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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

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.

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.

Kenwood

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

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Woodlawn Ave. and E. Hyde Park Blvd. (51st St.)

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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,…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
600 N. Sheridan Rd., Lake Bluff train station

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Cemetery gate at far north end of Lake Ave.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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!

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.

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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children’s Fountain at Clark St. and North Ave.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Children’s Fountain at Clark St. and North Ave.

Logan Square

Step back into the late 19th century and early 20th century with this walk down Logan Boulevard, one of the best preserved sections of Chicago’s boulevard system.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Intersection of Logan, Kedzie and Milwaukee 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.

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Intersection of Logan, Kedzie and Milwaukee Ave.

Louis Sullivan Rediscovered

See the trailblazing work of Louis H. Sullivan on this tour through Chicago’s Loop and discover how this pioneering architect cleverly fused elements of nature with early skyscraper technology.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Southwest corner of Monroe St. and Columbus Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Southwest corner of Monroe St. and Columbus Dr.

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
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Entrance at 28 E. Washington St. (near Wabash)

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Entrance at 28 E. Washington St. (near Wabash)

Maggie Daley Park

A new and unique addition to Chicago's urban landscape, Maggie Daley Park provides an adventurous and playful space that features climbing walls, tennis courts, an ice-skating and walking ribbon, an enchanted forest and play areas, all set among grassy…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
BP Bridge, SE corner of Millennium Park Great Lawn

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
BP Bridge, SE corner of Millennium Park Great Lawn

Magnificent Architecture of the Magnificent Mile

Discover how a dirt road known as Pine Street transformed into a "Paris on the Prairie" and later into the Magnificent Mile, the city’s premier shopping district. Hear the secrets and stories behind the striking buildings on North Michigan Avenue that…

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.

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
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
140 S. Dearborn St., inside the building lobby

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
140 S. Dearborn St., inside the building lobby

Media Production Center of Columbia College Chicago

Discover one of Chicago's boldest and most colorful buildings, the Media Production Center at Columbia College, designed by world-renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, winner of a 2011 MacArthur Foundation Fellows Award.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Media Production Center, 1600 S. State 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 Hour
Meet
Media Production Center, 1600 S. State St.

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
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago River entrance

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago River entrance