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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

Lake Bluff

Explore the fascinating history reflected in the unique designs of the North Shore suburb of Lake Bluff. Trace the history from the formation of the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association, and their plans for a resort similar to the Chautauqua movement,…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lake Bluff Metra Station, 600 Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff, IL

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lake Bluff Metra Station, 600 Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff, IL

Lake Forest Cemetery

Experience the Lake Forest Cemetery's park-like setting overlooking Lake Michigan in one of Chicago's most beautiful premier suburbs. Hear stories of Lake Forest's founding and those who made their mark from Civil War to modern times.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Rd., 1525 Lake Rd., Lake Forest, IL

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Rd., 1525 Lake Rd., Lake Forest, IL

Lincoln Park: From Cemetery to Sculpture Garden

Take a pleasant walk through Chicago’s beautiful Lincoln Park—a former lakeside cemetery turned recreation destination. Hear about the park’s history, learn the stories behind famous sculptures and enjoy a stroll through the park’s beloved zoo…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children's Fountain, at the northeast corner of W North Blvd and N Clark St

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
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Children's Fountain, at the northeast corner of W North Blvd and N Clark St

Macy's on State: The Legacy of Marshall Field's

Explore the construction, development and renovation of this State Street landmark by Daniel Burnham.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
28 E. Washington St., near Wabash Ave.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
28 E. Washington St., near Wabash Ave.

Marquette Building

Completed in 1895, the Marquette Building brings Chicago’s early history to life in an artistic and elegant setting. Examine the innovative exterior and get an up-close view of the beautiful interior.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
140 S. Dearborn St., inside the building lobby

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
140 S. Dearborn St., inside the building lobby

Merchandise Mart

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.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago River entrance

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago River entrance

Monadnock Building

Tour the world’s tallest commercial building with load-bearing masonry walls and learn how the transition from masonry to steel frame skyscrapers transformed the workplace.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside Monadnock building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside Monadnock building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

Old Town Triangle

No other Chicago neighborhood is like Old Town. Tucked behind high-rises and moments from the vast green space of Lincoln Park, this landmark district has a unique history and diversity. We’ll explore homes built immediately after the Great Fire of…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
1650-58 N. Sedgwick St. (Across from Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern)

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
1650-58 N. Sedgwick St. (Across from Twin Anchors Restaurant and Tavern)

Navy Pier

Explore the ever-changing Navy Pier! Learn how the pier has served Chicago through adaptive reuse since 1916 and why both the pier and theater are such popular tourist destinations.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Palmer House Hotel

Experience the glamour, intrigue and excitement of the bygone "Grand Hotel" era at the Palmer House. See recently restored public spaces and renovated guest rooms while learning about the history of Chicago’s oldest continually operating hotel.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

Pub Tour: Andersonville

Get a “taste” of Andersonville—a historically landmarked neighborhood settled by Swedish farmers in the 1850s. See the culture reflected in the classic architecture and thriving establishments as we drop into colorful local pubs for vast selections…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Replay, 5358 N. Clark Street

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Replay, 5358 N. Clark Street

Pub Tour: Near North

Determine for yourself why design matters as we view unexpected architecture in the Near North section of the River North neighborhood. We see the recently completed Poetry Foundation building, learn about universal design and visit a decades-old speakeasy…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

Pub Tour: West Loop

Combining post-Chicago fire buildings with the legends of the Haymarket Riots, Chicago's West Loop will certainly make a lasting impression on you. The Chicago Park District has added green space to this growing community that retains deep roots to the…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

Reliance Building

Marvel at the original marble, mahogany doors and decorative wrought iron found throughout the two lobbies and uppermost floors of this 1895 building, designed by John Wellborn Root and Charles Atwood.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Main Lobby, 1 W. Washington St. entrance

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Main Lobby, 1 W. Washington St. entrance

River North: Transformation of a Neighborhood

See historic gems in this former center of manufacturing and explore its boom-and-bust transformation into a vibrant neighborhood buzzing with residential buildings, entertainment venues and office towers. Steeped in history and character, River North…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
On the plaza at 65 E. Huron St.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
2 Hours
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On the plaza at 65 E. Huron St.

Riverwalk East

Learn about newly completed improvements to the Chicago Riverwalk—starting at the Vietnam Memorial and heading east to Lake Michigan—including new public art, trees, landscaping and outposts for picnicking.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Vietnam Memorial, at river level, 35 E. Wacker

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
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Vietnam Memorial, at river level, 35 E. Wacker

Riverwalk West

This tour helps you discover the western portion of the Riverwalk, starting at the Vietnam Memorial near State Street. As we walk to Lake Street, hear how this linear park—called Chicago’s new coastline by some—has become a magnet for outdoor recreation…

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Vietnam Memorial, at river level, 35 E. Wacker

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Vietnam Memorial, at river level, 35 E. Wacker

Rookery Building

Explore the interior and exterior of one of Chicago’s most famous and beloved historic buildings: The Rookery by Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
209 S. LaSalle St. at the grand staircase

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
209 S. LaSalle St. at the grand staircase

Sacred Spaces in Downtown Chicago

Chicago's downtown is home to a number of striking and architecturally significant houses of worship. Visit several of these sites, including "the tallest church in the world"—a skyscraper with offices, designed for worship and work.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
South east corner of State St. and Jackson Blvd.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
South east corner of State St. and Jackson Blvd.

Sheffield Historic District

Hear how the Sheffield District has evolved since its formation as a working-class neighborhood in the 1870s. See beautiful historic row houses and learn about residents' preservation efforts amid gentrification and DePaul University’s expansion.

Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
The southeast corner of Fullerton Ave and Sheffield Ave, 959 W. Fullerton Ave.

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Price
$30 Public, $10 Basic Members, Free for Deco Members and above
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
The southeast corner of Fullerton Ave and Sheffield Ave, 959 W. Fullerton Ave.