop.


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