A couple weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal had a story, "Come in, we're open," about some of the "doors open" events around the world. From the Doors Open Canada event organizing webpage:
The Doors Open concept was first introduced to North America from Scotland in 2000 thanks to the vision and dedication of Heritage Toronto and the City of Toronto's Culture Division. Today, cities in over 40 countries in Europe host Doors Open events. All Doors Open events start from the principle of accessibility: admission to all participating buildings is free. In the wake of the overwhelming success of Doors Open Toronto a number of other Ontario cities and towns lost no time in opening doors to their own culturally important buildings to the public with the support of the Ontario Heritage Foundation.
DC doesn't participate in "Doors Open" specifically, although there are a number of "fellow traveler" type events such as Passport DC, which focuses on embassies (going on now), the upcoming Kalorama-Dupont Museum Walk (first weekend in June), and the Walking (and Biking) Town DC program, now scheduled for the last two weekends in September.
Many cities do Doors Open, and the events tend to include culture institutions like museums, arts related activities, and architectural landmarks.
- At the end of May is Toronto's, which is one of the biggest in the world: Doors Open Toronto, May 28-29.
- Melbourne's Open House is June 30-31
- In September, Doors Open Scotland lasts all month, and London's is Sept. 17-18.
- Chicago (Oct. 14-16) and New York (Oct. 15-16) have them the same weekend.
-- Doors Open Canada explanatory webpage