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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

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…

Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
35 W. 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
1.25 Hours
Meet
35 W. Wacker Dr.

Monadnock Building

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

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside Monadnock building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

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Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside Monadnock building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

Monroe Building and Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Come discover the Monroe Building—Chicago's architectural gem hidden in plain sight! See its gorgeous façade and amazing Rookwood tiled lobby, both lovingly restored to their 1912 splendor, along with the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Lobby of 104 S. Michigan 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
1 Hour
Meet
Lobby of 104 S. Michigan Ave.

Motor Row

Take a trip back into the Golden Age of the automobile when all your automotive needs could be found in what remains the most intact historic automotive mall in the United States. The Landmark Motor Row Historic District contains more than 50 buildings…

Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
2222 S. Michigan 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
1.25 Hours
Meet
2222 S. Michigan Ave.

Must-Hear Chicago: A Tour for the Visually Impaired

CAC's walking tour for the visually impaired or blind and their companions is offered from May through October. The tour, led by a team of CAC docents, takes place in the Loop and includes six buildings of varying styles from the 1890s to the 1970s. Custom-made…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Federal Plaza, Jackson Blvd. and Dearborn Ave. Tour ends at Sullivan Center, 1 S. State St.

Note: This tour can be scheduled for private departures, from May through October, during any day of the week between 10am and 3pm.

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Federal Plaza, Jackson Blvd. and Dearborn Ave. Tour ends at Sullivan Center, 1 S. State St.

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.

Navy Pier and Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Explore the ever-changing Navy Pier and Chicago Shakespeare Theater on this new tour! 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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park Zoo admin building

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park Zoo admin building

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.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash 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
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

Parks and Boulevards by Bus

Join us on a leisurely summertime drive along Chicago’s stunning western boulevards, through Columbus, Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas parks. Along the way, learn about the landscape architects who thoughtfully created these beloved green spaces.

Price
$55 public (includes CAC admission), $47 CAC members
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$55 public (includes CAC admission), $47 CAC members
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Preservation Chicago’s Most Endangered Buildings

Hosted in partnership with the nonprofit organization Preservation Chicago, this tour visits several buildings and sites at risk of being demolished.

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

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

Private and Custom Tour Experiences

Let us arrange a private or custom architecture tour for you! An experienced and knowledgeable CAC docent can take you on an existing tour or create a tour based on your interests. These tours are perfect for anyone looking for a more exclusive experience…

Note: Private and custom tours can be scheduled by contacting Group Sales at 312.322.1130 or groupsales@architecture.org.

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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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark St

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Hamburger Mary’s, 5400 N. Clark St

Pub Tour: Lakeview

Experience the vitality of Lakeview, originally a separate suburban settlement north of Chicago. Lake View Township, organized in 1857, was widely populated by German immigrants and we will see how the German influence is still felt in this community…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Belmont and Sheffield, entrance to the L station

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
2.5 Hours
Meet
Belmont and Sheffield, entrance to the L station

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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.