Opened to the public in 2018, our riverfront location is in the heart of the city, where Michigan Avenue meets the Chicago River, featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space filled with super-sized models—and views—of iconic skyscrapers.
The Center is also your gateway to more than 50 CAC walking tours plus Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady.
Center exhibits focus on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, housing types, leading architects and future projects, and include the largest scale model of the city, with more than 4,250 miniature buildings, interactive touchscreens, and a cinematic backdrop animating key moments in its history.
Effective Friday, August 20, the Chicago Department of Public Health requires that everyone 2+ wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. This includes in our Center, anytime a walking tour goes indoors, and in the enclosed salon area onboard the vessels of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.
Visit architecture.org/safety for the latest information regarding the CAC’s response to COVID-19.
CAFC RIVER CRUISES
Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady have resumed for the 2021 season. Tickets are now on sale.
The Chicago Architecture Center continues to expand the walking tour schedule back to pre-pandemic levels. In addition to our previous offerings, we are offering several new tours.
Due to increased capacity, we are no longer requiring advanced reservations for tours departing from the CAC. Please review COVID-19 safety policies for CAC walking tours here.
EXPLORE THE CENTER
The Chicago Architecture Center—where the stories of the city begin—encourages visitors of all ages to:
- Learn how Chicago became “the city of architecture” with exhibits about its many diverse neighborhoods, housing types, leading architects and current projects
- Interact with the Chicago City Model Experience, an incredibly detailed, three-dimensional cityscape activated by special effects and a short film
- Discover Chicago’s continued leading role in the design of tall buildings that have changed skylines around the world
- Explore how design can shape and sustain the cities of tomorrow and imagine what urban life will look like in 2050
- Reserve their spot on one of the CAC’s acclaimed architecture tours, led by expertly trained volunteer docents
The CAC, including Box Office, Design Store, and exhibit galleries, are open daily from 10am-5pm. Advanced tickets are not required to enter the Center.
Student (with ID): $10
Children ages 5 and younger: Free
Center admission is included in the price of all walking, bus and L tours.
Discounted CAC admission is available with the purchase of a River Cruise ticket.
*Discount available only at time of River Cruise ticket purchase. Visit the box office or architecturecruise.com for information. Center admission valid within 7 days of cruise.
It pays to be a CAC member! Members get free admission to the CAC year-round, free tickets to public walking tours, an annual buy-one-get-one-free river cruise ticket benefit, priority access to the annual Open House Chicago festival and much more.
Become a member
Chicago Architecture Center:
111 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
Chicago's First Lady Cruises Dock:
112 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60601
From the Kennedy (I-90) and Edens (I-94) expressways, exit at Washington Street (past the Ohio Street exit). Turn left (east) on Washington Street to Michigan Avenue. Turn left (north) on Michigan Avenue and proceed to E. South Water St. Turn right (east) on E. South Water St. and the parking garage entrance is the first driveway east of Michigan Ave., on the north side of E. South Water St. (address is 233 N. Michigan Ave.).
From the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), continue eastbound into the city (the Eisenhower turns into Congress) to Michigan Avenue. Turn left (north) at Michigan Avenue. Left turns are not permitted at Michigan Avenue, so cross over Michigan to the turning circle, bearing left and double back to Michigan Avenue, now turning right to head north. Continue north on Michigan Avenue until you reach E. South Water St. just south of the river and proceed as above.
From Lakeshore Drive, take the north or south exit at Wacker Drive and continue westbound. Turn left (south) on Michigan Ave., then take the first left on E. South Water St. The parking garage entrance is the first driveway east of Michigan Ave., on the north side of E. South Water Street.
Public Transportation (CTA)
The closest CTA train transit stations are State & Lake (Brown, Green, Orange & Purple Lines), Lake (Red Line) and Clark & Lake or Washington (Blue Line). In each case, after exiting the station, walk east to Michigan Avenue, cross over to the east side, then walk north toward the river/Michigan Avenue Bridge. Do not cross the bridge. When you reach Wacker Drive, turn right (east) and the CAC will be the second building on your right. Visit the CTA's website for routes and schedules at transitchicago.com.
The closest parking garage is located at 111 East Wacker Drive. CAC guests and members receive a discount on parking at this garage for up to 4 hours. YOU MUST GET YOUR PARKING TICKET STAMPED at the CAC Box Office or the dockside CFL River Cruise box office. To receive your discounted rate pay at the LAZ garage office located inside 111 E Wacker opposite Potbellies Sandwiches. The parking garage is open 24/7.
Several other public parking garages are available in the River North and Loop neighborhoods. SpotHero can help you find a good deal. To reserve your parking spot, visit the Chicago Architecture Center SpotHero Parking Page and book with rates up to 50% off drive-up. Please note: if parking is pre-purchased, early arrival or departure is subjected to additional charges at the garage’s discretion.
New to SpotHero? Download the SpotHero app.
Questions? Give SpotHero a call at (312) 566-7768.
Plan a private or custom tour experience for a group of up to six people.
312.922.3432 for general info
312.922.TOUR (8687) to book a tour
Additional contact details
Do you have further questions about the CAC? Read our frequently asked questions.