Chicago Architecture Center

Chicago Architecture Center The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation, is a nonprofit organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages.
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation, is a nonprofit organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages.
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Tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit CAF on Michigan Avenue to view our 1,000-building scale model of Chicago, shop in our award-winning store, or participate in a fun LEGO® building event in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio. Choose from 85 tours by boat, walking, bus, or even L train, including the CAF River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by CAF's expert docent guides. Learn more at architecture.org

Mission: The Chicago Architecture Center inspires people to discover why design matters.

Join us on April 22 or May 2 to learn about some of Chicago’s most stunning Art Deco skyscrapers and the defining charac...
04/20/2020
CAC Live: Art Deco Skyscrapers

Join us on April 22 or May 2 to learn about some of Chicago’s most stunning Art Deco skyscrapers and the defining characteristics of the architectural style, which epitomized the prosperity and optimism of the Roaring Twenties. Get tickets today!

Join us on April 22 or May 2 to learn about some of Chicago’s most stunning Art Deco skyscrapers and the defining characteristics of the architectural style, which epitomized the prosperity and optimism of the Roaring Twenties.

Choose your quarantine house!Each house is a different residential property in the Chicago area, and has one architect, ...
04/19/2020

Choose your quarantine house!

Each house is a different residential property in the Chicago area, and has one architect, one Chicago mayor, one Chicago musician, one Chicago writer and a wild card famous person…from Chicago—of course!

The story of the Chicago River is one that continues to unfold. Through periods of industry, transportation, revitalizat...
04/18/2020
The Chicago River: From industry to recreation

The story of the Chicago River is one that continues to unfold. Through periods of industry, transportation, revitalization and recreation, it has grown and changed like the city itself.

We can't wait to get back on the river with Chicago's First Lady Cruises! https://bit.ly/3b7TdNY

The story of the Chicago River is one that continues to unfold. Through periods of industry, transportation, revitalization and recreation, it has grown and changed like the city itself.

Take a 45-minute live, virtual tour of Chicago Commercial buildings with CAC docent Mike McMains! Hosted on April 21 and...
04/17/2020
LIVE Chicago Commercial tour

Take a 45-minute live, virtual tour of Chicago Commercial buildings with CAC docent Mike McMains!

Hosted on April 21 and 26, this is the first topic in a series of weekly tours McMains will lead in downtown Chicago through the end of May. Register today! https://www.architecture.org/programs-events/detail/cac-live-chicago-commercial-tour/

Take a 45-minute live, virtual tour of Chicago Commercial buildings with CAC docent Mike McMains! Hosted on April 21 and 26, this is the first topic in a series of weekly tours McMains will lead in downtown Chicago through the end of May.

04/17/2020
Story time with the CAC

From author Andrea Beaty, creator of “Iggy Peck, Architect” and “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” read “Sofia Valdez, Future Prez” along with CAC Senior Manager of Education and Experience Angela Esposito.

We would love to see your work! Have a trusted adult send a photo of your park design to [email protected].

04/16/2020

From author Andrea Beaty, creator of “Iggy Peck, Architect” and “Rosie Revere, Engineer,” read “Sofia Valdez, Future Prez” along with CAC Senior Manager of Education and Experience Angela Esposito.

We would love to see your work! Have a trusted adult send a photo of your park design to [email protected].

Women played significant roles in making the 1893 World’s Fair a spectacular affair. CAC docent Kathleen Carpenter will ...
04/16/2020
CAC Live: Women of the 1893 World's Fair

Women played significant roles in making the 1893 World’s Fair a spectacular affair. CAC docent Kathleen Carpenter will introduce you to these remarkable women artists, activists and achievers on April 18 at 1pm. Register today for this online program: https://bit.ly/34v7FNN

Be sure to also check out our April 22 program about Chicago’s most stunning Art Deco skyscrapers: https://bit.ly/2K7Cy1b

Several women played significant roles in making the 1893 World’s Fair a spectacularly grand affair. CAC docent Kathleen Carpenter will introduce you to these remarkable women artists, activists and achievers on April 18 and May 6.

04/15/2020
Neighborhood strollers: Chicago brick

Have you ever wondered what buildings are made of? Join CAC staff member Rebecca Boland as she takes a closer look at a commonly overlooked material: brick.

Strolling side streets through your own neighborhood is a great way to get your steps in this spring. CAC docent Nancy S...
04/14/2020
Sheffield Historic District tour with docent Nancy Sims

Strolling side streets through your own neighborhood is a great way to get your steps in this spring. CAC docent Nancy Sims shares historical snapshots from her neighborhood, for an easy walking tour in the Sheffield Historic District.

