Docent Application Process



The Chicago Architecture Foundation is currently re-designing the Docent Education Program.  There will not be a docent class in 2014.  We will be piloting a training program or programs during 2014.  Please check our website regularly for more information.

Who should apply?

Chicago Architecture Foundation docents must be at least 18 years of age and have an interest in architecture and volunteerism. You will need competent verbal skills and be able to articulate clearly and loudly to a group of people. You will need to be able to create, plan, and organize your tours and be willing to adapt to situations as they arise. You must complete the Docent Education Class, which is an equivalent of a graduate level course with a minimum of 25 hours of coursework each week.  In preparation for the Docent Class, please take the Historic Downtown (south): Rise of the Skyscraper and/or Modern Skyscrapers tours

We suggest that you do not apply to the Docent Education Program if you fall under any of these categories:

  • You are a full-time student (undergraduate or graduate)
  • You cannot attend all the classes
  • You are unable at this time to commit to the training requirements outside of class time, including approximately 25 hours outside of class each week of homework, reading, building observations, developing and practicing the tours, and completing a final project.


There is no charge for the training. Trainees are however, responsible for purchasing their own books (approximate cost: $150). There is a one-time materials fee for photocopying ($35.00). Docent trainees are required to sign a contract agreeing to pay a $350 fee should they voluntarily leave the program before the first year of tours is completed.  


Applications can be picked up at the Manager of Volunteer Services office in the Railway Exchange  Building (224 South Michigan Avenue). You can also print an application now and mail it to Chicago Architecture Foundation with the $15 application fee. Send in an application as soon as you know you’re interested and ready to join the program. All applicants are encouraged to attend an informational meeting before interviewing.  These meetings will take place in June and September.

Applicants will be interviewed by a small group of Chicago Architecture Foundation docents.  Before the interview, all applicants must take the Historic Downtown (south): Rise of the Skyscraper and Modern Skyscrapers tours.



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