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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

Historic Skyscrapers

Chicago is home to some of the world’s earliest skyscrapers. Get an up-close look at these 19th Century marvels, learn about innovations used to build them and discover how they transformed Chicago into a center of skyscraper design and engineering…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free to CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building, Michigan Ave. & Congress Pkwy*

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free to CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building, Michigan Ave. & Congress Pkwy*

Holiday Lights, City Lights

Don’t let the cold weather deter you from admiring Chicago’s stunning architecture! Hop aboard Big Bus Chicago and hear the stories of great architects and leaders who shaped the city while taking in twinkling holiday and building lights.

Price
$35 public (includes CAC admission), $27 CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$35 public (includes CAC admission), $27 CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Hyde Park

In addition to being the site of the 1893 World’s Fair, Hyde Park is also home to the University of Chicago and many significant buildings, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Robie House. See these sites as well as pre-Chicago Fire houses…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
59th St. and Woodlawn Ave., Rockefeller Chapel

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
2 Hours
Meet
59th St. and Woodlawn Ave., Rockefeller Chapel

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…

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

Learn More Buy Tickets

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

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
30 W. Monroe St., inside the building's lobby

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Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
30 W. Monroe St., inside the building's lobby

Italian Language: Historic and Modern Skyscrapers

Grattacieli storici e moderni in Italiano. (This tour in Italian includes both historic and Modern skyscrapers.)

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

Note: Scheduled departures for this tour will return next season. Please email tickets@architecture.org to be notified when tickets are available.

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

Jackson Boulevard Historic District

This landmark district encompasses the 1500 blocks of W. Jackson Blvd. and W. Adams St., which were home to the high-Victorian styles popular in the late 19th century. This walking tour looks at the homes of several noted Chicagoans of the Victorian era…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Southwest corner of Jackson Blvd. and Laflin St.

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
Southwest corner of Jackson Blvd. and Laflin St.

Jenney and Chicago's Skyscraper Pioneers

William Le Baron Jenney not only created the first metal-frame skyscraper, he also influenced a whole generation of 19th Century architects. Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, William Mundie, William Holabird and Martin Roche all worked for Jenney in the…

Duration
2 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
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Kenilworth: North Route

Walk Kenilworth's leafy streets, learn the history of the village, view its earliest houses and see other fine examples of residential architecture that were designed between 1893 and the mid-1920s by distinguished Chicago architects.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Kenilworth Railroad Station at Green Bay Rd.

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
Kenilworth Railroad Station at Green Bay Rd.

Kenilworth: South Route

Kenilworth, the youngest and smallest community on the North Shore, remains today much as it was conceived by its founder, Joseph Sears, in the late 1880s. His dream was to establish a planned community reminiscent of a small English village.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Kenilworth Railroad Station at Green Bay Rd.

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
Kenilworth Railroad Station at Green Bay Rd.

Kenwood

Hear the history of this stately neighborhood, home to Chicago’s early industrialists, modern-day innovators and President Barack Obama.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Woodlawn Ave. and E. Hyde Park Blvd. (51st 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
2 Hours
Meet
Woodlawn Ave. and E. Hyde Park Blvd. (51st St.)

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,…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
600 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff train station

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
2 Hours
Meet
600 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff train station

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.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Ave.

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
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Ave.

Lights, Camera, Architecture!

Chicago’s unique architecture has co-starred in movies with Ferris Bueller, Batman and the Blues Brothers, among other famous big screen characters. See some of the buildings featured in these films and more!

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
401 N. Michigan Ave., in front of the Jack Brickhouse statue

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
2 Hours
Meet
401 N. Michigan Ave., in front of the Jack Brickhouse statue

Lincoln Park: From Cemetery to Sculpture Garden

Did you know that, back in the mid-1800s, Lincoln Park came into existence as a cemetery? Today, this lakefront park is a treasured recreation destination, an outdoor gallery of impressive sculpture, and so much more. Enjoy a pleasant walk through beautiful…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children’s Fountain at Clark St. and North Ave.

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.

Learn More

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children’s Fountain at Clark St. and North Ave.