In 1966, a group of community members came together to save H. H. Richardson’s architectural masterpiece, the Glessner House—a private home on Prairie Avenue—from demolition. The successful effort to save Glessner House brought together committed citizens from across disciplines and professions, and led to the founding of the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
In 1970, the Chicago Architecture Foundation initiated an award-winning volunteer docent education program and the following year began offering its now world-renowned Loop walking tours.
In 1976, the organization moved to the Monadnock Building and began presenting exhibitions and conducting educational programs. In 1992, the organization moved to its current location, the historic Santa Fe Building, designed by Daniel Burnham, on South Michigan Avenue.
In 1993, the Chicago Architecture Foundation began giving the Architecture River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady. Still running today, the river cruise is the #1 Architecture tour in Chicago.
Today, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is a leading organization in architecture and design and is considered a model for similar institutions around the world. CAF's continued growth and success as one of Chicago's top ten cultural destinations is thanks in large part to our institutional funders.