Freehand Chicago
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Freehand Chicago

Traveller (377)
Panorama at the Freehand Chicago
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Room & Suite (340)

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About

4.0
#4 of 8 hostels in Chicago
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.9 of 5 bubbles
Value
Freehand Chicago, located just 2 blocks from Michigan Avenue in the heart of River North, offers comfortable accommodations and great dining all in a building featuring the designs of renowned firm Roman & Williams. Our hotel features queen and king bedded rooms as well as rooms featuring 2 sets of bunk beds (4 twin beds in total), and two Penthouse Suites in a historic building. We have a coffee shop, Café Integral, as well as an award-winning cocktail bar, Broken Shaker.
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Property amenities
Parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Business Centre with Internet Access
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
24-hour check-in
Wifi
Restaurant
Shared lounge / TV area
24-hour front desk
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
Room features
Air conditioning
Room service
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Trendy
Centrally Located
Languages Spoken
English

Location

19 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611-2707
Getting there
Great for walkers
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 100 out of 100
100
Midway Airport
15.7 km
See all flights
O'Hare Intl Airport
25.2 km
See all flights
Grand
2 minChicago L
974Reviews27Q+A100Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
rvidalma wrote a review Aug 2021
South Bend, Indiana
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The Freehand Bunk beds are probably the best in any hostel I've been at. The stairs to get up to the top beds are wood and thick enough that it doesn't hurt your feet when you climb up barefoot. Each bed has its little curtain to block off the light + an individual light inside the bed area, and a little shelf to put your phone while it charges.
However, the bedroom shower however was a mess, the curtains were not long enough to cover the area properly and whenever you showered water would leak out to the bathroom area. Some of the other residents put some towels on the floor to help with the water leaving a soggy mess of towels and a wet floor.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: August 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 11 Aug 2021
Thank you for this feedback! We want all of our guests to have an amazing stay so I will pass this along with your exact room number to our staff to ensure we dont have this experience moving forward. Thank you for choosing Freehand Chicago!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
3er1vl34rn wrote a review Jul 2021
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed at the Freehand Chicago during 4th of July weekend. Located in downtown Chicago, this hotel is a great value for travellers of all kinds on a budget. The rooms were clean and the hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. There is paid parking conveniently located a block away from the hotel and everything downtown is a short walk or ride away. The atmosphere of the hotel was great and there was always something going on when I came back at night. I will definitely stay at one of their other locations should my travels take me there, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: July 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 6 Jul 2021
We are very happy to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. We appreciate you sharing your experience and look forward to your next visit to Freehand Chicago! Janelle X Freehand Chicago.
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Erin wrote a review Nov 2022
4.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I stayed here for three nights and enjoyed our stay. I would classify this as an elevated hostel. The king deluxe room with a private entrance and bathroom offers more privacy than a typical hostel. The room was small but clean, and had a little closet and desk for our things. I think it is a little bit pricey for what you are getting if it were anywhere else, but compared to everything else in the area, The Freehand is a great budget option. If you want to spend a lot of time relaxing in your room, choose somewhere else. If you are in an active trip and will mainly be out doing things in the city, I would highly recommend staying here.

Pros

The location is excellent. We were able to walk to coffee shops, shopping, restaurants, and bars.

We really liked the cafe and Broken Shaker cocktail bar. there are comfortable places to sit and have coffee, breakfast, and cocktails through the day. Very friendly staff.

Our bed, pillows, and comforter were surprisingly comfortable.

Loved the walk in shower. It had great hot water and water pressure, and they provided shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

We didn’t need them on our stay, but they have washer and dryers available.

Cons
The room was really hot and our air conditioner was either disabled or not working. Thankfully the window opened about 3 inches to cool if down but there wasn’t much air flow.

There was nowhere to fill up our reusable water bottles unless the cafe was open. We ended up having to buy plastic water bottles and hate to waste.

