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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

Gold Coast: Astor Street

Discover the architectural treasures of the Gold Coast, one of Chicago’s most affluent neighborhoods. This tour covers residential architecture along Lake Shore Drive and in the Astor Street Historic District.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
North Ave. between State and Astor Streets

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
North Ave. between State and Astor Streets

Gold Coast: Dearborn Street

See some of Chicago's most beautiful residences and an early 1900s church on this delightful walk along three blocks of Dearborn Street. Learn the history of this storied Near North neighborhood, established in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Intersection of Dearborn St. and North Blvd.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Intersection of Dearborn St. and North Blvd.

Graceland Cemetery

Beautiful and serene, Graceland Cemetery is a treasured oasis in the center of our bustling city. Notables interred here are Chicago's movers and shakers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Daniel Burnham, Potter Palmer, Charles Wacker, George…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Clark St. and Irving Park Rd., inside the gate

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Clark St. and Irving Park Rd., inside the gate

Graceland Cemetery: Symbols in Stone

As we explore a venerable section of Graceland Cemetery, we’ll discuss the meanings of and changes to gravestone symbols and shapes, from Victorian times to the present day. We’ll see a variety of obelisks and mausoleums, as well as distinctive memorials…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Clark St. and Irving Park Rd., inside the gate

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Clark St. and Irving Park Rd., inside the gate

Grant Park Secrets

Grant Park’s landscape is both front yard and recreation spot for Chicago. But did you know that the area was once under water? Or that at one time it housed an airfield, a major league sports team and the tomb of a Civil War hero? Join us as we unlock…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
AIC South Garden; Michigan Ave. and Jackson Blvd.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
AIC South Garden; Michigan Ave. and Jackson Blvd.

Hidden (Mostly Indoor) Art

Walk with us and find the truly fine art hiding in building lobbies across the Loop—and a few on the buildings themselves. Find out why these pieces are placed where they are, discover new artists and learn how the art and the buildings complement each…

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Outside the building at 222 N. LaSalle 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
1 Hour
Meet
Outside the building at 222 N. LaSalle St.

Hidden (Mostly Outdoor) Art

See what you might not see—fine art hidden in the open. Find out why what’s there is there, discover artists new to you, see old friends in new ways and learn why building owners and managers want art at their buildings.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
In front of 150 N. 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
1 Hour
Meet
In front of 150 N. Michigan Ave.

Highland Park

This tour traces Highland Park’s history from pioneer settlement to summer retreat for Chicago’s wealthy to year-round suburb. Encounter a beautiful variety of residential styles and see homes by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and W. W. Boyington…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave.

Historic Treasures of Chicago’s Golden Age

Learn about the great architectural landmarks of Michigan Avenue and State Street, with glimpses inside beautiful buildings from the 1890s-1930s. Highlights include the dazzling interiors of the Palmer House Hotel and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Hotel Boom: Making Old New Again

Chicago is experiencing a surge in tourism, resulting in the creative repurpose of historic skyscrapers into chic new hotels. Learn how and why a former athletic club, silver manufacturer and motor club have undergone this change.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Hyde Park

In addition to being the site of the 1893 World’s Fair, Hyde Park is also home to the University of Chicago and many significant buildings, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Robie House. See these sites as well as pre-Chicago Fire houses…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
59th St. and Woodlawn Ave., Rockefeller Chapel*

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
59th St. and Woodlawn Ave., Rockefeller Chapel*

Illinois Center Pedway

Take a warm walk and see the cool architecture of the Illinois Center Pedway. Learn how an abandoned railway freight yard was transformed into an important urban development. You’ll see some pretty and some gritty portions of the Pedway as we travel…

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

Note: Scheduled departures for this tour will return next season. Please email tickets@architecture.org to be notified when tickets are available.

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

Inland Steel Building

As the first skyscraper built within the Loop after World War II, the Inland Steel Building became an instant symbol of Chicago’s prominence as a modern American city in the 20th century.

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
30 W. Monroe St., inside the building's lobby

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Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
30 W. Monroe St., inside the building's lobby

Jenney and Chicago's Skyscraper Pioneers

William Le Baron Jenney not only created the first metal-frame skyscraper, he also influenced a whole generation of 19th Century architects. Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, William Mundie, William Holabird and Martin Roche all worked for Jenney in the…

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.

Kenwood

Hear the history of this stately neighborhood, home to Chicago’s early industrialists, modern-day innovators and President Barack Obama.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Woodlawn Ave. and E. Hyde Park Blvd. (51st St.)

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Woodlawn Ave. and E. Hyde Park Blvd. (51st St.)