Art Deco Chicago Tour: Roaring '20s Skyscrapers Exploration
31 Ratings
Step back in time and explore the opulent Art Deco skyscrapers of Chicago's Roaring '20s. Discover the origins of Art Deco and admire iconic buildings on this engaging tour.
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • Chicago River - Discuss buildings built in the Art Deco style along the riverfront
  • 333 Michigan Ave - View the exterior of the building
  • Carbide and Carbon Building - View the Carbide and Carbon Building
  • 66 E Wacker Pl - Visit the former Chicago Motor Club Building, 66 E Wacker Place
  • 182 W Lake St - Visit the Trustees System Service Building
  • Merchandise Mart - Visit Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Plaza
What's Included
  • Admission to the Chicago Architecture Center Galleries
  • Professional, certified guide narration
What's Not Included
  • Coat check
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Storage for luggage or strollers
Additional Information

Explore the foyers of five lavish Art Deco towers constructed near the Chicago River’s shores during the commercial surge of the Roaring ‘20s. Understand how Art Deco embodied the period’s spirited optimism through its use of sumptuous materials and geometric adornment. Uncover the roots of Art Deco whilst appreciating edifices like the Carbide and Carbon Building (now Pendry Chicago), the Chicago Motor Club Building (now the Hampton Inn) and the vibrant, yet often disregarded, Trustees System Service Building (now the Century Tower)—all recognized as Chicago landmarks. As a certified nonprofit, all CAC ticket acquisitions directly fund our educational activities and community outreach initiatives.

  • Access to building interiors featured on this tour may be subject to change without notice due to weekend and holiday schedules or unforeseen closures.
  • Pets are not allowed.
Chicago Architecture Center
East Wacker Drive
Meet inside the Chicago Architecture Center at 111 E Wacker Drive. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour departure time.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(31 Ratings)
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Mar 29, 2024
Don't miss taking a Chicago Architecture Center walking tour! - I chose the Art Deco Skyscrapers Riverfront walking tour as I wanted to see inside the Carbide & Carbon building, which was as beautiful as I'd imagined. I think we visited the interiors of 5 buildings and our guide Leslie pointed out many others to us. There were only about 6 of us on the tour. Leslie was very knowledgeable and answered my many questions, even about buildings that were not on the tour. She really knew her stuff in terms of architects and dates. At the end of the tour, we asked for a cafe recommendation and she took us to an excellent one.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 28, 2024
Can’t-miss for art-deco and history buffs - Mitch, my docent, was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, as well as willing to answer my many questions. I’m glad to have chosen this tour, as it was delightful to have access to the breathtaking lobbies of these architectural and design gems (and to touch the marble and gneiss and to exclaim over amazing letter-drop boxes).
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 20, 2024
Excellent walking tour - Rebecca gave an excellent guided tour. She was very knowledgeable and shared a wealth of information about the Art Deco style architecture.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Dec 4, 2023
An intimate walk through Chicago’s Art Deco Buildings. - Deb was a fantastic tour guide and docent who provided an in-depth look at some extraordinary art deco building of Chicago. She had great information, was able to answer our questions, and made the tour feel very homey and comfortable. Look forward to taking more tours from the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Nov 25, 2023
Very pleasant and informative tour. - My family and I had a great time in a chilly day in November visiting Art Deco buildings with our guide Cynthia. It was a cold morning in Chicago, nonetheless the combination of time spent outside and inside of the buildings, along with Cynthia’s knowledge, enthusiasm and warmth made this a wonderful experience. The tour was very informative, and gave us the opportunity to learn about and see Art Deco details that are normally overlooked. Once again, the Chicago Architecture Center lived up to our expectations.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Nov 25, 2023
Majestic Art Deco - This tour was so fun and Cynthia was very knowledgeable and kind. I love Art Deco and learned a lot in this tour. Chicago has so many amazing buildings to discover and CAC does a great job making it accessible.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Sep 5, 2023
Stroll through the 1920's - I attended “Art Deco Skyscrappers Riverfront” presented by docent Jeffrey 2015. The tour was highly informative. Jeffrey had so much passion and enthusiasm for the buildings. It was as we had traveled back in time for a stroll through the 1920's. Highly recommend it.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Aug 25, 2023
Brings Art Deco to Life - Our guide Paul Myers informative and enthusiastic insight into the iconic buildings we visited and their Art Deco style and features was most enjoyable and interesting. Particularly liked the opportunity to see the entrance halls of the buildings which we couldn't have done otherwise.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jun 6, 2023
Do not miss the Art Deco tour! - Susan was a wonderful docent. Very knowledgeable and had a clear passion for the city and its buildings. My boyfriend and I live in Chicago and she pointed out features we have never noticed before. Highly recommend!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jun 3, 2023
Would definitely recommend using this company for a tour. - The tour started promptly at 11 am, which was great. The group was provided a device with headphones attached, so you could hear the guide speaking through their microphone, which was a nice touch. The real star of the show was our guide, Robin. She was amazing, and really knew her stuff. While she had her cards, it felt like most of her information came from her brain, and she was able to field questions that weren't referenced on the cards, which was really impressive, and showed a dedication to the subject matter. She also had a great sense of humor, and I really appreciated how much of a "Chicagoan" she is. Its unfortunate that you can't choose your guide, because she was great. It was my first tour, and the fact that she was so good, gives me confidence that the rest of the tour guides are just as good, so I'm excited about my next tour. It was supposed to be 90 minutes, but it turned into 120 minutes because there was so much info to be shared. I actually purchased a membership on a whim before I signed up for this, and already I can tell it was money well spent.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Select Date and Tickets
up to 10 guests
May 2024