Walking in the Sheffield Historic District brings back childhood memories. It’s now where I give tours as a docent. The neighborhood is often considered “West Lincoln Park,” but it didn’t begin very ritzy, like its neighbor to the east.

Join us for an exciting online program this Wednesday, April 15 at 1pm!Author Ellen Lupton will share insights from her ...
04/13/2020
CAC Live: "Design Is Storytelling" Book Talk

Join us for an exciting online program this Wednesday, April 15 at 1pm!

Author Ellen Lupton will share insights from her book “Design Is Storytelling,” filled with sharp commentary and social observations about the way designers use storytelling techniques to create satisfying graphics, products, services and experiences. Register today: https://bit.ly/2V2qxRb

Author Ellen Lupton will share insights from her book “Design Is Storytelling,” filled with sharp commentary and social observations about the way designers use storytelling techniques to create satisfying graphics, products, services and experiences.

Chicago is famous for its stunning architecture and iconic skyline. Where is the best place to take in those beautiful v...
04/12/2020
7 best views in Chicago

Chicago is famous for its stunning architecture and iconic skyline. Where is the best place to take in those beautiful views? Here are some of our favorite spots across the city.

Enjoy Chicago’s spectacular architecture from these seven great viewing spots across the city.

While CAC staff, docents and volunteers work remotely and practice spatial distancing, we’re compiling lists of our favo...
04/11/2020
www.architecture.org

While CAC staff, docents and volunteers work remotely and practice spatial distancing, we’re compiling lists of our favorite architecture-themed movies, TV shows, books, podcasts and more for your enjoyment. This week, we’re focused on Modernism.

Reconnecting with green spaces in your neighborhood is a great way to keep cabin fever at bay. CAC docent Leanne Star sh...
04/10/2020
Enchanted garden tour with docent Leanne Star

Reconnecting with green spaces in your neighborhood is a great way to keep cabin fever at bay. CAC docent Leanne Star shares a favorite getaway in her neighborhood, for an easy Evanston walking tour.

Visit an enchanted garden at Northwestern University with Chicago Architecture Center docent Leanne Star.

We're launching a new virtual program series—CAC Live! Join us for online versions of our engaging programs! Hear from e...
04/09/2020
Explore CAC Live events

We're launching a new virtual program series—CAC Live! Join us for online versions of our engaging programs!

Hear from expert CAC docents and other exciting speakers as they share secrets of Chicago’s buildings, and stories of the people who made them. The story of Chicago begins online. Register today!

Festivals, workshops, lectures and other events for all ages. Programs for adults and children are offered year-round.

Even though college basketball's March Madness is not happening this year, we thought it would be fun to have a little "...
04/07/2020

Even though college basketball's March Madness is not happening this year, we thought it would be fun to have a little "Arch Madness!"

We have created a bracket of 32 of Chicago's top buildings for you to vote on. Print out a copy and choose the winner at home! Comment below with your selections.

A big shoutout to Director of Interpretation Adam Rubin for selecting these buildings and their matchups.

Many of our tours highlight hotels that have added rooftop bars and gardens in recent years to entice customers with foo...
04/06/2020

Many of our tours highlight hotels that have added rooftop bars and gardens in recent years to entice customers with food, drink and spectacular views. What three terraces are these and at which hotels can they be found? We’ll reveal the answers tomorrow!

Special thanks to Hy Speck, CAC docent class of 1995.

Register for our online program—Architecture Essentials! Join us Tuesday, April 7 at 7pm for a virtual version of our en...
04/05/2020

Register for our online program—Architecture Essentials! Join us Tuesday, April 7 at 7pm for a virtual version of our engaging program for emerging architecture buffs. Learn fun facts about Chicago buildings and key architectural terms. Register: https://bit.ly/2Rc8G7S

Located where Fort Dearborn once stood, the London Guarantee & Accident Building is one of four structures that have anc...
04/05/2020
London Guarantee Building

Located where Fort Dearborn once stood, the London Guarantee & Accident Building is one of four structures that have anchored the Michigan Avenue Bridge since the 1920s. However, this historic building is anything but stuck in the past.

Located where Fort Dearborn once stood, the London Guarantee & Accident Building is one of four structures that have anchored the Michigan Avenue Bridge since the 1920s. However, this historic building is anything but stuck in the past.

Some of Chicago’s tallest buildings aren’t located in Illinois, or even the United States. That’s because skyscrapers ar...
04/04/2020
Tall buildings around the world rooted in Chicago

Some of Chicago’s tallest buildings aren’t located in Illinois, or even the United States. That’s because skyscrapers around the world can trace their roots—or rather their grillage—to Chicago.

