Doors Open Days

Last updated

Doors Open Days (also known as Open House or Open Days in some communities) provide free access to buildings not normally open to the public. The first Doors Open Day took place in France in 1984, [1] [ clarification needed ] and the concept has spread to other places in Europe (see European Heritage Days), North America, [2] Australia and elsewhere.


Doors Open Days promotes architecture and heritage sites to a wider audience within and beyond the country's borders. It is an opportunity to discover hidden architectural gems and to see behind doors that are rarely open to the public for free.

Open Doors Days trace their origin to the 1990 Door Open Day held as part of Glasgow's year as European City of Culture. [3]

Heritage Open Days in England

Heritage Open Days established in 1994 celebrate English architecture and culture allowing visitors free access to historical landmarks that are either not usually open to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee. [4]

List of Doors Open events in England

Doors open days in Scotland

Doors Open Days is organised by the Scottish Civic Trust. Alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, [5] the open days form Scotland's contribution to European Heritage Days. This joint initiative between the Council of Europe and the European Union aims to give people a greater understanding of each other through sharing and exploring cultural heritage. 49 countries across Europe take part annually, in September.

During Glasgow's year as European City of Culture in 1990, organisers ran an Open Doors event, an event credited with popularizing the Doors Open concept and spreading it to other countries. [3] Its popularity encouraged other areas to take part the following year and were coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust. Doors Open Days now take place throughout Scotland thanks to a dedicated team of area coordinators. These coordinators work for a mixture of organisations: local councils, civic trusts, heritage organisations and archaeological trusts.

Scotland is one of the few participating countries where events take place every weekend in September, with different areas choosing their own dates. More than 900 buildings now take part. In 2008, over 225,000 visits were made generating £2 million for the Scottish economy. It is estimated that 5,000 or more volunteers give their time to run activities and open doors for members of the public.

Doors Open Days was supported in 2009 by Homecoming Scotland 2009, [6] a year-long initiative that marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns. It was funded by the Scottish Government and part financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund. Its aim was to engage Scots at home, as well as motivate people of Scottish descent and those who simply love Scotland, to take part in an inspirational celebration of Scottish culture and heritage.

Open house in Australia

Open House events are organised in Australia in partnership with Open House Worldwide. The first Open House event took place in Melbourne in 2008. This was followed by Brisbane in 2010, and Adelaide and Perth in 2012.


Doors Open Canada began in 2000.

List of Doors Open events in Canada

United States

List of Doors Open events in the U.S.

See also


  1. " - Discover an unexpected France embraced and enjoyed by those who make it what it is".
  2. About Doors Open Ontario Retrieved 25 February 2010 Archived February 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. 1 2 O'Toole, Bill (17 September 2018). "Doors Open event returns to Pittsburgh, giving you inside access to normally off-limits spaces". Next Pittsburgh. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. "History | Heritage Open Days".
  6. "Home".
  7. "Doors Open Baltimore". Doors Open Baltimore. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  8. "Doors Open Buffalo". Doors Open Buffalo. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  9. "Doors Open Milwaukee". Historic Milwaukee, Inc. Historic Milwaukee, Inc. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  10. "Doors Open Minneapolis". Doors Open Minneapolis. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  11. "Doors Open Pittsburgh".
  12. "Doors Open Rhode Island". Doors Open Rhode Island. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  13. "Passport DC". Events DC. Retrieved 2023-05-13.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Victorian architecture</span> Series of architectural revival styles

Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign, roughly from 1850 and later. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles (see Historicism). The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Milwaukee Road 261</span> Preserved American 4-8-4 locomotive

Milwaukee Road 261 is a class "S3" 4-8-4 "Northern" type steam locomotive built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in Schenectady, New York in July 1944 for the Milwaukee Road.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brookland (Washington, D.C.)</span> Place in the United States

Brookland, also known as Little Rome, is a neighborhood located in the Northeast (NE) quadrant of Washington, D.C. It is best known for its numerous Catholic institutions, including schools, religious communities, shrines, institutes, and other organizations built and based around the Catholic University of America.

Populous, legally Populous Holdings, Inc., is a global architectural and design practice specializing in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers, as well as the planning and design of major special events.

Heritage Open Days is an annual celebration of England's architecture and culture that allows visitors free access to historical landmarks that are either not usually open to the public, would normally charge an entrance fee, or that are always free to visitors and always open to the public. It also includes tours, events and activities related to architecture and culture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">European Heritage Days</span>

European Heritage Days (EHD) is a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission involving all 50 signatory states of the European Cultural Convention under the motto, Europe: a common heritage. The annual programme offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public. It aims to widen access and foster care for architectural and environmental heritage. These events are also known as Doors Open Days and Open Doors Days in English-speaking countries.

America's 11 Most Endangered Places or America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places is a list of places in the United States that the National Trust for Historic Preservation considers the most endangered. It aims to inspire Americans to preserve examples of architectural and cultural heritage that could be "relegated to the dustbins of history" without intervention.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open House New York</span> American nonprofit organization

Open House New York (OHNY) is a cultural nonprofit organization that holds annual Doors Open Days. It was founded in 2001 in New York City.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts</span> Performing arts center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Heinz Hall is a performing arts center and concert hall located at 600 Penn Avenue in the Cultural District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, the 2,676 seat hall presents about 200 performances each year. Originally built in 1927 as Loew's Penn Theatre, the former movie palace was renovated and reopened as Heinz Hall in 1971.

The Scottish Civic Trust is a registered charity. Founded in 1967, and based in the Category A-listed Tobacco Merchant's House in Glasgow, the Trust aims to provide "leadership and focus in the protection, enhancement and development of Scotland's built environment". It often comments on planning applications. From 1990 to 2011 the Trust maintained the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland and delivers the popular Doors Open Days programme in Scotland. The current director of the Trust is Susan O'Connor.

The Cockburn Association is one of the world's oldest architectural conservation and urban planning monitoring organisations, founded in 1875.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leeds Civic Trust</span> Voluntary organisation and registered charity

Leeds Civic Trust is a voluntary organisation and registered charity established in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1965. Affiliated to the national charity Civic Voice, its stated purpose is "to stimulate public interest in and care for the beauty, history, and character of the city and locality, to encourage high standards of design, architecture and town planning; [and] to encourage the development and improvement of features of general public amenity".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Club Baths</span> Gay bathhouse chain in the US and Canada

Club Baths was a chain of gay bathhouses in the United States and Canada with particular prominence from the 1960s through the 1990s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Festival of British Archaeology</span>

The Festival of Archaeology is a fortnight-long festival coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). It is an annual UK-wide festival, during which events take place across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Lester Johnson was an American artist and educator. Johnson was a member of the Second Generation of the New York School during the late 1950s. The subject of much of his work is the human figure. His style is considered by critics and art historians to be in the figurative expressionist mode.

The Civic Trust for Wales was founded in 1964. It is a registered charity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conservation in Scotland</span>

This article gives an overview of the structure of environmental and cultural conservation in Scotland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tag des offenen Denkmals</span> Historical preservation event in Germany

The Tag des offenen Denkmals is an annual event all over Germany. The day of action has been coordinated by the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz since 1993. Historic monuments are open to the public free of charge. It takes place on the second Sunday in September and attracts several million visitors each year. The largest cultural event in Germany is the contribution of the country to the European Heritage Days.