Keep Your Face to the Sun:
Open House Chicago 2018 and Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

This weekend included a double dose of Trail Tracing with our annual participation in Open House Chicago and a visit to the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.

As you may recall, if you’ve been following along since the beginning, every year the Chicago Architecture Center (formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation), organizes what is called “Open House Chicago”. It’s an amazing event, spread among many different neighborhoods all over Chicago and even a few suburbs, where “folks like us” can tour buildings and office spaces that aren’t normally open to the public. Here’s a link to last year’s blog for those who haven’t seen it yet – City Hike – Open House Chicago 2017.

For the 2018 Open House Chicago, my Trail Tracing partner and I made the decision to visit some neighborhoods that we haven’t ever visited before. First, we visited the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s west side. Here’s some information for anyone wanting to learn more about the Austin neighborhood. Immediately after parking, we were presented with the following tree in all of its fall splendor, and the stained glass window shown below is in the Fraternite Notre Dame church. “Click” on the previous link for more information about this Catholic religious order.

Yellow Fall Tree

Next, we headed east to Garfield Park for a visit to the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church. This church is housed in what used to be St. Mel Holy Ghost Catholic Church which was closed in 1988. Here’s a link to see the outside of the church – New Mount Pilgrim Church. The inside of the church has been lovingly restored with many of the original stained glass windows and other original architectural elements remaining. However, over the years, two new “rose windows” have been installed, and they are simply magnificent (and a third, honoring youth who have left us too soon, will be installed in the near future).

Following are pictures of the rose window at the front of the building and a close-up shot of one of the original stained glass windows.

New Mt Pilgrim Founders Rose Window

And here’s a picture of the other rose window – the “Remembrance” window. Seeing it for the first time truly took my breath away.

New Mt Pilgrim Remembrance Rose Window

As it turned out, the overriding themes for my Open House Chicago experience were light, stained glass, and healing the world.

Sunday was a busy day, so we kept the Trail Tracing adventure closer to home with another visit to the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. Thanks in part to the “magic” hedge, this is one of the best places in Chicago for birdwatching (or, just walking around).

Here are a few pictures and the video “proof” of our sun-filled experience. And, after watching the video, if you feel so inclined, we’d appreciate your subscribing to the Trail Tracing channel.

Montrose Point Chicago Skyline
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary 1
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary 2
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary 3

If you live in Chicago (or are looking for a fall trip next year to the city), mark your calendar for the 2019 Open House Chicago. And, if you enjoy birding and spectacular view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline, please find a time to visit the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.

find a trail ~ find your path

~Trail Tracing

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