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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

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…

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.

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.

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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

Razzle Dazzle: Loop Theater District

See the exteriors and lobbies of several historic and modern theaters in the recently revitalized Loop theater district. Hear Chicago’s storied history of theater and movies while learning about this unique form of architecture.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St.

Railway Exchange Building

While touring the Railway Exchange building it's easy to imagine Chicago soon after the turn of the 20th century, when this glistening white skyscraper was a dramatic addition to the skyline.

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
224 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
0.75 Hour
Meet
224 S. Michigan Ave.

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
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Main Lobby, 1 W. Washington St. entrance

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
On the plaza at 65 E. Huron St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
On the plaza at 65 E. Huron St.

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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
River-level, Vietnam Memorial near State St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
River-level, Vietnam Memorial near State St.

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. Venture to the 11th floor to visit the architects’ private library, a space rarely open to visitors…

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
209 S. LaSalle St. at the grand staircase

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
South east corner of State St. and Jackson Blvd.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
South east corner of State St. and Jackson Blvd.

Schools by Bus

Take a day trip to the North Shore to see some fantastic school architecture. We will visit the acclaimed Crow Island School, the North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka and two new additions to Northwestern University.

Duration
5 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
5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.*

Sculpture in the Loop

From the traditional realism of the Art Institute's bronze lions to the sleek modernism of the "Cloud Gate" in Millennium Park, downtown Chicago is filled with great public sculpture. Discover the changing relationships between architecture and sculpture…

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.