Open House Chicago: Exploring Chicago Behind the Scenes

Open House Chicago is a chance to explore the city's greatest places and spaces behind the scenes.  Many of the sites are rarely, if ever, open to the pubic.  Open House Chicago is completely free of charge and operates as an open house typically does; you show up on your own time and walk around... no buying tickets, or waiting for long tours to start, you get to explore more than 200 sites at your own free will, for one weekend only.

As a curious, adventurous person, I've been pumped about this event since I discovered it.  I'm not sure how I missed this in the years past, but I know I won't be missing it again.  We live in a very big city with so much to explore, and Open House Chicago provided the opportunity to dig deep inside Chicago, an architecturally and culturally vibrant city.

So, on Saturday and Sunday, I hopped on my bike and took advantage of this unique event.  Here's what I saw and learned...

Site: Basecamp
Location: 30 N. Racine Ave., STE. 200
What I Learned: Basecamp's office is like their software; simple, yet elegant.

Basecamp HQ, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Basecamp HQ, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Basecamp HQ, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Basecamp HQ, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Site: Metropolitan Club at Willis Tower
Location: 233 S. Wacker Dr. 67th Floor
What I learned: Members aren't necessarily "movers and shakers", more business people who join for networking purposes.  Shares the same building as the Unity Airlines HQ, so many members are from there.

Metropolitan Club, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Metropolitan Club, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Metropolitan Club, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Metropolitan Club, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Site: Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
Location: 55 E. Wacker Dr.
What I learned: "Christian Science" and "Scientology" are not the same.  In fact, they share very few beliefs.

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Science.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Science.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Site: McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
Location: 376 N. Michigan Av. Riverwalk Level
What I learned: There are 4 common bridge types in Chicago: the Bascule Trunnion, Center Pier Swing Bridge, Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge, and the Vertical Lift Bridge.

Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago River Musuem.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago River Musuem.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Underneath the MIchigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago River Museum.  Photo by Jake Barltett

Underneath the MIchigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago River Museum.  Photo by Jake Barltett

Site: Sky-Line Club
Location: 307 N. Michigan Ave.
What I learned: I will never have enough money to join this club.

Sky line Club, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Sky line Club, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

View from the Skyline Club's Rooftop, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

View from the Skyline Club's Rooftop, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Site: Ignite Glass Studios
Location: 401 N. Armour St.
What I learned: Creating glass art takes a tremendous amount of team work, attention to detail, and hard work.

Ignite Glass Studios, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

Ignite Glass Studios, Chicago.  Photo by Jake Bartlett

To learn more about Open House Chicago, visit openhousechicago.org