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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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

Duration
1 Hour
Meet
401 N. Wabash Ave., building's east 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
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…

Duration
1.5 Hours
Meet
Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 N. Leavitt 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
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…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
University Bookstore, 58th St. and Ellis 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
2 Hours
Meet
University Bookstore, 58th St. and Ellis Ave.