(CBS) — Open House Chicago is this weekend, providing behind the scenes access to 250 sites over two days. The annual Chicago Architecture Center event has so many amazing locations to explore.
And it’s free!
Here are just five of them. It is by no means a definitive best list, but we have chosen a few places at various locations to give you a jumping off point to your adventure.
> Frank Lloyd Wright Home/Studio, 951 Chicago Avenue: It’s only open on Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and you can use FLW’s home as a starting point to explore locations in Oak Park (While not part of the Open House, several Wright designed homes are nearby as part of an outdoor walking tour.)
> Metropolis Coffee Roasterie, 3057 N. Rockwell, Avondale, Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m, Sun, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. : This former tannery “anchors a new hub for food businesses being developed along the Chicago River,” according to the Architecture guidebook.
> Optimo, 1700 W. 95th Street, Beverly, Saturday only, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: An historic firehouse is now a factory for the Optimo hat company.
>Michigan Avenue Bridgehouse, Michigan Avenue/Chicago River, Sat./Sun, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Get an inside look at how the Chicago River bridges work. You can even get an up close view of the mechanicals that raise and lower them. Then, take a stroll along the newish Chicago River walk. Head west along the river for several blocks.
>Zap Props, 3611 S. Loomis Place, Bridgeport, Sat/Sun, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Used by television and movie production companies for all variety of props. This place is packed with an incredible array of memorabilia for rent. It is impossible to describe the amount of stuff in this place. You have to see it to believe it.
While not on the list, visitors should check out the new home of Open House Chicago’s presenter, Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Drive. (just east of Michigan Avenue.)
They have a gorgeous new layout and cool gift shop and skyscraper models on display.