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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

Elevated Architecture: Downtown "L" Train

Explore Chicago’s amazing architecture from the unique perspective of elevated trains and station platforms. Learn the history behind the famous "L" system and hear how it has shaped the development of buildings within the Loop.

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.

Chicago Icons: Connecting Past and Present

This lively overview of Chicago architecture explores iconic buildings from the 1890s to present. We'll compare and contrast a wide range of buildings with varying architectural styles and see how older structures connect to new skyline additions.

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

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

Historic Skyscrapers

Chicago is home to some of the world’s earliest skyscrapers. Get an up-close look at these 19th Century marvels, learn about innovations used to build them and discover how they transformed Chicago into a center of skyscraper design and engineering…

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

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

Art Deco Skyscrapers: The Loop

Tour the lobbies of Art Deco masterpieces built in the heart of Chicago’s financial district during the Roaring '20s. Learn how Art Deco reflected the era’s fun-loving optimism with lavish materials and geometric ornament.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
In front of 30 N. LaSalle St.

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
In front of 30 N. LaSalle St.

Tiffany Treasures

Learn about the life and work of Louis Comfort Tiffany as we visit some of Chicago’s most magnificent art-glass and mosaic installations, each designed and crafted by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company.

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Cultural Center north lobby, 77 E. Randolph

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Cultural Center north lobby, 77 E. Randolph

875 N. Michigan Ave (John Hancock Center)

Completed in 1970, 875 N. Michigan Ave (John Hancock Center) dominates the northern end of Chicago’s skyline. On this tour, you'll learn how the building forever changed the character of North Michigan Avenue.

Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
875 N. Michigan Ave., lower level lobby

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
875 N. Michigan Ave., lower level lobby

Aqua, Vista and Lakeshore East

In just one hour, discover Chicago’s newest neighborhood, Lakeshore East, with a walk around two notable buildings designed by woman-led Studio Gang Architects: Aqua Tower and the soon-to-be-completed Vista Tower.

Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
Outside the CAC, 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
1.25 Hours
Meet
Outside the CAC, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

Art Deco Skyscrapers: The Riverfront

Tour the lobbies of five opulent Art Deco skyscrapers built near the banks of the Chicago River during the business boom of the Roaring '20s. Learn how Art Deco reflected the era’s fun-loving optimism with lavish materials and geometric ornament.

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

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

Beverly (North): Elegance on the Ridge

Once home to some of Chicago’s wealthiest families, Beverly’s mansions are still among the most beautiful in the city. During this tour we’ll view some of Beverly’s mansions along with homes that are merely large and unique.

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Metra station, 103rd St. and Walden Pkwy.

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
Metra station, 103rd St. and Walden Pkwy.

Beverly (South): A Castle, Mansions and More

Tour one of Chicago’s most fascinating neighborhoods, Beverly. Explore two houses built just after the Great Fire of 1871, a Frank Lloyd Wright home and a true Chicago castle. This tour showcases part of Chicago’s Longwood Drive Landmark District…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Metra station, 103rd St. and Walden Pkwy.

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
Metra station, 103rd St. and Walden Pkwy.

Calvary Cemetery: Catholics in Chicago

Join us as we visit Chicagoland's oldest Catholic cemetery to see the resting places of prominent Irish and Italian Americans, including Chicago mayor Jane Byrne, as well as three other Chicago mayors. On this tour we will examine the rise of Catholics…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
301 Chicago Ave., Evanston, inside the front gate

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
301 Chicago Ave., Evanston, inside the front gate

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Experience the allure of a historic, exclusive men's club transformed into a 21st century luxury hotel. You will see old world craftsmanship restored to its original elegance, plus renovated and newly added spaces.

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
12 S. Michigan Ave., front entrance

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
12 S. Michigan Ave., front entrance

Chicago Architecture: A Walk Through Time

Want a quick introduction to Chicago’s magnificent architecture? This 90-minute tour takes a comprehensive look at the city’s architectural history by viewing buildings in chronological order, from early skyscrapers to new supertall high rises.

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

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

Chicago Board of Trade Building

The Chicago Board of Trade is a Loop icon anchoring the LaSalle Street financial corridor. We’ll see newly designed and renovated spaces, historical art and the massive traders’ vault within the three architecturally distinct Board of Trade buildings…

Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
141 W. Jackson Blvd., inside the building lobby

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Price
$20 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
141 W. Jackson Blvd., inside the building lobby

Chicago Pedway

Discover the fascinating “city below the city” used by Chicagoans every day—the Pedway. From the Thompson Center to Block 37 to the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, our one and half mile walking tour introduces the history, design and unique surprises of…

Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lower level of Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph*

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Price
$26 public (includes CAC admission), Free for CAC members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Lower level of Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph*