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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.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Inside Monadnock building, 53 W. Jackson Blvd.

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Lobby of 104 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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.

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand 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
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…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park Zoo admin building

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
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.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

Parks by Bus

You might drive or bike past them often, but have you ever really explored Chicago’s beautiful parks? This year’s Parks by Bus tour will take you to fascinating parks and fieldhouses, with time to stop and smell the flowers!

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

Note: The annual departure of this special CAC tour will be scheduled again next year. To get tour updates, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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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
Andersonville Brewing Co., 5402 N. Clark St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Andersonville Brewing Co., 5402 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…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour. To learn about other CAF tours and events, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

Pub Tour: River North

Admire River North’s architecture and explore some of the neighborhood’s favorite watering holes while you learn about Chicago’s role as the center of the brewing industry, the 1850s “beer wars” and more. We’ll visit an Irish pub, an English…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
The outdoor plaza of 515 N. 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
2.5 Hours
Meet
The outdoor plaza of 515 N. State St.