Skyscrapers around the world can trace their roots to Chicago, including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

04/03/2020
Secret spaces atop Chicago

Explore this video from our archives about one of the city’s first observation decks—the roof of the Auditorium Theatre Tower. Learn more about the spaces atop the city that have captured the imaginations of Chicagoans for decades. Every building tells a story. Start at the top!

"Where's Lightfoot" memes, showing the mayor watching over the city, have been popping up across social media platforms ...
04/01/2020

"Where's Lightfoot" memes, showing the mayor watching over the city, have been popping up across social media platforms over the last few days, much to the enjoyment of residents and even Lightfoot herself. Here's our take on the trend! 😂😂

Reconnecting with your neighborhood’s public artworks and open spaces is the best way to keep cabin fever at bay. CAC Pr...
04/01/2020
West Loop Walking Tour with Lynn Osmond

Reconnecting with your neighborhood’s public artworks and open spaces is the best way to keep cabin fever at bay. CAC President and CEO Lynn Osmond shares a few preferred places for reflection in her neighborhood, for an easy West Loop walking tour.

Explore the West Loop on foot with Chicago Architecture Center President and CEO Lynn Osmond.

In a leafy neighborhood with nearly 30 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures, the house at the corner of Forest and Chi...
03/31/2020
Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

In a leafy neighborhood with nearly 30 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures, the house at the corner of Forest and Chicago might not stand out at first.

But the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio is an early expression of the ideas that ultimately became the Prairie School—and the place where some of the most famous buildings in that style were designed.

In a leafy neighborhood with nearly 30 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures, the house at the corner of Forest and Chicago might not stand out at first.

Local distillery and veteran Open House Chicago site KOVAL Distillery is shifting focus from whiskey, liqueurs and speci...
03/30/2020
Help KOVAL Make Alcohol-Based Sanitizer organized by KOVAL Distillery

Local distillery and veteran Open House Chicago site KOVAL Distillery is shifting focus from whiskey, liqueurs and specialty spirits to providing hand sanitizers in bulk to the medical community, retirement homes, and those on the front lines in this war against COVID-19.

In the coming weeks, we at KOVAL Distillery in Chicago (typically known fo… KOVAL Distillery needs your support for Help KOVAL Make Alcohol-Based Sanitizer

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of four historic, trailblazing women architects who made ...
03/28/2020
4 women architects in Chicago history you should know

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of four historic, trailblazing women architects who made their mark in Chicago.

A list of four historic, trailblazing women architects who made their mark in Chicago to celebrate Women’s History Month 2019.

This Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired free little library has its own succulent garden.
03/27/2020
This Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired Free Little Library Has Its Own Succulent Garden

This Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired free little library has its own succulent garden.

We love anything that spreads awareness of and love for crafting. (Please refer to our new Makeover Madness series for confirmation.) And as of last week, Disney+ released a new competition show “Shop Class” that’s all about young crafters practicing the art of carpentry—and the first episod...

While we urge you to keep practicing safe #SpatialDistancing, we've never believed more in social connection. Sign up to...
03/26/2020
Sign up for CAC @ Home!

While we urge you to keep practicing safe #SpatialDistancing, we've never believed more in social connection. Sign up to experience the CAC at home. You'll receive [email protected], our new mini magazine bringing design-centered stories and activities to your inbox.

Get a preview of [email protected] here: https://bit.ly/CACatHome

The CAC is committed to providing a safe experience for its members, visitors and tour attendees. The Center is closed with most activities suspended from March 14–31, 2020.

Chicago is the home of well-read architectural styles like Prairie School and Miesian Modern but it also features vernac...
03/24/2020
How to research the history of your Chicago home

Chicago is the home of well-read architectural styles like Prairie School and Miesian Modern but it also features vernacular designs like simple workers cottages and bungalows. There’s no question the place you live tells a story—so how do you find out more about it?

Ever wondered who built your house? Or lived there before? Here’s how to find out.

The city got $4 million from the government to jazz up the tunnels. Chicago magazine shares its ideas.
03/21/2020
Five Ways to Perk Up the Pedway

The city got $4 million from the government to jazz up the tunnels. Chicago magazine shares its ideas.

The city got $4 million from the government to jazz up the tunnels. Here are our ideas.

“Dr. Allison Arwady—Chicago’s coronavirus point person—has chased disease outbreaks worldwide,” reports the Chicago Sun-...
03/19/2020
Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s coronavirus point person, has chased disease outbreaks worldwide

“Dr. Allison Arwady—Chicago’s coronavirus point person—has chased disease outbreaks worldwide,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times. But what you might not know is, “In those increasingly rare moments when she’s not thinking about public health, she sometimes can be found leading river and walking tours of Chicago architecture. The CAC is grateful for the service of Dr. Arwady, and proud that she’s part of the CAC community.

