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Chicago Architecture Foundation

Chicago Architecture FoundationChicago Architecture Foundation Tours

Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit group dedicated to increasing awareness and providing information on Chicago’s architectural treasures. Chicago’s unprecedented success as a city of architectural gems towers over all the other major architectural sights found elsewhere in the country. In 1871, Chicago’s downtown experienced the Great Chicago Fire, which prepared the stage for creating and showcasing to the world unique and innovative architectural structures.

Established in 1966, the Foundation excels in offering a spectrum of information and guidance through tours, exhibitions, programs and education workshops. It is an ideal gateway to get you well acquainted with the city’s most prominent edifices and structures.



Tours: Depending on what piques your interest, you have the option to choose a river cruise, a walking tour or a bus tour. The other alternative is to opt for all the three options and make your trip that much more enjoyable.

  • Boat Tour: The 90 minutes architectural river cruise gives you the chance to marvel at Chicago’s 50 most prominent sites. You can choose to tour the city aboard any one of the three vessels known as Chicago’s First Lady, Chicago’s Little Lady and Chicago’s Fair Lady.
  • Bus Tour: The Foundation offers three bus tours – Highlights By Bus, Frank Lloyd Wright by Bus and Framsworth House PLUS by Bus. The first tour takes you on a journey that traces the city’s founding architectural sites to the present modern day gleaming structures. It almost covers 30 miles encompassing sites in the Loop, Hyde Park, the Gold Coast, Lakefront and several residential complexes. The second bus tour allows you to explore the neighborhood where Frank Lloyd Wright stayed and developed the unique prairie form of architecture. The itinerary includes the tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and a guided walking tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District.
  • The third bus tour promises an extraordinary experience as it explores the works of the famous Modernist architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. You will get to view a collection of some of his greatest architectural works and his iconic masterpiece called the Farnsworth House.
  • Walking Tours: The trust also conducts three different types of walking tours. ‘Historic Downtown (South): Rise of the Skyscraper’ tour takes you back in time as you get to explore some of the earliest and world famous skyscrapers. The popular landmarks include Burnham and Root’s Rookery, Adler and Sullivan’s Auditorium Building, Marquette Building and Chicago Board of Trade Building. This Historic Downtown (north) is yet another tour that treats you to some of the most magnificent architectural landmarks of State Street and Michigan Avenue. If you are more interested in learning about contemporary architecture, then the Modern Skyscrapers tour is the ideal option. Trace the evolution of Modernism as you browse at the contemporary models including Trump Tower, One South Dearbon and the Art Institute’s Modern Wing.

Exhibitions and Programs: Besides tours, the trust is also known for holding exhibitions and programs regularly. One of the most popular exhibitions is the Chicago Model City, which is free and open to the public seven days a week. The exhibition focuses on discovering Chicago’s role as a model for city building. The highlight is the 320sq ft model of the downtown that allows you to view Chicago from a new perspective. Though this is one of the regular fixtures, there are a variety of other exhibitions that are regularly showcased as well. The program calendar features Wednesday Lunchtime Lectures, special programs, Behind-the-Scenes Tour and even education classes.

Discount or Coupon Detail

FREE Access With Go Chicago Card
Buy Go Chicago Card Now

Cost without the Go Chicago card:

  • Adult $15.00, Child $15.00

Operation Hours:

  • Daily, 9:00 am-6:30 pm;
  • Tours every day. Frequency varies by season.
  • Closed – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years day.

Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-922-3432 ext. 240
www.architecture.org




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