There are no individual or common fridges. Again, hated having to waste leftovers.
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Date of stay: November 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Kevin McMullin, Guest Services / Front Office at Freehand Chicago
Responded 13 May 2023
Z7903MWerine, Thank you for taking the time to share details of your experience. We are so pleased to read that you had a clean, comfortable stay, our location suited your needs, our team provided you with excellent service, and that you were able to take advantage of our cafe and bar. I am sorry to read that there was an issue with the AC in your room, and have shared that feedback with our maintenance team. For future stays, please know that we do have refrigerators available upon request for our individual rooms. We hope to welcome you back soon! Best Regards, Kevin McMullin Front Office Manager
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Annie wrote a review Aug 2021
Grand Haven, Michigan
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I work on boutique hotels professionally, so I’ve seen what many of them offer. I’ve visited the bar, coffee shop and lobby (for networking events) at the Freehand before, and always loved the experience in the public spaces. However, for what I paid for a queen room, I was very disappointed.

First off, the staff at the front desk were not wearing their masks properly — they were around their chin, not covering the nose — which is a bit annoying given that the policy says staff are required to wear masks, and with the rampant spread of the Delta variant during the time of my stay.

Second, the room — it’s very small, and the door should be easier to lock. It’s cumbersome and doesn’t feel very secure. In fact, someone mistakenly opened my door in the middle of the night, which freaked me out. The bed is also too low to the ground, which was rough on my back, and honestly one of the least comfortable hotel beds I have experienced.

The clipboard in the room mentions two robes, and says that you will be charged if you take them with you. There were no robes in my room at all, which is fine except that I had to clear it up with the front desk to avoid being charged.

The cold water faucet in my sink only gave hot water. And while there’s a filtered water fountain in the lobby, there are no drinking fountains or water to access on each floor. I found that to be a bit of a hassle. The front desk offers water bottles for a fee, as well.

Rooms aren’t very soundproof; I could hear a lot of noise from the people on the floor above me through the vents, for most of the night.

Lastly, like others, I’m annoyed with the fees. There is no reason to charge a resort fee — these are not resort-quality amenities. They cite the fitness center and the filtered water in the lobby. Fitness centers are standard, and the water in the lobby is accessible free of charge to non-hotel guests who come in to the lobby to sit and work, visit the coffee shop, or visit the bar. There’s also just really no reason to charge for a water fountain when it’s the only drinking water available that you don’t have to pay for at the front desk.

With all the other hotel options in the area, I’m sorry, but I really can’t recommend this one. You can get a better rate, more amenities, better service and better rooms at several other options within a mile or two. Enjoy the bar, coffee shop and lobby atmosphere, but stay somewhere else.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 11 Aug 2021
Thank you for this amazing Feedback! We will take all of this in consideration for an upcoming renovation. It is important that we can provide the best experience possible and I am sorry that we let you down. Hopefully we will see you again in the near future.
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Shawn B wrote a review Jan 2022
Chicago, Illinois
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Upon entering this hotel I discovered that the heat doesn't work in one of the rooms nor does the phone reform front desk they sent up a heater still did not heat the room, so I changed rooms still the exact same thing I turned the heater on in hopes to heat the room up while I took a shower big mistake. The room did not heat up once the heat from the shower dissipated the room became cold again I ended up sleeping in my clothes. I was so tired from doing two 9-hour shifts I only had 4-Hour window to get a hotel get something to eat and get back to work so it was late I was tired I went to sleep woke up the next morning cold contact at the front desk via in person because this phones did not work they came up to fix the room fix the heat everything was fine discovered that there was no trash bags and the garbage cans went downstairs because the phones did not work. Inform front desk I have been trying to call them a total of about seven times they inform me no you did not I asked him are you calling me a liar they basically said yes they put the phone up in front of me to show me that there was no call from my room they argued with me over a trash bag and whether or not I called out to the front desk they were rude obnoxious and I will never recommend anyone go to the freehand hotel in Chicago Illinois.
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 31 Jan 2022
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We appreciate your feedback. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your brief stay with us. We have addressed your concerns to the appropriate departments to ensure this is handled with care. Please reach out to us at any time if you have any more concerns. Please take care! Amanda Front Desk Supervisor
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horsewishr wrote a review Jan 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I felt cheated and mislead. I paid for a PREMIUM King Hotel Room. The room was INSANELY small, dark, and cramped—without a single creature comfort. Not even a plastic cup in the bathroom (no room for one!). The “couch” was two wooden bench seats pushed together, and crammed between the bed and the wall.

