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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

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.

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St.

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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

Remembering Stanley Tigerman Bus Tour

This special tour honors the legacy of Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman, who passed away in June. While Tigerman’s work is often cited for its whimsy, we will visit buildings that speak as much to his architectural skills as his philosophy.

Price
$65 Public (includes CAC admission), $55 CAC Members, $62 Students
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$65 Public (includes CAC admission), $55 CAC Members, $62 Students
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
On the plaza at 65 E. Huron 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
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…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
River-level, Vietnam Memorial near State 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
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.

Sheffield Historic District

Hear how the Sheffield District has evolved since its formation as a working-class neighborhood in the 1870s. See beautiful historic row houses and learn about residents' preservation efforts amid gentrification and DePaul University’s expansion.

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
SE corner of Sheffield and Fullerton

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
SE corner of Sheffield and Fullerton

Spanish Language: Chicago Architecture, A Walk through Time

Esta tour de 90 minutos ofrece una visión completa de la historia arquitectónica de la ciudad. Los edificios se presentan en orden cronológico, desde los primeros rascacielos hasta los nuevos rascacielos de gran altura.

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

Note: There are no upcoming public departures for this tour, but it's available for private bookings. Contact groupsales@architecture.org for more information.

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

Streeterville: From Sandbar to Lakefront Residences

Take a walk along Lake Shore Dr. to see the residences of the East Lake Shore Historic District with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan. Learn how the lake shaped the shore line and about a ne’er-do-well tug boat captain who held off the Pinkertons…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Gazebo across from the Drake Hotel

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
Gazebo across from the Drake Hotel

Sullivan Center (Carson Pirie Scott)

Celebrate the beauty of Louis Sullivan's largest commercial commission and learn about the restoration of this landmark department store. This tour looks at Sullivan’s innovative building design, characterized by magnificent ornamental detail.

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
33 S. State St., inside the building entrance

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
33 S. State St., inside the building entrance