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Chicago is known around the world for its architecture. Whether you choose to explore our fabled downtown or one of the city’s many distinct and charming neighborhoods, our expert docents will guide you by boat, bus, train or on foot and share the stories behind the buildings. Visit iconic skyscrapers, elegant hotels or the legendary houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. With dozens of tours to choose from, we won't blame you if you can't pick just one.

Recommended Tours

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
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$30 Public, Free for 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.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
875 N. Michigan Ave., lower level lobby

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
875 N. Michigan Ave., lower level lobby

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
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
35 W. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
35 W. 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
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

White City Revisited

Explore Jackson Park, site of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and future home to the Obama Presidential Center.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Southeast side of the parking lot at Hayes Dr and Cornell Dr, 1686 E. Hayes

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Southeast side of the parking lot at Hayes Dr and Cornell Dr, 1686 E. Hayes

Beverly (South): A Castle, Mansions and More

Tour one of Chicago’s most fascinating neighborhoods, Beverly. Explore two houses built just after the Great Fire of 1871, a Frank Lloyd Wright home and a true Chicago castle. This tour showcases part of Chicago’s Longwood Drive Landmark District…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
103rd St. - Beverly Hills Metra Station, 10301 S. Walden Pkwy.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
103rd St. - Beverly Hills Metra Station, 10301 S. Walden Pkwy.

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Experience the allure of a historic, exclusive men's club transformed into a 21st century luxury hotel. You will see old world craftsmanship restored to its original elegance, plus renovated and newly added spaces.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
12 S. Michigan Ave., front entrance

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
12 S. Michigan Ave., front entrance

Chicago Board of Trade Building

The Chicago Board of Trade is a Loop icon anchoring the LaSalle Street financial corridor. We’ll see newly designed and renovated spaces, historical art and the massive traders’ vault within the three architecturally distinct Board of Trade buildings…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
141 W. Jackson Blvd., inside the building lobby

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
141 W. Jackson Blvd., inside the building lobby

Discover Chicago's Historic Neighborhoods

CAC has partnered with Big Bus Chicago for a tour that explores Chicago's mosaic of neighborhoods. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30am, discover five fascinating communities from a seat on an open-top bus. You'll get an intriguing look at the art…

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

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
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Fine Arts Building

Discover this treasure trove on Michigan Avenue and learn how it went from a carriage showroom to a high-profile artists’ colony that housed tenants like Frank Lloyd Wright, Lorado Taft and Harriet Monroe.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
410 S. Michigan Ave., in front of the building

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
410 S. Michigan Ave., in front of the building

Fort Sheridan

Discover the history and architecture of Fort Sheridan, a former military base listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Rothblatt-Amrany Fine Arts Studio, 912 Lyster Rd., Highwood, IL

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Rothblatt-Amrany Fine Arts Studio, 912 Lyster Rd., Highwood, IL

French Language (Langue Française): Les Incontournables

Cette visite vous propose un aperçu complet de l’architecture de Chicago, de ses bâtiments les plus connus et admirés, ainsi que la collection de nombreuses œuvres d’art dans le centre de la ville.

Price
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Graceland Cemetery

Beautiful and serene, Graceland Cemetery is a treasured oasis in the center of our bustling city. Notables interred here are Chicago's movers and shakers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Daniel Burnham, Potter Palmer, Charles Wacker, George…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
NE corner of intersection of Clark St. & Irving Park Rd., inside entrance to Graceland Cemetery

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
NE corner of intersection of Clark St. & Irving Park Rd., inside entrance to Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery: Symbols in Stone

As we explore a venerable section of Graceland Cemetery, we’ll discuss the meanings of and changes to gravestone symbols and shapes, from Victorian times to the present day.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
NE corner of intersection of Clark St. & Irving Park Rd., inside entrance to Graceland Cemetery

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
NE corner of intersection of Clark St. & Irving Park Rd., inside entrance to Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery: Women of Influence

During Chicago’s period of growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women played a hugely influential role by participating in the Underground Railroad, exhibiting the first Modern Art paintings, creating the juvenile justice system and even…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
NE corner of intersection of Clark St. & Irving Park Rd., inside entrance to Graceland Cemetery

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
NE corner of intersection of Clark St. & Irving Park Rd., inside entrance to Graceland Cemetery

Highland Park

This tour traces Highland Park’s history from pioneer settlement to summer retreat for Chicago’s wealthy to year-round suburb. Encounter a beautiful variety of residential styles and see homes by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and W. W. Boyington…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, IL

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, IL

Hotel Boom: Making Old New Again

Chicago's recent growth as a favorite travel destination has fueled a surge in the creative repurposing 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
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$30 Public, Free for Members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Illinois Center Pedway

Take a warm walk and see the cool architecture of the Illinois Center Pedway. Learn how an abandoned railway freight yard was transformed into an important urban development. You’ll see some pretty and some gritty portions of the Pedway as we travel…

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

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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

Inland Steel Building

As the first skyscraper built within the Loop after World War II, the Inland Steel Building became an instant symbol of Chicago’s prominence as a modern American city in the 20th century.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
30 W. Monroe St., inside the building's lobby

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
30 W. Monroe St., inside the building's lobby

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…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building Lobby, 430 S. Michigan Ave.

Note: There are currently no departures available for booking. New tour departures are released on the 15th of each month. Please check back soon!

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Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building Lobby, 430 S. Michigan Ave.