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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.

2 Hours
$30 Public
Free for Members
Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Dr.

The city's first elevated train started making trips in 1892. Now considered one of Chicago’s most defining features, the "L" offers incredible views of downtown. By being more than 20 feet off the ground, you'll see architectural details that are missed by most pedestrians at street level. This is our most comprehensive tour in the Loop, passing hundreds of buildings and highlighting ones of architectural significance.

  • Masks are required to be worn at all times on CTA property and on CTA vehicles. Per their website, “Per federal mandate, state order and CTA Rules of Conduct, masks or face coverings are required in public places and on all CTA properties -- even if you are vaccinated. As such, all customers* are required to wear masks/coverings while on a CTA bus, train, platform or in a station or other building or facility owned and operated by the CTA.
  • This tour is not ADA accessible. Stairs are required.
  • Only about 15 minutes of this two-hour tour is on a train, while most of the remaining tour takes place outdoors standing on the station platforms. Please dress appropriately for the weather.
  • A Ventra ("L" train) pass is needed to take part in this tour. You can purchase a Ventra pass for an additional fee of $5.50 at the CAC Box Office. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before the tour start time.
  • Ticket price includes entrance to the Chicago Architecture Center within 7 days of your tour. View the CAC's hours.
Please review the latest COVID-19 Safety Policies.

Upcoming Elevated Architecture: Downtown "L" Train Tours