Last weekend, the boy and I decided to check out a few new-to-us places thanks to Open House Chicago. Each year, the city opens up hundreds of buildings for free tours that are normally closed to the public. We went into three buildings (and tried to see three others, but the lines were really long!) and enjoyed a beautiful day exploring in our own back yard.
We wanted our first stop to be the Emil Bach House, a Frank Lloyd Wright building in Rogers Park. It's a decent little trek for us to get to that side of town — about half an hour by car — and when we got there, the line was insanely long. Since the Bach House is something that we can buy tickets to and tour another day, we decided to skip it. In order to not make our trip to Rogers Park a total bust, we went into International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
It's always interesting and education to enter another culture, and ISKCON was certainly that. I am not very knowledgeable about Hare Krishna, and it was wonderful learning about the building from the inviting and friendly tour guides.
We then aimed to head downtown and pulled off near Navy Pier. I had remembered seeing the Lake Point Towers on the list of sites and we were intrigued by the shape of this one. It's another really tall condo building right on the lake — something I never ever get the opportunity to walk into.
My favorite part was the entrance. You walk in from underneath and into this large round cutout that lets all sorts of wonderful shadows and light in to the valet parking area below.
The 'rooftop garden' is actually a nice green space that sits on top of the third floor. The rest of the building shoots up from there for unobstructed views of the lake.
The entrance and exit for this greenspace was an airy granite and stone triangular-shaped hallway. The walls were all glass and allowed for me to grab some photos in the wonderful fall afternoon light.
I mean, this is pretty killer for shooting indoor with an old-as-hell Nikon! My FujiFilm is still at the repair center and they have 'no idea' if they can fix it or not. Blergh! I miss my favorite camera!
Our last site was the Oriental Theatre. Holy shit. I didn't even know this place existed and it's so beautiful! there was so much amazing carving, lighting, carpeting, and fixture details in this space that my mind was blown. Going back to my camera woes, I really was wishing I had my camera to get some photos that would do this place better justice than my silly iPhone!
We attempted to see the Aon Building (I was dying for that great view) and the Chicago Athletic Association, but had no luck due to lines. That's okay, though! We thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday seeing these places and will have a better idea how to plan ourselves next year!
Personally, I love checking out buildings and apartments and all sorts of places — even if I don't have an intention of renting or buying or working in them. I like enjoy architecture for what it is, no matter the size. How about you? Do you find yourself venturing into buildings (abandoned or otherwise) and daydreaming about what homes must look like on the inside?
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