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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

Schools by Bus

From stunning contemporary designs to historic buildings that escaped the Chicago Fire of 1871, explore Chicago's varied educational facilities on the 3rd-annual Schools by Bus tour. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be a kid again!

Price
$50 public, $42 CAF members
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$50 public, $42 CAF members
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Sculpture in the Loop

From the traditional realism of the Art Institute's bronze lions to the sleek modernism of the "Cloud Gate" in Millennium Park, downtown Chicago is filled with great public sculpture. Discover the changing relationships between architecture and sculpture…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 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
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Sheffield Historic District

This tour of the Sheffield National Historic District provides a fascinating opportunity to see original 19th century homes alongside today's expanding campus of DePaul University. While the tour will focus on the historic structures, tourees will also…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Southeastern corner of Sheffield and Fullerton

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Southeastern corner of Sheffield and Fullerton

Skyscraper Walk for Families

Explore how Chicago recovered from its Great Fire of 1871, and in the process of rebuilding became the showplace for new skyscraper technology and design. This is a 90-minute tour that includes an introductory slideshow and a walk through downtown. Suitable…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 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
1.5 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Spanish Language: Historic and Modern Skyscrapers

Este tour en español incluye rascacielos históricos y modernos. Seguiremos la historia de los “edificios altos”, partiendo de modelos del siglo XIX hasta llegar a los rascacielos contemporáneos. Descubriremos distintos estilos arquitectónicos…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop & Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Note: Scheduled departures for this tour will return next season. Please email tickets@architecture.org to be notified when tickets are available.

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop & Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Streeterville: From Sandbar to Lakefront Residences

Take a walk along Lake Shore Dr. to see the residences of the East Lake Shore Historic District with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan. Learn how the lake shaped the shore line and about a ne’er-do-well tug boat captain who held off the Pinkertons…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Gazebo on the northeast corner of Michigan Ave, Oak St. and E. Lake Shore Dr, across from the Drake Hotel

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
1.5 Hours
Meet
Gazebo on the northeast corner of Michigan Ave, Oak St. and E. Lake Shore Dr, across from the Drake Hotel

Sullivan Center (Carson Pirie Scott)

Celebrate the beauty of Louis Sullivan's largest commercial commission and learn about the restoration of this landmark department store. This tour looks at Sullivan’s innovative building design, characterized by magnificent ornamental detail.

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Sullivan Office Building entrance at 33 S. State St.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Sullivan Office Building entrance at 33 S. State St.

Trump International Hotel & Tower

Completed in 2009, Chicago’s Trump Tower is the second-tallest building in the city. View the building, its plaza and river walk as you learn about its unique architecture and engineering. See why Trump Tower is one of the most highly rated hotels in…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
The east entrance to Trump Tower, found by approaching Trump Tower from Michigan Ave., and proceeding west through the plaza between the two parts of the Wrigley Building.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
The east entrance to Trump Tower, found by approaching Trump Tower from Michigan Ave., and proceeding west through the plaza between the two parts of the Wrigley Building.

Ukrainian Village

An interior visit to Louis Sullivan's landmark Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral highlights this tour of Ukrainian Village, a neighborhood filled with stunning church buildings as well as 2- and 3-flats, larger apartment buildings, workers' cottages…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 N. Leavitt St.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 N. Leavitt St.

Union Station: Icon of a Great Age

Seen everyday by thousands and not really seen! Take the tour of the iconic landmarked Great Hall of Union Station. Learn about the station that was envisioned in Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago. Union Station is one of the great spaces in Chicago…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
500 W. Jackson Blvd. between Canal and Clinton

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
500 W. Jackson Blvd. between Canal and Clinton

University of Chicago

Come explore the early Collegiate Gothic roots of the university campus in the original quadrangles, the “march of mid-century modernism” along the Midway and the recent, breath-taking architectural additions such as the Mansueto Library and the Midway…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
The front entrance to the University Bookstore, located at the intersection of 58th and Ellis on the west side of Ellis.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
The front entrance to the University Bookstore, located at the intersection of 58th and Ellis on the west side of Ellis.

University of Chicago by Bus

See firsthand the rise of a new architectural era on the University of Chicago's campus as we explore the interiors of four buildings that are not typically open to the public.

Price
$50 public, $42 CAF members
Duration
3 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$50 public, $42 CAF members
Duration
3 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Uptown

From the Roaring Twenties, through Prohibition and up to the present, something interesting has always been happening in Uptown. See a treasure trove of terra cotta ornament, learn about the adaptive re-use of buildings and hear about past and present…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., east entrance (entrance closest to the "L" tracks)

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
2 Hours
Meet
Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., east entrance (entrance closest to the "L" tracks)

Vice to Nice: Transformation of the South Loop

The story of the South Loop is complete with characters, corruption, renewal and transformation. Explore how an area known for vice, gangsters, a few famous madams and a lot of abandoned railroad tracks has transformed into today’s thriving South Loop…

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

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

Walk Pilsen

Discover Pilsen, a neighborhood that continues to welcome immigrants, adding to the mosaic that enriches urban life. Walk a vibrant community whose architecture and art reflect the dreams of all who come to Chicago. Trace European and Mexican influences…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
On 18th St. at the CTA Pink Line "L" station, just west of Paulina St.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
On 18th St. at the CTA Pink Line "L" station, just west of Paulina St.