Chicago Walking Tour: Exploring Modern Architecture
29 Ratings
Discover the iconic Mid-Century Modern architecture of Chicago on a walking tour. Explore buildings by Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, and SOM that set the stage for the future of architecture.
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • Chicago Architecture Center - Your tour begins at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Visit the CAC to view a 4,000-building scale model of Chicago or shop in the award-winning store.
  • One Prudential Plaza - View the Prudential Building.
  • Aon Center - View the Aon Center.
  • Inland Steel Building - View the Inland Steel Building.
  • Daley Center - Marvel at Richard J. Daley Center, one of the first buildings to be covered in an unpainted steel called Cor-Ten. The docent will also discuss the famous “Chicago Picasso” artwork in the plaza.
  • AMA Plaza, Upper Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL - Discuss the AMA Plaza, formerly home to the office of Mies van der Rohe.
  • Marina City - Highlights include Marina City, a mixed-use residential-commercial building designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg, envisioned as an urban experiment designed to draw middle-class Chicagoans back to the city after more than a decade of suburban migration.
  • Chicago River - Enjoy superb views of Chicago’s riverfront.
  • Apple Michigan Avenue - View the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue.
What's Included
  • Admission to the Galleries of the Chicago Architecture Center
  • Walking tour of Chicago’s modern and postmodern architecture
  • Narration by a professional and certified guide
What's Not Included
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Storage for luggage or strollers
  • Coat check
Additional Information

Seeking emblematic Mid-Century Modern design? There’s no better destination than Chicago, boasting a trio of modernist architects (Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, and SOM) and a city that welcomed them warmly. Discover what made these buildings distinctive from their predecessors and how they laid the foundation for the future.

If you’re fascinated by landmark buildings, public art, city planning, or administration, this tour is for you. Unearth the narratives behind inland steel, Marina city, the IBM building, and other skyscrapers worthy of a ‘Mad Men’ scene.

As an accredited nonprofit, all CAC ticket proceeds directly fund our educational initiatives and community outreach programs.

  • Pets are not allowed.
  • The itinerary of this tour is subject to change without notice.
Chicago Architecture Center
East Wacker Drive
Meet at the Chicago Architecture Center at 111 E Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60601
Cancellation Policy

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

Customer Ratings
(29 Ratings)
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1 star
Jan 29, 2024
Fun and Informative Tour - My wife and I took this tour Nd we enjoyed it. Matt was our tour guide and did a great job. We learned many new things and got to see some buildings in a different light. Tip - Dress warmer than you think you is the windy City.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Oct 30, 2023
Great Experience! - John I was so insightful and polite throughout the tour. Would highly recommend to anyone looking to learn about some of the newer sky scrapers in the city!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jun 8, 2023
Mid Century Modernism was Marvelous - Brent was a fantastic docent. Knowledgeable and charismatic. The tour was informative and I feel certain I can now identify MidCentury Modernism. :)
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jan 27, 2023
Great - This was an excellent tour. Our tour guide was GREAT! Very personable and knowledgeable. I would recommend this tour to anyone that likes skyscrapers.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jan 5, 2023
Great experience, great guide - Matt provided an excellent walking tour of Chicago architecture from the Modern era - and the afternoon of New Year's Eve, no less! When our little group admitted that we didn't know much about architecture in general, and especially not much about modern architecture, he gamely answered our very basic questions about the buildings on the tour, and even pointed out some interesting Art Deco and other style of buildings. We left the tour with a much deeper appreciate and understanding of modern architecture. It was a great experience, and we'll definitely be booking another Chicago Architecture Center tour the next time we're in town!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Nov 1, 2022
Marcia our guide was... - Marcia our guide was amazing. extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. Loved walking around Chicago’s beautiful architecture wonderland.
Review provided by Viator
Oct 14, 2022
Modern Skyscrapers - The walking tour was great to see and hear about the different modern buildings. The guide (Larry) brought great energy and enthusiasm to the tour.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jun 28, 2022
Very informational - The instructor was very knowledge. The Prudential building stood out the most for me. The Museum was very interesting.
Review provided by Viator
Aug 2, 2022
Loved the tour. Kathleen... - Loved the tour. Kathleen was great and walks fast!! We learned slot about the wonderful Chicago mid century modern buildings!
Review provided by Viator
Aug 2, 2022
Not my best choice - We did the modern architecture tour but we found it a bit monotonous.. probably great if really into architecture
Review provided by Viator
Select Date and Tickets
up to 10 guests
April 2024