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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: 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.

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…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph 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
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph 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.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
224 S. Michigan Ave.

Reliance Building (Alise Chicago)

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…

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

Join us for a walk through the recently completed western portion of the Riverwalk, from the CAC to Lake Street. Hear how this linear park has become a magnet for outdoor recreation that some are calling Chicago’s new coastline.

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
River-level, between Wabash Ave. and 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, between Wabash Ave. and 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 building specifically designed for multiple functions including…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
South east corner of State St. and Jackson Blvd.

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
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.

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

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Price
$55 public (includes CAC admission), $47 CAC members
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

This tour of the Sheffield National Historic District provides a fascinating opportunity to see original 19th century homes alongside today's expanding campus of DePaul University. While the tour will focus on the historic structures, tourees will also…

Duration
2 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
2 Hours
Meet
SE corner of Sheffield and Fullerton

Spanish Language: Historic and Modern Skyscrapers

Este tour en español incluye rascacielos históricos y modernos. Seguiremos la historia de los “edificios altos”, partiendo de modelos del siglo XIX hasta llegar a los rascacielos contemporáneos. Descubriremos distintos estilos arquitectónicos…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. 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
2 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