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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

Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

Thank you for a great cruise season! Tours resume in 2019, and tickets will go on sale soon. See you then!

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr. Look for our blue awning marking the stairway entrance.

Note: Scheduled departures for this tour will return next season. To be notified when tickets for our next tour season go on sale, email tickets@architecture.org.

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Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Dr. Look for our blue awning marking the stairway entrance.

Must-See Chicago

Must-See Chicago is a fast-paced, 90-minute introductory tour to Chicago featuring some of its most famous buildings, including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Willis (Sears) Tower, the Chicago Theatre and more!

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Historic Treasures of Chicago’s Golden Age

Learn about the great architectural landmarks of Michigan Avenue and State Street, with glimpses inside beautiful buildings from the 1890s-1930s. Highlights include the dazzling interiors of the Palmer House Hotel and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Elevated Architecture: Downtown "L" Train

Explore Chicago’s amazing architecture from the unique perspective of elevated trains and station platforms. Learn the history behind the famous "L" system and hear how it has shaped the development of buildings within the Loop.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Art Deco Skyscrapers: The Riverfront

Tour the lobbies of five opulent Art Deco skyscrapers built near the banks of the Chicago River during the business boom of the Roaring '20s. Learn how Art Deco reflected the era’s fun-loving optimism with lavish materials and geometric ornament.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Architectural Highlights by Bus

Discover the exciting diversity of Chicago architecture on this wide-ranging odyssey, which traces the city’s development from its founding through present day.

Price
$45 public (includes CAC admission), $37 CAC members
Duration
3.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$45 public (includes CAC admission), $37 CAC members
Duration
3.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Chicago Icons: Connecting Past and Present

This lively overview of Chicago architecture explores iconic buildings from the 1890s to present. We'll compare and contrast a wide range of buildings with varying architectural styles and see how older structures connect to new skyline additions.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.75 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.75 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Chicago Modern

Chicago is recognized as a leader in Modern architecture, a style that revolutionized our visual world during the mid-20th Century. View iconic Modern skyscrapers during this walking tour.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.75 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.75 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Chicago Architecture: A Walk Through Time

Get a comprehensive look at Chicago's architectural history on this unique tour that covers buildings in chronological order. Hear important stories about the city while viewing some of its earliest buildings and new, super-tall high rises.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Hotel Boom: Making Old New Again

Chicago is experiencing a surge in tourism, resulting in the creative repurpose of historic skyscrapers into chic new hotels. Learn how and why a former athletic club, silver manufacturer and motor club have undergone this change.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

875 N. Michigan Ave (John Hancock Center)

Completed in 1970, 875 N. Michigan Ave (John Hancock Center) dominates the northern end of Chicago’s skyline. On this tour, you'll learn how the building forever changed the character of North Michigan Avenue.

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
875 N. Michigan Ave., lower level lobby

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Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
875 N. Michigan Ave., lower level lobby

Aqua and Lakeshore East

Take this short walk to encounter the Lakeshore East neighborhood and Aqua Tower, a skyscraper designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects that has earned high praise from architects and critics around the world.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St.

Note: Scheduled departures for this tour will return next season. To be notified when tickets for our next tour season go on sale, email tickets@architecture.org.

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Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St.

Art Deco Skyscrapers: The Loop

Tour the lobbies of Art Deco masterpieces built in the heart of Chicago’s financial district during the Roaring '20s. Learn how Art Deco reflected the era’s fun-loving optimism with lavish materials and geometric ornament.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
30 N. LaSalle St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
30 N. LaSalle St.

Art Institute of Chicago: The Campus and Modern Wing

In partnership with the Art Institute, explore how various styles of architecture, sculpture and landscapes interact to create a unique museum campus. We’ll visit both the interior and exterior of the museum including its newest addition, the critically…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour. To learn about other CAC tours and events, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Beverly (North): Elegance on the Ridge

Once home to some of Chicago’s wealthiest families, Beverly’s mansions are still among the most beautiful in the city. During this tour we’ll view some of Beverly’s mansions along with homes that are merely large and unique.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Metra station, 103rd St. and Walden Pkwy.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour. To learn about other CAC tours and events, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Metra station, 103rd St. and Walden Pkwy.