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Located at 111 E. Wacker Dr. at Michigan Avenue, the CAC will be a place to discover the stories and secrets behind Chicago’s magnificent architecture—through exhibits, tours and programs.

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Once the largest building in the world, the Merchandise Mart remains a center for commercial and residential design. This massive structure has kept up with the times and is now recognized as a key Chicago hub for technological innovation. Environmentally sensitive renovations by management have resulted in the Merchandise Mart’s Gold LEED certification, while lavish Art Deco ornamentation has always made this "city within a city" a visual delight.

0.75 Hour
$15 public
FREE for CAF members
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago River entrance

Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the mammoth Merchandise Mart opened its doors in 1930. Ever since, it’s had a commanding presence on the north bank of the Chicago River, as well as showcasing its own sumptuous ornamentation, including the gorgeous Jules Guerin murals which illustrate commerce throughout the world. Speaking of commerce, the massive building features shops, restaurants, showrooms, offices and exhibition space—not to mention its very own elevated transit station.

After the tour ends, linger awhile for lunch and visit Luxe Home’s kitchen, bath and building product boutiques, located on Merchandise Mart’s main floor.

  • The tour meets at the 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.
  • Although it's not required, we recommend making reservations in advance for this tour.

Upcoming Merchandise Mart Tours