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Chicago Architecture Foundation

Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood:
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in My Chicago Faves
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Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number:
+1 312-922-3432
Website
Today
09:00 - 21:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 21:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural...

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit cultural organization with 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. Every October, check out CAF's free annual Open House Chicago festival. Proceeds from CAF’s tours and gift shop, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission.

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Book In Advance
More Info
US$18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers
More Info
US$18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Art Deco Skyscrapers
More Info
US$29.99*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Tiffany Treasures

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,995 reviews
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  • 1602
    Excellent
  • 222
    Very good
  • 25
    Average
  • 14
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Great architectural history

Chicago has fascinating architectural history. The Foundation has a variety of tours for exploring this fascinating legacy. Truly a remarkable experience with friendly and... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Jmk72551
,
Denver, Colorado
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1,995 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,872: English reviews
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Chicago has fascinating architectural history. The Foundation has a variety of tours for exploring this fascinating legacy. Truly a remarkable experience with friendly and knowledgable guides. I have done several of their tours and really enjoyed each one.

Helpful?
Thank Jmk72551
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Two hours well spent walking through lobbies, learning about the Art Deco period and generally having fun.

Helpful?
Thank hanlievanwyk
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Brilliant building (and the gift shop is one of the best too!). Free access to the lobby through the shop on Michigan Avenue or Jackson Boulevard. Do not miss the walks organised by the foundation, $20 well spent! Walks stops at very unusual buildings that we would have missed or not paid attention to had we just walked past them.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rickidy
Level Contributor
99 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We found about CAF activities from internet, visited their shop and tour office , received a lot of help in choosing the right for us walking tours and the best way of booking them and enjoyed the walks very much. Their staff has been extremely helpful. The shop is full of great stuff, books, small design home things, t-shirts and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Wanda W. W
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The CAF Boat Tour is on our list for all our visitors. We have sent more than 100 people on the architectural boat tour and never had a negative experience. It is a unique way to see a major city and the guides are knowledgeable about all the things you see. It is similar to the barges in Berlin and... More 

Helpful?
Thank steve r
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A fabulous tour of the Chicago Athletic Association. The CAF always does great tour and this one doesn't disappoint. It is great to do on a chilly day. Learned all about the architecture and the great steps that were taken to preserve as much as possible (old gym floor lines the elevators). It was fun to see one of the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Pam-travelfan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

What a wonderful way to get information on a beautiful landmark building and history of how the railroads helped shape Chicago.

Helpful?
Thank 3230cld
Toronto
Level Contributor
72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

First of all, while I have only taken one tour from the CAF, I have no doubt that all tours are fantastic given the passion and quality of knowledge of the docents. If I had more time on this trip I would have signed up for more than one tour. Now, onto Historic Skyscrapers....this was a fantastic two hours, well-worth... More 

Helpful?
Thank Moops
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Hi there, Thanks so much for joining us on the Historic Skyscrapers tour as well as for taking the time to write a review. We hope to have you on another tour with us your next trip to Chicago! Take care! More 

Newcastle upon Tyne
Level Contributor
118 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's already been said by many of the other reviews, book early and get along in good time to be on the top deck for fabulous views of some of the best high rise blocks in the world, plus it has to be said some of the worst (but these structures are in a minority). Tours are run by enthusiastic... More 

Helpful?
Thank Leoandjack
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

Hi Leo and Jack, Thanks very much for taking the time to write a review. We're glad that you enjoyed your tour experience on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises and we hope to see you again this year! More 

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

2 hours spent looking at Chicago architecture was a delight. Although the weather was cold the docent found us interesting spots to warm up and admire even more fascinating highlights. So much to see, 1 tour and 2 hours is not enough.

Helpful?
Thank Bimme
ChiArchitecture, Marketing Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Foundation, responded to this review

We're very pleased to hear that you found the tour to be a delight. We hope to see you again soon on another one! More 

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Chicago Architecture Foundation and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighbourhood Profile
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
Explore this neighbourhood