I questioned my reservation, and the clerk even acknowledged that all the rooms are the same size.

This property should NOT be allowed to call itself a hotel or to advertise premium rooms. It’s simply false advertising. I’m seriously wondering if my credit card company can intervene to pursue a refund.

If you’re a backpacker who wants a cheap place to flop, book here. If you’re looking for a HOTEL, RUN in the opposite direction.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 17 May 2020
Thank you for your feedback. We're very sorry to hear that you did not find your stay at our hotel to be comfortable. Likewise, I apologize for any misinformation that you may have been given. We are indeed a hotel which offers both private and hostel style dorm rooms. Our rooms vary in size depending on the room type with the Premium King and Premium Queen being on the larger end of that spectrum. Also, we offer a host of amenities which can be delivered to your room upon request. This includes coffee cups and ice. We appreciate your feedback and will share your concerns with our team. Thank you!
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mariaxangelina wrote a review Dec 2022
Brunswick, Ohio
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed here during Riot Fest and really appreciated that it was such a quick (10 minute) walk from the pink line. I even felt safe on my own at night walking there as a solo female. The hostel itself was good also, definitely on the higher end. Rooms were small (4 bed dorm) but the bunks had curtains and individual plugs and lights. The bar downstairs had great cocktails and was very lively at night. I'd come back again!
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Date of stay: September 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Kevin McMullin, Guest Services / Front Office at Freehand Chicago
Responded 13 May 2023
mariaxangelina, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We are so pleased to read that you had a great stay, our location suited your needs, you had all the amenities you needed, and you were able to take advantage of our bar. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon! Best Regards, Kevin McMullin Front Office Manager
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Jessica M wrote a review Jul 2021
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked a queen room and I saw the square footage so I expected it to be small, but it was tiny and I mean T-I-N-Y. Our room had one window that faced the inside of the building and was very dark. The window allowed in very little light and the lighting in the room was very dim, even when it was all turned on. The bed was decently comfortable, we slept well, but the mattress is on a platform bed just inches off the ground. I get this is the look and design, but in function, it felt like we were in college sleeping on a mattress on the ground. My husband is tall so getting in and out was an effort. The bathroom was nice enough, but again TINY. Also, no frills in the room, no glasses, no coffeemaker, etc. Overall the design and vibe are cool in this hotel, if you're on a budget and need a cool clean crashpad, it works. Maybe I am aging out of that and want a little more cushiness when I travel these days!
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: July 2021
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
MMKLH wrote a review Jun 2021
Chicago, Illinois
1.0 of 5 bubbles
The staff were kind and welcoming, and the bathroom in my room was nice. However, this hotel looks nice only in the pictures online. My Classic Queen Room was very small (not much larger than the bathroom) and dark (zero natural lighting and dim artificial lights) for the price. There are other hotels in the area that cost way less and are dramatically roomier and brighter. I will not be staying here again.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: May 2021
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jenna Ubrig, Other at Freehand Chicago
Responded 9 Jun 2021
Thank you for sharing your experience with us! We apologize for the experience you had during your brief stay with us! That is not the experience we want our valued guests to have. We have addressed your concerns to the appropriate departments to make sure this is taken care of. Please reach out to us if you have any more concerns! Please take care! Amanda X Front Desk Supervisor X Freehand Chicago
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urszuladjames wrote a review Sept 2022
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I recently visited Chicago on a work trip and booked one night in the city at what I hoped would be a unique affordable stay in the Chicago downtown area. I booked a premium queen room hoping for the bigger advertised room layout and specifically asked for a room away from noise as I am sensitive sleeper. I was hoping for the spacious room advertised in their website as a premium and got a room that looked like the advertised basic queen and found it to be cramped, dated and dusty. When I inquired at the front desk if there was a mistake I was told that there wasn’t and I was in the premium. When I questioned it the manager on duty informed me that the pictures do not represent the actual rooms and are more for promotional purposes. Very confusing as a customer who is paying more for a premium room. When I said that I wanted a different room layout as pictured in the premium queen advertisement I was put in a room with similar layout on the third floor. What I was not aware of when the manager proposed this switch was that I was directly beside the air conditioning unit for the hotel building. As a sensitive sleeper wanting a peaceful nights rest on a work trip this was very disturbing and consequently I did not sleep that night. I was very disappointed in the level of customer service and lack of concern for my requests as a polite paying customer. Instead I felt like I was penalized for having spoken up. This experience was very disheartening and I will never feel comfortable to stay at this hotel again nor would I recommend it. Staff should really be more attentive and less dismissive to the polite and reasonable requests of their paying guests. I had a horrible night and it has made for a difficult start to an important work trip. On a positive note, I found the security staff to be most friendly and helpful.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
