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Once the largest building in the world, the Merchandise Mart remains a center for fashion and design. This massive structure has kept up with the times and is now recognized as a key Chicago hub for technological innovation. Environmentally sensitive renovations by management have resulted in the Merchandise Mart’s Gold LEED certification, while lavish Art Deco ornamentation has always made this "city within a city" a visual delight.

0.75 Hour
$15 public
FREE for CAF members
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.

Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the mammoth Merchandise Mart opened its doors in 1930. Ever since, it’s had a commanding presence on the north bank of the Chicago River, as well as showcasing its own sumptuous ornamentation, including the gorgeous Jules Guerin murals which illustrate commerce throughout the world. Speaking of commerce, the massive building features shops, restaurants, showrooms, offices and exhibition space—not to mention its very own elevated transit station.

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.

Note: Although it's not required, we recommend making reservations in advance for this tour.

Through March 31, members can bring a friend for FREE on all CAF building tours! Individual members may bring one friend, and household members may bring up to two friends. Log into your account when purchasing tickets to redeem this offer, or reserve tickets through CAF's call center (312.922.8687). Advance reservations are required as some tours have strict capacities. View the list of qualifying tours.

Upcoming Merchandise Mart Tours