Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread in Chicago, IL

Fannie May Candy StoreChicago , IL 60603
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Presented by Chicago Detours, the Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread is a 1.5-hour experience for guests of all ages to enjoy. The tour showcases architecture, graphic design, fashion design and pop culture, while learning about how they connect with Chicago’s history. Highlights include Michigan Avenue Bridge, Jeanne Gang’s famous Aqua Tower, Chicago’s underground layers and more.

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from Best Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers
This fun and creative Chicago architecture walking tour puts architecture in context of the arts and pop culture.

What does Michael Jackson’s Thriller have to do with the design of a post-modern skyscraper? Or Andy Warhol’s soup cans with modernism? The Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread is a creative tour of Chicago architecture, designed for curious people. You will learn about architectural styles through their connections with technology and culture, including pop culture. We’ll look at lots of eye candy while expanding our understanding of architectural styles and Chicago history. It’s a very visual and interactive tour.

All arts are a reflection of an age. Styles in creations like architecture, graphic design, fashion design and pop culture have similar qualities when they come from the same era. We will compare architecture with contemporaneous works other media to help us learn how to identify architectural styles and most all all, to understand their deeper connections with history. We will also consider how the advancements in technology and engineering have shaped buildings.

Why is this the “best” architecture walking tour since sliced bread? The fun and creative educational approach of this Chicago architecture walking tour makes it unlike any other architecture tour in the city. We know it’s absurd to call anything the “best.” We say this simply because the tour is the best for Detours-minded folks. The tour appeals to both Chicago locals and visitors. People well-versed in art history will enjoy it, as well as tour guests new to looking at art and architecture.

You will learn about various architectural styles, both by looking at buildings in front of us and at images and video on shared iPads.

This architecture walking tour goes south of the Michigan Avenue bridge. This is a route where many people walk but rarely look up. We conclude at the very new urban playground of Maggie Daley Park.

Best Architecture Walking Tour Highlights:
Chicago’s Underground Layers
Michigan Avenue Bridge
Carbide and Carbon Building
Mies van der Rohe’s Illinois Center
Diamond Building
Aqua Tower
The New Maggie Daley Park
Shared iPads with images of pop culture comparisons

Stories and Ideas:
Fort Dearborn and the “simple life”
Chicago School of Architecture
Art Deco and the Roaring ’20s
Mechanization and the spirit of modernist architecture
The fun shapes of post-modern forms
Recent trends in city living

Walking Tour includes:
Shared iPads with historic photos and video clips
Engaging tour guide commentary
Special gifts

Link to meeting point map:

Please Note: Lasts 1.5 hours. * Half-mile walking distance. * Walking tour ends at the playground of Maggie Daley Park.

Best Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers Reviews

Amy  Wallace Tripster User Profile Image
Amy Wallace
Springfield, MO
4 Reviews
"It really is a great little tour!"
September 2016
It really is a great little tour! Amanda was our Guide and she was both, informative and fun. She made architecture relatable. Being new to the area it was great for me to see the city in a new way. I was surprised to see locals in the tour as well.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Best Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers

How early should I arrive?
We suggest arriving 10-15 minutes prior to your tour time. Also, consider time for parking if you are driving.

Where does the tour begin?
You will meet inside the Fannie May Candy Store at 343 N Michigan Ave - located at south-east corner of the Michigan Ave and Wacker Dr. intersection.

Where does the tour end?
The walking tour ends at the playground of Maggie Daley Park.

What should I wear?
We suggest comfortable walking shoes. Please be prepared to walk or stand for the tour duration. While we are not outside for most of the duration of our Chicago walking tours, please come prepared, i.e. water, umbrella.

Is parking available?
Chicago Detours offers our guests a special discounted rate for parking at the Grant Park North Garage, accessible from Michigan Avenue at Randolph Street. Rate is $15 ($38 value) subject to change, valid up to 12 hours. Upon check-in for the tour, ask the tour guide for a voucher for the discounted rate. This is four blocks from the tour meeting point, and right at the tour end location.

Is audio, video or photography allowed?
Please no video or audio recording devices. Minimal note-taking permitted. Photography during tour is welcome – but don’t get left behind!

Does the walking tour operate rain or shine?
Rain or shine we go! No refunds. In the case of serious conditions, we’ll call you.

Is the tour appropriate for children?
We welcome kids but adults will have a better time! We let you judge whether your child is interested in architecture and history

Are there bathrooms on the tour?
We advise a bathroom break before the tour.