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Chicago is known around the world for its architecture. Whether you tour downtown or a neighborhood, our expert docent guides will tell you the stories behind the buildings. Visit iconic skyscrapers, elegant hotels or the legendary houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. With more than 85 tours to choose from, we won't blame you if you can't pick just one.

Recommended Tours

Logan Square

Walk Logan Blvd., one of the best preserved sections of Chicago’s Boulevard system. Learn the history of the area and experience a step back into the late 19th Century and early 20th Century Chicago.

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
The Illinois Centennial Monument where Logan Blvd, Kedzie Blvd and Milwaukee Ave cross.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
The Illinois Centennial Monument where Logan Blvd, Kedzie Blvd and Milwaukee Ave cross.

Louis Sullivan: Lost and Found

The trailblazing designs of Louis H. Sullivan (1856—1924) prefigured Modern architecture. To honor him, this tour explores his work in the Loop—what’s still standing and what’s fallen. In cooperation with the Art Institute of Chicago, we’ll…

Price
$40 public, $20 CAF members, FREE for members of CAF and AIC
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$40 public, $20 CAF members, FREE for members of CAF and AIC
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Macy's on State: The Legacy of Marshall Field's

This tour explores the construction, development and renovation of this State St. landmark by Daniel Burnham. Trace its history as a renowned retail establishment and discover the century-old great clocks, the lavish Tiffany vaulted ceiling, the Walnut…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Macy's, inside the store entrance at 28 E. Washington St. (near Wabash). The correct door is marked #6 on the wall just above the revolving doors.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Macy's, inside the store entrance at 28 E. Washington St. (near Wabash). The correct door is marked #6 on the wall just above the revolving doors.

Maggie Daley Park

A new and unique addition to Chicago's urban landscape, Maggie Daley Park provides an adventurous and playful space that features climbing walls, tennis courts, an ice-skating and walking ribbon, an enchanted forest and play areas, all set among grassy…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
BP Bridge, in the southeast corner of Millennium Park's Great Lawn

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
BP Bridge, in the southeast corner of Millennium Park's Great Lawn

Magnificent Mile from Above

See the Magnificent Mile® from historic hotels high above the street, then finish the tour with amazing views of the entire city from the 360 CHICAGO observatory in the John Hancock Center. Learn how the “Mag Mile” went from a small dirt road to…

Price
$35 public, $20 CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Wrigley Building, 400 N. Michigan Ave. Tour ends at 360 CHICAGO, 875 N. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$35 public, $20 CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Wrigley Building, 400 N. Michigan Ave. Tour ends at 360 CHICAGO, 875 N. Michigan Ave.

Marquette Building

The Marquette Building, completed in 1895, is a landmark of timeless architecture, bringing to life Chicago’s early history in an artistic and elegant setting. Learn how the building represents major advancement in skyscraper design and explore interior…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside the building lobby at 140 S. Dearborn St. (northwest corner of Adams and Dearborn)

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside the building lobby at 140 S. Dearborn St. (northwest corner of Adams and Dearborn)

Media Production Center of Columbia College Chicago

Discover one of Chicago's boldest and most colorful buildings, the Media Production Center at Columbia College, designed by world-renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, winner of a 2011 MacArthur Foundation Fellows Award.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Media Production Center at 1600 S. State St.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour, but CAF offers similar tours that we think you’ll want to learn more about.

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Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Media Production Center at 1600 S. State St.

Merchandise Mart

Once the largest building in the world, the Merchandise Mart remains a center for fashion and design. This massive structure has kept up with the times and is now recognized as a key Chicago hub for technological innovation. Environmentally sensitive…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Foot of the grand stairs in the main lobby. The lobby is in the center of the building; enter through the south entrance facing the Chicago River.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Foot of the grand stairs in the main lobby. The lobby is in the center of the building; enter through the south entrance facing the Chicago River.

Mies and Modernism: The IIT Campus Tour

The Illinois Institute of Technology is home to the largest group of buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe—the most influential figure in American Modernism. This tour traces the evolution of the campus with a special emphasis on the years 1938—1958—the…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Inside Perlstein Hall, 10 W. 33rd St., northwest corner of 33rd and State Streets

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Inside Perlstein Hall, 10 W. 33rd St., northwest corner of 33rd and State Streets

Millennium Park: Beyond the Bean

Learn how top architects, artists and engineers collaborated with Chicago’s movers and shakers to transform an ugly railway and parking lot into a park that has thrilled millions and become the envy of cities around the world. Hear the stories and inspiration…

Price
$20 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$20 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Modernist Masterpieces: Marina City and the IBM Building

Where else but Chicago can you find two iconic mid-century buildings living side by side? Get the inside scoop on the buildings and their architects, Bertrand Goldberg and Mies van der Rohe. We will compare and contrast the sites, uses, structures, styles…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
35 W. Wacker Dr. (under the overhang between the entrances to Catch 35 and the office lobby)

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
35 W. Wacker Dr. (under the overhang between the entrances to Catch 35 and the office lobby)

Monadnock Building

Tour the world’s tallest commercial building with load-bearing masonry walls, completed in 1893 by Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root, and learn about the transition from masonry to steel frame skyscrapers. The Monadnock brings together Egyptian…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside the Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd., at the north staircase.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside the Monadnock Building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd., at the north staircase.

Monroe Building and Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Come discover the Monroe Building—Chicago's architectural gem hidden in plain sight! See its gorgeous façade and amazing Rookwood tiled lobby—both lovingly restored to their 1912 splendor, along with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Please…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Lobby of 104 S. Michigan Ave., opposite the elevators

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Lobby of 104 S. Michigan Ave., opposite the elevators

Motor Row

Take a trip back into the Golden Age of the automobile when all your automotive needs could be found in what remains the most intact historic automotive mall in the United States. The Landmark Motor Row Historic District contains more than 50 buildings…

Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
2222 S. Michigan Ave.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour, but CAF offers similar tours that we think you’ll want to learn more about.

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Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
2222 S. Michigan Ave.

Must-Hear Chicago: A Tour for the Visually Impaired

CAF's walking tour for the visually impaired or blind and their companions is offered from May through October. The tour, led by a team of CAF docents, takes place in the Loop and includes six buildings of varying styles from the 1890s to the 1970s. Custom-made…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Federal Plaza, Jackson Blvd. and Dearborn Ave. Tour ends at Sullivan Center, 1 S. State St.

Note: This tour can be scheduled for private departures, from May through October, during any day of the week between 10am and 3pm.

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Federal Plaza, Jackson Blvd. and Dearborn Ave. Tour ends at Sullivan Center, 1 S. State St.