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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
Open 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
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USD 18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Art Deco Skyscrapers
More Info
USD 18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers
More Info
USD 29.99*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Tiffany Treasures

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,972 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1582
    Excellent
  • 222
    Very good
  • 24
    Average
  • 14
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
The Architecture Tour You Want

With a cadre of volunteer trained docents, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is celebrating its 50th year with special walking tours, segue, and special themed boat tours you... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Virginia G. G
,
Chicago, Illinois
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1,972 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,851: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

With a cadre of volunteer trained docents, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is celebrating its 50th year with special walking tours, segue, and special themed boat tours you will like! Meet at the Michigan Avenue shop and sign up for a tour. Tickets are less expensive if you join as a member and well worth the new member discount at the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Virginia G. G
Urbana
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We did the Chicago by River tour and learned so much about the varied architecture along the river. This is an extensive tour. Even explained the reversal of the Chicago River! A beautiful ride for a nice day--cold or warm temps!!!!

Helpful?
Thank John J
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I've done a few events hosted by the CAF, including a Chicago river boat tour, and they are all exceptional. If you have any interest in Architecture you can be assured that this organization is run by folks who absolutely adore the topic. You will enjoy an overload of information. While overload is not always good when it comes to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Daniel S
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
616 reviews
239 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 556 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I took the bus tour on a bitterly cold day in January. The tour itself is more of a general overview of everything from skyscrapers to Frank Lloyd Wright to university campuses. The tour offered an introduction to Chicago in a balanced way. The tour succeeded brilliantly in that it left me wanting to experience more Frank Lloyd Wright, more... More 

Helpful?
Thank mbc421
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I went on a tour of Historic Skyscrapers today while my husband attended a conference and I must say I got the better end of the day! Although the wind was bitter cold, the tour was fascinating and full of great information. I learned so much and our tour guide was absolutely full of great stories. In fact we went... More 

Helpful?
Thank cutetraveler
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I would say this is a must do for Chicago. Lisa (volunteer guide) was so knowledgeable and friendly and answered heaps of my questions. Will definitely take one of the other tours next time I'm here. Thank you!

Helpful?
Thank Hugeair
Lexington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was my first visit to Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Foundation is a great place to start a visit to Chicago. There is a huge detailed replica of the city that gives you the lay of the land and it's free to go see. Later when when we went to 360 Chicago we got to see the real life... More 

Helpful?
Thank KremmyT
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
86 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My husband and I took the Architecture Foundation Boat Tour and found it full of good information and beautiful buildings. The tour guide included information about the designers and goals for several of the buildings. This should be on any top 10 list of Chicago things to do.

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

Thanks very much for joining us Kate! We're certainly glad to hear that you think so :) More 

Chicago
Level Contributor
45 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a both a great bookstore, souvenir shop and a source for many outstanding tours of the city of Chicago. Another must-do for anyone living in or visiting Chicago.

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

Hi Richard, Thanks so much for saying so! We greatly appreciate your visit as well as the time you took to tell others about your experience on TripAdvisor. We look forward to seeing you again soon! More 

Level Contributor
434 reviews
114 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Just clarifying that this review is of the CAF building and not of any of the tours they offer. I did a separate review of the twilight architecture cruise with Chicago's First Lady and rated that Excellent. They have a neat gift shop where you can also buy tickets to their various cruises. Behind the store is an open area... More 

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

Thanks very much for visiting the CAF Shop and Tour Center and Chicago Model in addition to touring with us on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. We look forward to having you on a walking tour next time you're back in the city! 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
12 questions
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5 months ago
Melbourne, Australia
1 month ago

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Posting guidelines
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.
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