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Iconic Edgewater Buildings Showcased This Weekend For Open House Chicago


courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers

This weekend an amazing event is happening throughout the city! The Chicago Archicture Foundation has organized Open House Chicago. It will give everyone the opportunity to gain free entry to Chicago buildings and city history. The idea is simple, to give people a “behind-the-scenes look at many of the city’s great places and spaces.”

On October 18-19, 2014 these 150 designated places will be open to the public typically from 9am-5pm (though times may vary). According to the website, “Explore repurposed mansions, hidden rooms, sacred spaces, private clubs, iconic theatres, offices, hotels and more—all for free.” They add, “Open House Chicago (OHC) gives you access to buildings that tell the stories of Chicago communities and cultures. By venturing into diverse neighborhoods for self-guided exploration, OHC participants come together to discover community and place.”

Among the many places around Chicago, Edgewater makes its contribution with eight entries. The website lists these local icons:

  • Berger Park Cultural Center (Downey House)
    6205 N. Sheridan Rd. Berger Park Cultural Center

    Behind the Scenes Access: See the interior of one of the last remaining lakefront mansions on Sheridan Road, which is now a field house and recreation center for Berger Park.

    Saturday: 9am-1pm, Sunday: 1pm-5pm,
    Architect: William Carbys Zimmerman, 1906

  • Berger Park North Mansion (Gunder House)
    6219 N. Sheridan Rd.

    Behind the Scenes Access: Explore one of Chicago’s last remaining lakefront mansions, converted for use as a cultural center.

    Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 1pm-5pm
    Architect: Myron H. Church, 1910

  • Edgewater Beach Apartments
    5555 N. Sheridan Rd.

    Behind-the-Scenes Access: See the historic pool and indoor terrace.

    Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 9am-5pm
    Architect: Marshall & Fox, 1928

  • Edgewater Historical Society and Museum
    5358 N. Ashland Ave.

    Behind the Scenes Access: Learn about the early history and development of Edgewater, and its history with the automobile, from those dedicated to preserving and interpreting it.

    Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm
    Architect: Unknown, 1926

  • Episcopal Church of the Atonement
    5751 N. Kenmore Ave.

    Behind the Scenes Access: Explore one of Chicago’s oldest churches and venture below to the columbarium.

    Saturday: 11am-5pm, Sunday: 1pm-5pm
    Architects: Henry Ives Cobb, 1890. Expansions in 1910 and 1919 by William Pridmore.

  • Firehouse Chicago
    1545 W. Rosemont Ave.

    Behind the Scenes Access: Take in this lovingly-restored former firehouse, with vintage spiral staircase and firepole connecting the ground-floor event space with upper-floor offices. Restoration architect Joel Berman, of Berman Architecture, will be on hand all day Sunday to speak with OHC visitors.

    Saturday: 9am-1pm, Sunday: 9am-5pm
    Architect: Unknown, 1906

  • Sacred Heart Schools, Driehaus Center (Conway House)
    6200 N. Sheridan Rd.

    Behind the Scenes Access: Take in the opulence of this restored and rarely-open mansion, one of the last survivors of Sheridan Road’s days as a millionaire’s row.

    Saturday: 9am-5pm, Sunday: 9am-5pm
    Architect: William Carbys Zimmerman, 1906

  • St. Ita Church
    5500 N. Broadway

    Behind the Scenes Access: Visit Henry Schlack’s masterpiece, the grandest church in Edgewater.

    Saturday: 10am-4pm, Sunday: 2pm-4pm
    Architect: Henry J. Schlacks, 1927

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