선영 박 asked a question May 2019
Carbondale, Illinois
Do you have a refrigerator in a dormitory room?
Los Angeles, California74 contributions47 helpful votes
Nope. No refrigerator or coffee maker. There is a common refrigerator that everyone shares in the basement area. I hope this helps.
JAE1972 asked a question Feb 2019
London, United Kingdom12 contributions1 helpful vote
Any advice on the best way to travel to Freehand from the airport? Thank you
Answer from Moccafaux
Basel, Switzerland1 contribution
We took the Subway into town, took around 1hr, had to walk a short bit to get there. The fare is very cheap, but the train is very loud.Back to O‘Hare we took a taxi, was quite expensive (approx. 60$)and nasty. We got stuck in traffic, but made it on time. I‘d always prefer an Uber to a taxi in Chicago.
Jasmine C asked a question Jun 2018
Is there free parking onsite?
Answer from Mot H
7 contributions18 helpful votes
No, there's no parking on site. However there is Enterprise Plus right next to the hotel so it is very convenient to pick up the rental car here after staying at the hotel instead of at the airport.
Answer from Freehand_GM
Chicago, Illinois
Hi Nicole, we do offer fridges in our guest kitchen along with a microwave, stovetop and all dishes. if you need a fridge for medicine or breast milk, please let us know and we will check availability. We also do have pack and plays available although they fit better in some rooms better than others. Feel free to call or email us so we can look at your specific reservation!
Anna A asked a question Nov 2017
Grand Rapids, Michigan10 contributions1 helpful vote
Is there an indoor pool and / or hot tub? Can you provide a rollaway bed for a kid? Thank you!
Answer from WorldTravel
West Dennis, Massachusetts43 contributions47 helpful votes
Don’t stay here if you are looking for any extras. You will most likely be disappointed.
briancookenwm wrote a tip May 2024
Kennesaw, Georgia4 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"BOOK NOW! Great Bar, Great Service, meal service throughout the day. "
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L. T. wrote a tip May 2024
Bern, Switzerland27 contributions5 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Please keep both your hands and your wallet free from the Freehand Chicago. "
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Mike A wrote a tip Apr 2024
1 contribution1 helpful vote
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"Expect little customer service, coming from an easy traveler "
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Dream28623108091 wrote a tip Mar 2024
1 contribution1 helpful vote
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Ask for washcloths because they do not automatically placed them in your room."
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Passport27656221850 wrote a tip Jan 2024
4 contributions3 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Keep looking you’ll regret it otherwise."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Chicago area.
PRICE RANGE
€98 - €200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United StatesIllinoisChicagoCentral / Near North Side
NUMBER OF ROOMS
217
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect nightly room rates, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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FREEHAND CHICAGO | UPDATED 2024 Hostel Reviews & Price Comparison (IL) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Freehand Chicago
Which popular attractions are close to Freehand Chicago?
Nearby attractions include The Magnificent Mile (0.4 km), The Escape Game Chicago (0.1 km), and Richard H. Driehaus Museum (0.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Freehand Chicago?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Freehand Chicago?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Freehand Chicago?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Freehand Chicago?
Conveniently located restaurants include The Capital Grille, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, and Bongiorno's Cucina Italiana & Pizzeria.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Freehand Chicago?
Yes, guests have access to a fitness centre during their stay.
Are any cleaning services offered at Freehand Chicago?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are there any historical sites close to Freehand Chicago?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Garfield Park Conservatory (7.4 km), The Rookery Building (1.5 km), and Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (4.6 km).
Is Freehand Chicago accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access, reduced mobility rooms, and facilities for disabled guests. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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