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Gary is throwing open the doors of architecturally significant downtown buildings, both occupied and abandoned, during an open house this Saturday. 

The Gary Redevelopment Department and AmeriCorps volunteers are hosting an open house across downtown Gary from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that's similar to the popular Open House Chicago, where people explore historic and unique buildings throughout the city.

Visitors can check out the Gary State Bank building, the Lake County Courthouse, Gary City Hall, the Gary Land Company Building, the abandoned Union Station, the Old Gary Post Office, the outside of City Methodist Church and the Genesis Towers, formerly Hotel Gary. There will be historic information at each site, and docents can talk about redevelopment plans.

"Some structures slated for the open house are in active use while others have been left abandoned," the city said in a news release. "By displaying downtown’s historic architecture, the Gary Preservation Tour seeks to tell the history of Gary, Indiana. Furthermore, the Open House will promote historic preservation while branding downtown as a vibrant, walkable space."

Tour participants can take part in a tasting event at ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, 411 E. Fifth Ave., and tour the Human Rights Museum in The Gary Human Relations Commission that's located in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building at 839 Broadway. They also can visit the abandoned General Services building at 900 Madison St. to talk to artist Jan Tichy about his Heat, Light & Water Project. Tichy will talk about his vision for the building and give out art pieces made from salvaged materials.

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Gary raised more than $9,000 in donations on Patronicity and secured a $7,500 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to stage the tour.

There is no cost or registration. Tour participants must wear closed-toes shoes and sign waivers.

Any out-of-town visitors also could swing by Gary's Miller neighborhood for the Lake Effekt 2017 graffiti expo Saturday or listen to music at the concurrent 2017 Gospel Music and Art Festival in Gateway Park downtown.

Visit facebook.com/PreserveGary for more information.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.