An annual event that is a treasured favorite amongst our team, Doors Open literally opens the doors of buildings—forgotten and sometimes abandoned—in towns across the world for us to explore, awe-over, and respectfully cherish. With the purpose of sharing the beauty and mystery of overlooked architecture and the power of heritage, these days are hosted by swarms of knowledgeable volunteers eager to narrate the history and magic of their surrounding spaces.
During a time when our lives are far too often consumed by work and responsibilities and our eyes ever looking down to our phones and computers, an opportunity to look up and look deeper into our surroundings can be heartwarmingly grounding. Engaging with and connecting to the charm of where you are and discovering the colorful history of surrounding spaces can—beyond sparking curiosity— instill a much needed sense of place and peace.
Sometimes referred to as Heritage Days, or Open House Days, or simply Open Days, these international events make it possible to expand your knowledge of the world around you. London alone opens doors to over 800 buildings each year and the US city don't disappoint, with participation from cities from New York and Chicago to Pittsburg and Pawtucket. Regardless of whether you take advantage of the opportunity to explore within your own community or adventure to a new place to scope out novelty, you will find plenty of spaces to spark inspiration.
And the event is not limited to buildings. We once, during a Doors Open tour, had the privilege of walking through a neglected overgrown park in a town that slipped into disarray and learned the park has a hopelessly beautiful origin story dating back to 1890. Designed as an aesthetic romantic park, the space featured elevated hills and specimen trees in addition to fountains, statues, pagodas covered with sculptural steel umbrellas, and an impressive 70ft tall tower. The park also boasts a Native American history that further solidified our new-found love for this overlooked city gem. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the park is a space we have driven past without a second thought until Doors Open opened our eyes to its magic.
Spending a day exploring whats around you is an experience we hope you come to make tradition!