Open House Chicago 2021 – Part 1

OHC is an event I try not to miss. Although some years I was in Helsinki that very weekend, and some years, the weather was really horrible, I would make it more often than not.
Each time we go together, Igor comes up with a route we never did before, and each time we explore new places (at least, new to me :))

Last year, there was no OHC due to COVID, and this year, there were way fewer sites than in pre-COVD years, which Igor declared to be a positive thing: planning became easier.

On the first part of our OHC tour, we went to the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The first stop was The Plant – a former slaughterhouse and meat-packing facility converted into a green technology site, housing 20 businesses, including indoor and outdoor farms, beer and kombucha breweries, a bread bakery, and other emerging food producers and distributors. Bubbly Dynamics, who owns the facility, tried to preserve the features of the original building. You can see the signs on the walls identifying different stages of meat processing. Also, the toilets are located in the former walk-in refrigerators. That might sound funny, but I felt very uncomfortable closing a heavy door behind me and putting the latch down. It almost felt like the temperature was about to start dropping right away.

Approaching The Plant
At the entrance
Algae everywhere!
Empty cans 🙂
It was very surprising to learn that people were touring meatpacking plants in 1860s!
Female workers of the meat packing plant
Canned meat advertisement
The old signs on the walls

The next stop was Plant Chicago. They converted this former firehouse into a center for circular economy programming. The facility features shared-use indoor growing space for plants and fungi, indoor and outdoor classrooms, a market place, a teaching kitchen, in-vessel composting, and community meeting/event space. When we were there, we could not get inside the greenhouse, because there was a virtual class going on.

There is fish in this tank, and fish’s waste is used to fertilize the plants

More pictures and information can be found here.

We ended the Back of the Yards part of our tour in the Back of the Yards Coffeehouse. It is very much no-rush place, but having a very intense day, we didn’t mind.

I ordered Mexican Chocolate, and that was the right choice!
This avocado salmon sandwich was also super-delicious, although it took a while 🙂
Amazing murals neaby

To be continued

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