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Here's a look at the dozens of new sites to visit for Open House Chicago 2023

From Walt Disney’s birthplace to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, this year's Open House tour offers up plenty of the city's well-known and hidden gems

James Neveau

This weekend, Chicago Open House is back to give visitors free behind-the-scenes tours of iconic Chicago landmarks. Over 40 sites have been added in this year’s two-day festival for returners and newcomers alike to explore. 

Chicago Open House has over 170 sites across more than 20 of the city's neighborhoods, featuring schools, churches, businesses and other architecturally notable buildings across the city’s history.

In addition to free access to these buildings, participants can take self-guided historical tours and engage in a variety of programs scheduled this weekend. 

Find a full map of this year’s sites here, or download the Chicago Architecture Center app available on iPhone and Android to curate your own itinerary and stay up to date.

These are some of the new sites you can explore this year:

The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre – 800 E. Grand Ave. (Navy Pier)

This iconic Chicago theater has cemented itself as a landmark of the city’s arts with 700 seats and more space in its yard built to hold as many as twenty productions and 650 performances each year. The theater is a Regional Tony Award recipient and features three dynamic theater spaces. Its most famous stage is the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater which has a design inspired by Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre. 

Walt Disney's birthplace home – 2156 N. Tripp Ave. (Hermosa)

Explore the birthplace of your favorite children’s movies by visiting the house where Walt Disney was born. Walt’s father, Elias Disney built the house and their family moved in early 1893. This is the first time the home will be open to the public so expect crowds on Saturday afternoon.

The Pullman National Historical Park – 610 E. 111th St. (Pullman)

This national park allows visitors to explore the history of one of the first planned industrial communities in the United States. The park houses historic buildings, many of which has a significant impact on the innovation of American railroad transportation, urban planning and design. 

Paul and Jean Harris Home – 10856 S. Longwood Dr. (Beverly)

Paul Harris was a Chicago attorney who formed the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1905 for diverse professionals to form meaningful friendships. Visitors can explore the place where Harris and his friends grew the Rotary movement that expanded to have over 5,600 clubs in 75 countries, with more than 259,000 members by the time he passed away in 1947. 

BUILD Headquarters – 5100 W. Harrison St. (Austin)

Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development (BUILD) is an organization centered on gang intervention, violence prevention and youth development that was founded in 1969. BUILD helps over 2,500 youth a year across their various programs. 

Artist on the Nine  – 737 E. 79th St. (Chatham)

This community space led by The Greater Chatham Initiative was converted from a vacant storefront into a gallery and studio focused on merging historic preservation with local community development. The space is currently occupied by three resident artists who Chicago Open House participants can visit to view their projects.  

Kimball Arts Center – 1757 N. Kimball Ave. (Humboldt Park)

This arts center has been home to a variety of local independent businesses for over 15 years. The venue also hosts events and space for artists and designers to lease. 

The Grand Ballroom – 6351 S. Cottage Grove Ave. (Hyde Park)

A historic landmark of the Jazz Age, the Grand Ballroom houses shops and a ballroom filled with elegant designs. Design details include the ballroom’s terracotta facade, an original 60-foot oak bar and Cinderella motifs. The venue is newly renovated and frequently hosts events. 

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