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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

Motor Row

Take a trip back into the Golden Age of the automobile when all your automotive needs could be found in what remains the most intact historic automotive mall in the United States. The Landmark Motor Row Historic District contains more than 50 buildings…

Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
2222 S. Michigan Ave.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour. To learn about other CAF tours and events, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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Duration
1.25 Hours
Meet
2222 S. Michigan Ave.

Must-Hear Chicago: A Tour for the Visually Impaired

CAF's walking tour for the visually impaired or blind and their companions is offered from May through October. The tour, led by a team of CAF docents, takes place in the Loop and includes six buildings of varying styles from the 1890s to the 1970s. Custom-made…

Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Federal Plaza, Jackson Blvd. and Dearborn Ave. Tour ends at Sullivan Center, 1 S. State St.

Note: This tour can be scheduled for private departures, from May through October, during any day of the week between 10am and 3pm.

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Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Federal Plaza, Jackson Blvd. and Dearborn Ave. Tour ends at Sullivan Center, 1 S. State St.

Navy Pier and Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Explore the ever-changing Navy Pier and Chicago Shakespeare Theater on this new tour! Learn how the pier has served Chicago through adaptive reuse since 1916 and why both the pier and theater are such popular tourist destinations.

Price
$15 public, Free for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

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Price
$15 public, Free for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Old Town Triangle

No other Chicago neighborhood is like Old Town. Tucked behind high-rises and moments from the vast green space of Lincoln Park, this landmark district has a unique history and diversity. We’ll explore homes built immediately after the Great Fire of…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park Zoo admin building

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2 Hours
Meet
2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park Zoo admin building

Palmer House Hotel

Experience the glamour, intrigue and excitement of the bygone era of the "Grand Hotel" at the Palmer House. Explore the recently restored public spaces and beautifully renovated guest rooms while learning about the intriguing history of the country's…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
1 Hour
Meet
Inside the hotel entrance at 124 S. Wabash Ave.

Parks by Bus

You may have driven past them or rode by on bike paths, but have you ever really explored the nature preserves on both sides of Lakeshore Drive? This year's Parks by Bus tour will take you to four parks near Lake Michigan, with time to stop and smell…

Price
$50 public, $42 CAF members
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$50 public, $42 CAF members
Duration
4 Hours
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Private and Custom Tour Experiences

Let us arrange a private or custom architecture tour for you! An experienced and knowledgeable CAF docent can take you on an existing tour or create a tour based on your interests. These tours are perfect for anyone looking for a more exclusive experience…

Note: Private and custom tours can be scheduled by contacting Group Sales at 312.322.1130 or groupsales@architecture.org.

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Pub Tour: Andersonville

Get a “taste” of Andersonville—a historically landmarked neighborhood settled by Swedish farmers in the 1850s. See the culture reflected in the classic architecture and thriving establishments as we drop into colorful local pubs for vast selections…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Andersonville Brewing Co., 5402 N. Clark St.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Andersonville Brewing Co., 5402 N. Clark St.

Pub Tour: Lakeview

Experience the vitality of Lakeview, originally a separate suburban settlement north of Chicago. Lake View Township, organized in 1857, was widely populated by German immigrants and we will see how the German influence is still felt in this community…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Belmont and Sheffield, entrance to the L station

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour. To learn about other CAF tours and events, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Belmont and Sheffield, entrance to the L station

Pub Tour: Near North

Determine for yourself why design matters as we view unexpected architecture in the Near North section of the River North neighborhood. We see the recently completed Poetry Foundation building, learn about universal design and visit a decades-old speakeasy…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Clark Street Ale House, 742 N Clark St.

Pub Tour: River North

Admire River North’s architecture and explore some of the neighborhood’s favorite watering holes while you learn about Chicago’s role as the center of the brewing industry, the 1850s “beer wars” and more. We’ll visit an Irish pub, an English…

Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
The outdoor plaza of 515 N. State St.

Note: No upcoming departures are currently scheduled for this tour. To learn about other CAF tours and events, sign up to receive our monthly e-news at architecture.org/email.

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Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
The outdoor plaza of 515 N. State St.

Pub Tour: West Loop

Combining post Chicago-fire buildings with the legends of the Haymarket Riots, Chicago's West Loop will certainly make a lasting impression on you. The Chicago Park District has added green space to this growing community that retains deep roots to the…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
2.5 Hours
Meet
Haymarket Pub, 737 W Randolph St.

Railway Exchange (Santa Fe) Building

Completed in 1904, the Railway Exchange Building features a sumptuous light court, beautiful glazed terra cotta details and a breathtaking grand staircase. It was in this building where Daniel Burnham produced the 1909 Plan of Chicago, where several architecture…

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
CAF Shop and Tour Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Reliance Building (Alise Chicago)

Explore the exterior, interior lobbies and two upper floors of this John Wellborn Root- and Charles Atwood-designed building where much of the original marble, mahogany doors and decorative wrought iron work are still in evidence.

Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF members
Duration
0.75 Hour
Meet
Main Lobby, 1 W. Washington St. entrance

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Price
$15 public, FREE for CAF 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.