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Plan Your Visit to the Chicago Architecture Foundation




River Cruise

The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady departs from the dock of the Chicago’s First Lady Cruise Line/Riverside Gardens. The dock is located at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive, across the street from the Fannie May candy shop. Map

Discounted parking for all Architecture River Cruise participants is available at Systems Parking, 111 East Wacker Drive. To receive the discount, validate the parking ticket at both the Chicago’s First Lady dock ticket window and the System Parking ticket offices before using the automated machine in the parking facility.  Discount applies to stays under 4 hours only. Map

The Chicago Architecture Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is located at 224 South Michigan Avenue in the Santa Fe Building on the Northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park. Map


Discounted parking is available for CAF members at the Millennium Park or Grant Park South parking garages. Show your membership card at the Chicago Architecture Foundation Shop & Tour Center between 9:30am and 6pm to request your discount voucher. Map

Visit the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra for detailed directions using public transportation.

Visitors with disabilities can find information regarding river cruise access and boarding at http://cruisechicago.com/location/accessible_drop_off_area/




Shop & Tour Center

Daily 9am—6pm

Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

You can also shop online anytime at shop.architecture.org.

ArcelorMittal Design Studio

Daily 9:30am—4:30pm

Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Corporate Offices

9am–5pm (Mon—Fri)

Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day




In addition to the world-famous Architecture River Cruise, the Chicago Architecture Foundation offers more than 85 walking, boat, bus, bike, and Segway tours. Find detailed information on all tours, or search for a specific tour by date or keyword in the tours section of the website.

Find a tour


Women Building Change: Celebrating 40 Years of Chicago Women in Architecture

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is pleased to partner with Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA) for its 40th anniversary by hosting a special exhibition, Women Building Change: Celebrating 40 Years of Chicago Women in Architecture. The exhibition is both a historical retrospective, and a modern reflection, on the process of design and the changing roles of women in architecture. It will focus on the design process, people and the profession of architecture, and highlight the impact of CWA members through Chicago case studies. Themes including process and profession, pursuing equality, building community, creating home and preserving significance will shed light on the work of women in the organization. Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to see the range of architectural drawings, photos and documents created in the design of a building.

Learn more about the exhibition >>

city of big data

Chicago: City of Big Data

COST  Free and open to the public
HOURS  7 days a week from 9am-6:30pm
LOCATION  Atrium Gallery, 224 South Michigan Avenue

Did you know data has become a 21st century design material? Architects, planners, engineers and citizens increasingly use data to understand urban issues and spark design innovation. This explosion of digital information, known as “Big Data,” encompasses everything from data collected by environmental sensors to messages on social media. This new exhibition reveals the potential of urban data and offers a new perspective on Chicago and cities everywhere. Visitors can explore interactive displays, recreated sections of the city and get unique views into your own personal data.

Learn more about the exhibition >>



The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers more than 100 programs each year, most of which are free and held in the Lecture Hall Gallery at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Family friendly programs are also offered at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Learn more


girl with model at engineer day
Photos & Video

Unless otherwise posted, you are welcome to take photos and video of exhibitions, programs, and tours with personal hand-held cameras. We welcome everyone to share their photos and videos with us via our social media networks: Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare and Pinterest.

Professional photographers and videographers should contact Justin Lyons at 312.922.3432 or jlyons@architecture.org prior to any filming or photography.

Foreign Language Tours & Audio Tours

The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers several foreign language tours and audio tours.

Tickets & Admission Fees

Exhibitions and many programs are free and open to the public. See the programs listing for information.

Many tours are free or discounted for Chicago Architecture Foundation members. See individual tours for prices and purchasing options.

Special Offers

Go Chicago Card is a great way to save on your vacation to Chicago. The Go Chicago Card gives you free access to more than 30 of Chicago’s top attractions and discounts at some of Chicago’s top retailers and restaurants. Visit the Go Chicago Card site for more information and to purchase a card.



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