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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

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.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
SE corner of Sheffield and Fullerton

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
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

Synagogues by Bus

Learn about synagogue architecture and the history of Chicago’s early German Jewish community on this new tour, with stops on the South Side and in the Loop.

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

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this one-time only 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
4.5 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Trump International Hotel & Tower

Completed in 2009, Trump Tower is the second-tallest building in Chicago. View the building, its plaza and the Riverwalk as you learn about its unique architecture and engineering.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
401 N. Wabash Ave., building's east entrance

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
401 N. Wabash Ave., building's east entrance

Ukrainian Village

Take in the beauty of Ukrainian Village’s churches—including Louis Sullivan’s stunning Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral—and residential architecture while hearing stories of Eastern European immigrants who first called the neighborhood…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 N. Leavitt St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 N. Leavitt St.

Union Station: Icon of a Great Age

Union Station is seen every day by thousands of commuters—and yet, not really seen! Slow down and take in the gorgeous details of this historic landmark, including the stunning Great Hall, which was recently restored to its original 1925 glory.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
500 W. Jackson Blvd. between Canal and Clinton

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
500 W. Jackson Blvd. between Canal and Clinton

University of Chicago

Come explore the early Collegiate Gothic roots of the university campus in the original quadrangles, the “march of mid-century modernism” along the Midway and the recent, breath-taking architectural additions such as the Mansueto Library and the Midway…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
University Bookstore, 58th St. and Ellis Ave.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
University Bookstore, 58th St. and Ellis Ave.

Uptown

Discover Uptown—a treasure trove of terra cotta ornament and creatively repurposed historic buildings; home to entertainment palaces like the Riviera, Green Mill and the Aragon Ballroom; and one of the most diverse neighborhoods on the North Side.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Wilson CTA L stop, near the Divvy bike station

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Wilson CTA L stop, near the Divvy bike station

Vice to Nice: Transformation of the South Loop

The story of the South Loop is complete with characters, corruption, renewal and transformation. Explore how an area known for vice, gangsters, a few famous madams and a lot of abandoned railroad tracks has transformed into today’s thriving South Loop…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building Lobby, 430 S. Michigan Ave.*

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Auditorium Building Lobby, 430 S. Michigan Ave.*

Walk Pilsen

Discover Pilsen, a neighborhood that continues to welcome immigrants, adding to the mosaic that enriches urban life. Walk a vibrant community whose architecture and art reflect the dreams of all who come to Chicago. Trace European and Mexican influences…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CTA 18th St. L station, just west of Paulina St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
CTA 18th St. L station, just west of Paulina St.

Walk the 606

Learn about The 606/Bloomingdale Trail and how it came to be during this 90-minute, one-mile walking tour along the beautifully restored Bloomingdale railroad viaduct on Chicago’s Northwest side.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Trail entrance above Marshfield and Bloomingdale

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Trail entrance above Marshfield and Bloomingdale

White City Revisited

Explore Jackson Park, site of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and future home to the Obama Presidential Center.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
In the parking lot at Hayes Dr. and Cornell Ave.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
In the parking lot at Hayes Dr. and Cornell Ave.

Wicker Park

Learn the history of this Northwest Side classic Chicago neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Developed by numerous immigrant communities beginning in the 1870s, today it is a diverse mix of economic levels and architectural…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
The statue of Charles Wicker inside Wicker Park

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
The statue of Charles Wicker inside Wicker Park