EDGEWATER — The Far North Side abounds with stunning architecture.
And this weekend the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago festival will allow everyone to take a peek behind the doors of some of the neighborhood's structural gems.
Check out the top five places to visit — for free — on Saturday and Sunday.
1. Indoor Pools at Park Castle Condominiums and Park Gables Apartments
These two buildings at the edge of Indian Boundary Park each have an indoor swimming pool. Park Castle, at 2416-58 W. Greenleaf Ave., opened in 1925 and was designed by architect Jens J. Jensen. As its name suggests, it resembles a castle from the outside. Park Gables, at 2428-84 W. Estes Ave., was designed by James Denson and opened in 1927. The Tudor Revival apartment building is named for its gabled slate roofs.
2. Recently Restored Emil Bach House
In Rogers Park, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Emil Bach House had been faithfully restored by Col. Jennifer Pritzker's Tawani Enterprises. Members of the Frank Lloyd Wright House Trust hailed the restoration as "one of the most complete restorations" of a Wright house ever. The Emil Bach house was designated a Chicago Landmark on Sept. 28, 1977. The Prairie-style home, at 7415 N. Sheridan Road, was completed in 1915.
3. Loyola University's New Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Loyola University's new Institute of Environmental Sustainability features a biodiesel lab, geothermal heating and a glass-covered atrium filled with pots of basil, lettuce and other plants grown by an aquaponics system and greenhouse. Student rooms in a new 412-bed dorm overlook the nursery below. The building was designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and opened in 2013. It will be available to view 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday only at 6349 N. Kenmore Ave.
4. Firehouse Chicago
This former firehouse, which housed Engine Company 70 when it was built in 1906, was transformed in 2006 into the new home of a film production company. The building features restored white tile walls, a front engine door and one of the original brass fire poles. The architect of the firehouse, at 1545 W. Rosemont Ave., is unknown.
5. St. Ita Church's 200,000 Pieces of Stained Glass
The nearly 90-year-old limestone bell tower was recently renovated to save the aging structure. The Gothic-style church was built between 1924 and 1927 under the authority of Cardinal George Mundelein. Architect Henry J. Schlacks designed the church and 120-foot-tall tower, which alone contains 1,800 tons of stone and rests on a foundation that extends 9 feet below the sidewalk. The sanctuary contains more than 200,000 pieces of stained glass.
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