Open House Chicago 2012 — Wrap Up!

Here’s some of the photos CMB took while out on that rainy Saturday, October 13th. The pictures of the sites CMB visited are from the following neighborhoods and sites.  Click on the photos at the bottom to view a slide show!

Black Metropolis/Greater Bronzeville

1. Meyer Ace Hardware/Sunset Cafe

315 East 35th Street

Interesting FactSee the original artwork for the famous Jazz stage owned by Satchmo.

Afterthoughts: This is by far one of the best spots for the Chicago Architecture Foundation to have picked. It was wonderful seeing the back drop of the stage and looking out from the top of the office where many of the greats had played. You can see how large the seating area actually was. Additionally the docents knew the history and could answer any questions CMB had!

2. Sutherland Hotel/Chicago Blues Museum

 4657-4659 South Drexel Boulevard

Interesting Fact: The museum is not yet open, get a sneak peek at the new state of the art exhibit, The Architects of Jazz.

After thoughts: This was a great stop to learn about the foundations of Jazz in Chicago, although, Chicago Museum Blog was expecting an exhibit, it was more a conceptual idea to an exhibit. When the Chicago Blues Museum does opens its doors, the museum will be a great stop for Chicagoans and music lovers. Check out our photos on the plans for the exhibit.


1. Tribune Tower

435 North Michigan Avenue

Interesting Fact: Go to the 24th floor to see Colonel Robert McCormick office while he was the head of the Chicago Tribune

 Afterthoughts: The guides were great once CMB found the offices. The offices are on the 24th floor because it is the largest floor in the building. After the 24th floor the floor began narrower. This is the reason why the offices are not on the top floor of the Tribune Tower. The first office CMB entered was the original partner to Colonel Robert McCormick and now used as a meeting room. In the partner’s office, if he and Colonel McCormick needed a quick escape from an impending mob, the stairs in the closet went to the 25th floor; each man could then exit the building safely. Colonel McCormick’s office had his own private bathroom and entrance. After meeting with him and when he was done speaking to you, on his desk was a button and it opened a door for you to exit. Without that button, no exit. It all depended on Colonel McCormick; very intimidating and powerful man. Side note: he flew in on a sea plane and landed in the Chicago River to arrive at work everyday.

2. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse

33 West Kinzie Street

Interesting Fact: The only building with Dutch Architecture remaining in Chicago by architect Henry Ives Cobb and features Nitti’s Vault with his old phonebook of gangsters and secret rooms!

Afterthoughts: This was a quick stop, not much to see, but what was interesting to see was Nitt’s escape route. The escape route was bricked off so to see in standing on your tiptoes was needed. Next year, only stop if there is no line. Best part take a picture with Harry Caray!

3. House of Blues Foundation Room

329 North Dearborn Street

Interesting Fact: This site is only ever open for members who include CEO of major companies and rock stars along with the 11th Century Decor there are three prayer rooms – Divinity, Buddha, and Ganesh. The House of Blues Foundation Room is part of Betrand Goldberg’s Marina City Complex.

Afterthoughts: The visuals for the eyes is breathtaking between the three prayer rooms with the artifacts and set up. It was just exciting to see think CMB could be VIP if only for a hot minute!

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