Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tours in Chicago, IL

Chicago Architecture FoundationChicago, IL 60604
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Marvel at Chicago’s incredible architecture on one of the walking tours presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Learn about the Windy City’s towering skyscrapers or discover more about the Art Deco architectural style found in the city. During your chosen tour, you’ll take a look at buildings from Chicago’s past, present and future while following your knowledgeable tour guide.

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Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Choose from one of four different architecture tours around Chicago.
  • Tours are approximately 2 hours long.
  • All tours meet at the CAF Shop and Tour Center located at 224 S. Michigan Ave.
  • Remember to bring your camera.
  • Wear comfortable attire and walking shoes.


from Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tours
Chicago is known around the world for its architecture. Whether you go on a tour downtown or in a neighborhood, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s expert docent guides will tell you the secrets and 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.

- Historic Skyscrapers Walking Tour
Chicago is home to some of the world's earliest skyscrapers. On this tour, take a step back in time to the late 19th century to learn how these famous early tall buildings transformed a city devastated by fire into a center of skyscraper design and engineering. Highlights of this walking tour include: Burnham and Root's Rookery (1888), with its Moorish and Romanesque exterior and its interior atrium redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright; Adler and Sullivan's Auditorium Building (1889), a masterpiece of acoustical and structural engineering; Holabird and Roche's Marquette Building (1895), an outstanding example of Chicago commercial building design; and Holabird and Root's Chicago Board of Trade Building (1930), a glamorous Art Deco skyscraper.

- Art Deco Skyscrapers Downtown Walking Tour

Art Deco’s lavish materials and geometric ornament epitomized the prosperity and optimism of the Roaring 20s. See how the popular modern style enriches the soaring exteriors and opulent interiors of some of the city's most beautiful skyscrapers. On this tour, you’ll learn the origins of Art Deco and discover its hallmark motifs while admiring landmark Art Deco buildings like the Chicago Board of Trade, One LaSalle Street and the Field Building.

- Evolution of the Skyscrapers Tour
Chicago is known for building some of the world’s first skyscrapers, but how have their designs and technologies changed over time? This tour provides an enticing overview of several tall buildings from 1872 to present and explains how each represents major architectural developments. See how architects adapted building styles to meet the fashions of their era and kept using cutting-edge engineering to build taller than ever before. Featured buildings include the Monadnock Building, Federal Center and Willis Tower.

- Chicago Modern

In the mid-20th Century, Chicago was at the forefront of Modernism—a style that revolutionized our visual world. View iconic modern skyscrapers, along with works of contemporary art by world-renowned artists, on this 90-minute walking tour. You’ll encounter famous skyscrapers designed by pioneers of Modernism, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg and Edward Durell Stone. Together with these buildings are masterpieces of public art by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder and more. We'll also view skyscrapers that represent the architecture of the 21st century.

Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tours Reviews

Park Liu Tripster User Profile Image
Park Liu
Los Angeles, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Architecture Foundation Walking Tours"
June 2018
Excellent tours with many building in the Art Deco traditions.
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Tip: Have to walk quickly.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago Architecture Foundation Walking Tours

How long is the tour?
Tour lengths vary:
  • Historic Skyscrapers Tour: 2 hours
  • Art Deco Skyscrapers: 2 hours
  • Evolution of Skyscrapers: 1.5 hours
  • Chicago Modern: 1.5 hours

Who gives the tours?
All tours are led by CAF-certified volunteer docents who receive hundreds of hours of training about Chicago’s architecture and its history.

Is parking available?
Yes. The following parking garages are located near the Chicago Architecture Foundation:
  • The Grant Park South garage—enter on Michigan Ave.
  • The Millennium Park garage—enter on Wacker Dr.
  • Grant Park North garage—enter on Michigan Ave.

Is luggage or stroller storage available?

What happens if it rains?
Tours are not refunded due to weather. Chicago Architecture Foundation walking tours depart rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

Are pets allowed on the tours?
Only service animals are welcome on tours.

What should I wear?
Dress for the weather forecast and wear comfortable walking shoes.