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Join us for a celebration of CAF's 50th anniversary! Activities for all ages will take place throughout the historic Railway Exchange Building, home to CAF since 1992. This building-wide anniversary blowout will feature a brand new exhibition, plus talks, film screenings and birthday cake. You'll also get the chance to visit working architectural firms on the building's upper floors. Drop in for a few minutes between 10am and 4pm—or stay the whole day!

CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

See the day's schedule

$1 Walking Tours: We’re rolling back prices to 1971, when CAF began giving tours!
In celebration of our 50th anniversary, CAF will offer $1 tickets for Illinois residents on walking tours departing from CAF on April 16, 2016. $1 tickets must be purchased in person on April 16 at the CAF Shop & Tour Center, and tickets will not be available online or for purchase by phone. Limit 1 ticket per guest. Offer is not retroactive to tour tickets purchased prior to April 16. Availability is limited. To guarantee your April 16 walking tour departure, buy full-price tickets now or purchase a CAF membership and your walking tour tickets will be FREE!

Family Activities: Create a mural, build an iconic Chicago building with LEGO® and more! Children under 13 will receive mini cupcakes and have the opportunity to craft birthday hats.

All-Day Programs: Drop in throughout the day for short lectures, films and other learning experiences, including:

  • Explore a treasure trove of rare and iconic photos captured over the years by architectural photography firm Hedrich Blessing.
  • Learn from some of our city’s leading preservationists about buildings lost and saved.
  • See the latest buildings that have been added to the Chicago Model and find out how we built this remarkable 3D-printed scale model of more than 1,000 buildings.
  • Hear from top architects about Chicago’s past, present and future.

Visit Architecture Firms: Tours will be offered throughout the day of the offices above CAF’s space in the Railway Exchange Building. Visit Goettsch Partners, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and VOA Associates. This is a rare chance to see sketches, films and other artifacts of landmark Chicago buildings designed by these acclaimed firms.

Schedule for the Day

Event begins
DiscussionIt's Growing Up: Chicago's Preservation Movement at 50
Voices from Chicago’s preservation community speak about the steps we can all take to create a city of enduring architectural heritage. Panel includes: Bonnie McDonald, CEO and President, Landmark Illinois; Allen F. Johnson, Partner/Director, MacRostie Historic Providers Midwest; William Tyre, Executive Director, Glessner House Museum
Presentation—In Pictures: Chicago Past & Present
Rare photographs culled from the archives of leading architectural photography firm Hedrich Blessing demonstrate how Chicago has changed during CAF’s first 50 years. Presented by Steve Hall, President, Hedrich Blessing
Discussion—50 Back/50 Forward: Reflections and Predictions from Chicago Designers
Top architects reflect on Chicago’s recent past and share their predictions about the future opportunities that can keep Chicago at the forefront of innovative design. Panel includes: Lynn Osmond, President and CEO, Chicago Architecture Foundation; Philip Enquist, FAIA, Partner in Charge of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; James Goettsch, FAIA, Chairman and CEO, Goettsch Partners; Grace Kuklinski Rappe, AIA LEED AP, VOA Associates Incorporated
Book Signing—Richard Cahan
Author of "Richard Nickel, Dangerous Years"
Presentation—In Pictures: Chicago Past & Present
Reprise of 11:30am presentation. See details above.
Cake cutting
Event concludes 

 For 50 years, CAF has inspired people to discover why design matters in their communities, cities and lives. We hope you’ll celebrate with us!