Woodstock welcomes visitors for 'Doors Open' Illinois Tourism Weekend

 
Submitted by Terry Willcockson
Updated 8/18/2018 12:14 AM
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  • The Old McHenry County Courthouse was constructed in 1857 and designed by John Mills Van Osdel, considered to be Chicago's first professional architect and designer of other significant Illinois structures such as Chicago's City Hall, the Chicago mayor's house, Cook County Courthouse and the recently restored Illinois Governor's Mansion. Free tours of the building will be offered during Doors Open Illinois Aug. 25-26, as part of the state's bicentennial celebration.

    The Old McHenry County Courthouse was constructed in 1857 and designed by John Mills Van Osdel, considered to be Chicago's first professional architect and designer of other significant Illinois structures such as Chicago's City Hall, the Chicago mayor's house, Cook County Courthouse and the recently restored Illinois Governor's Mansion. Free tours of the building will be offered during Doors Open Illinois Aug. 25-26, as part of the state's bicentennial celebration. Courtesy of Krista Coltrin

Always glad to welcome and entertain new friends and old, the City of Woodstock will roll out the red carpet the weekend of Aug. 25, as a featured participant in Illinois Office of Tourism's "Doors Open" promotion, part of the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration.

The promotion promises to offer "a glimpse behind the doors of Illinois' historical and architectural treasures."

Through a competitive application process, only 22 sites throughout Chicago and the northeastern Illinois region were selected to participate.

Woodstock boasts two selected sites: the Woodstock Square Historic District, collectively, and the Woodstock Opera House, individually.

The promotion requires tours be offered at no charge to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

Woodstock will coordinate tours of its two landmarked Historic Square anchor buildings, the 1857 Old McHenry County Courthouse and the 1889 Woodstock Opera House.

This event offers the opportunity for residents and visitors alike to see the high-quality interior features of these impressive buildings, with detailed tours provided by Friends of the Old Courthouse board directors, and Woodstock Opera House staff members.

Additional walking tours of downtown historic buildings and "Groundhog Day" filming sights may also be available.

Details about the promotion, and all that Woodstock has to offer visitors that weekend, can be found at: www.enjoyillinois.com or by calling the city manager's office at (815) 338-4301.

Highlights include the Friday night tribute by Dave Halston as Frank Sinatra at the Opera House, a show reviewers call "spot on", while Saturday evening offers Northwest Area Arts Council's free gala opening reception for the renowned annual exhibition "Real People" at the Old Courthouse.

Both facilities are owned and maintained by the City of Woodstock, with the Old Courthouse currently undergoing major restoration. Tax-deductible donation opportunities are provided ongoing through Friends of the Old Courthouse at www.friendsoftheoldcourthouse.org.

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