She’s been places only an infectious diseases expert would embrace, like at the start of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa, and says, ‘I think about: Have we done enough?’

Chicago is world-renowned for its architecture, and dozens of iconic buildings in the Loop alone speak to our city’s imp...
03/19/2020
5 downtown buildings you should know

Chicago is world-renowned for its architecture, and dozens of iconic buildings in the Loop alone speak to our city’s important role in architectural innovation. Here are five downtown buildings you should know.

Iconic skyscrapers in Chicago’s Loop that you should know

There’s beauty everywhere: theaters, fieldhouses, apartments, lobbies and libraries. Explore the most interesting histor...
03/18/2020
The most beautiful historic interiors in Chicago

There’s beauty everywhere: theaters, fieldhouses, apartments, lobbies and libraries. Explore the most interesting historic interiors in Chicago via Curbed Chicago.

There’s beauty everywhere: Theaters, fieldhouses, apartments, lobbies and libraries.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! ☘️☘️There always seems to be an Irish pub in every city, and Chicago is no exception. It’s tr...
03/17/2020
What makes an Irish bar authentic? Look for these 6 design elements.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! ☘️☘️

There always seems to be an Irish pub in every city, and Chicago is no exception. It’s true the Irish bar abounds, but it isn’t defined by a green clover emblem or what beer is on draft. There are defining architectural characteristics that single out only a handful of bars in Chicago as authentic Irish drinking establishments.

Learn about the interior architecture that makes these pubs so iconic.

Adaptive reuse is having a distinct moment as a powerful tool for the reinvention of our cities, as well as setting a st...
03/16/2020
3 Iconic Chicago Buildings Show That Adaptive Reuse Strengthens Cities

Adaptive reuse is having a distinct moment as a powerful tool for the reinvention of our cities, as well as setting a standard for new future development.

Adaptive reuse is strengthening in Chicago, allowing both clients and developers to celebrate the city’s architectural history in a sustainable way while revitalizing spaces for public.

The name Frank Lloyd Wright is all but synonymous with the Prairie School style of architecture. A few years after he fo...
03/14/2020
Discover 10 Prairie School buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright disciples

The name Frank Lloyd Wright is all but synonymous with the Prairie School style of architecture. A few years after he founded a practice in Oak Park in 1893, the iconic architect looked to move beyond the styles of old Europe and pioneered a new approach.

Unique early-20th century churches, homes, a brewery, and more.

The CAC has made the difficult decision to suspend activities gathering people to best support efforts to limit the tran...
03/14/2020
CAC COVID-19 Update

The CAC has made the difficult decision to suspend activities gathering people to best support efforts to limit the transmission of #COVID19. Latest at http://bit.ly/CACUPDATES.

The CAC is committed to providing a safe experience for its members, visitors and tour attendees. The Center is closed with most activities suspended from March 14–31, 2020. Exceptions include Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady scheduled for Sunday, ...

There are probably two things that come to mind when Chicagoans hear Ravenswood Manor: rows of historic houses set on pi...
03/13/2020
5 things to know about Rod Blagojevich’s Ravenswood Manor home

There are probably two things that come to mind when Chicagoans hear Ravenswood Manor: rows of historic houses set on picturesque tree-lined streets and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

A look at the former Illinois governor’s notorious address.

Every year, millions of people visit State Street in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. But instead of hurrying to the office ...
03/11/2020
Creating the State Street of the Future, Again

Every year, millions of people visit State Street in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. But instead of hurrying to the office or grabbing a bite to eat, what if you stopped and asked: Is this street working the way it should? That’s the question the Chicago Loop Alliance is asking as part of its plan to create a vision for what State Street could be.

Every year, millions of people visit State Street in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. But is the street working the way it should? That’s the question the Chicago Loop Alliance is asking as it considers what State Street could be.

Address

111 E. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL
60601

General information

Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Located at the corner of Michigan Ave. and E. Wacker Dr. in the Illinois Center.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(312) 922-3432

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Tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit the Chicago Architecture Center on Wacker Dr. to view our 4,000-building scale model of Chicago, discover super-sized models of skyscrapers from around the world, shop in our award-winning store or participate in a fun LEGO® building event in our ArcelorMittal Design Studio. Choose from 85 tours by boat, walking, bus, or even L train, including the CAFC River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by the CAC's expert docent guides. Learn more at architecture.org!

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