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Once the largest building in the world, the Merchandise Mart remains a center for commercial and residential design. This massive structure has kept up with the times and is now recognized as a key Chicago hub for technological innovation.

0.75 Hour
$20 public (includes CAC admission)
Free for CAC members
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago River entrance

Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the mammoth Merchandise Mart opened its doors in 1930. Ever since, it has had a commanding presence on the north bank of the Chicago River. The interior is filled with sumptuous Art Deco ornamentation, including gorgeous Jules Guerin murals which illustrate commerce throughout the world.

Commerce defines what happens in this "city within a city," which has its own elevated transit station and houses many shops, restaurants, showrooms, offices and exhibition space. Environmentally sensitive renovations by management have resulted in the Merchandise Mart's Gold LEED certification in recent years.

After the tour ends, linger awhile for lunch and visit Luxe Home's kitchen, bath and building product boutiques, located on Merchandise Mart’s main floor.

  • The tour meets at the foot of the grand stairs in the main lobby. The lobby is in the center of the building; enter through the south entrance facing the Chicago River.
  • Although it's not required, we recommend making reservations in advance for this tour.
  • Ticket price includes entrance to the Chicago Architecture Center within 7 days of your tour. View the CAC's hours.
  • This tour is available for private bookings. Contact for more information.

Upcoming Merchandise Mart Tours