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“Great tours and gift shop”

Chicago Architecture Center
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation, is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Visit the CAC on Wacker Dr. to view our 4,000-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 CAFC River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises. Tours depart daily and are led by CAC's expert docent guides. Every October, check out CAC's free annual Open House Chicago festival. Proceeds from CAC’s tours and gift shop, as well as grants, sponsorships and donations, support this educational mission.
Reviewed 3 January 2018

Joined the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise and the Art Deco walking tours and both were well worth the price.

The tour guide on the river cruise was very knowledgeable and had great passion for the subject matter. The weather was so bad (cold and pouring with rain) that at times we all had to retreat indoors, yet when the tour guide suggested we go out in the rain to see some of the "unmissables" we all obliged.

The Art Deco tour was equally good. I believe it was the same tour guide as the one I had for the river cruise, and she was just as good as before. The tour was on a Sunday and the empty lobbies were perfect for taking photos and for casually walking the streets.

Highly recommended, and if I come back I would like to go an L tour.

Thank ibbreezy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChiArchitecture, Social Media Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Center, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2018

We are so glad that you enjoyed the river cruise and the walking tour! Thank you for taking the time to review us and for your kind words. We would love to see you on an "L" tour if you visit again!

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"boat tour"
in 286 reviews
"walking tour"
in 196 reviews
"caf tours"
in 69 reviews
"chicago architecture"
in 137 reviews
"skyscraper tour"
in 30 reviews
"volunteer docents"
in 28 reviews
"open house"
in 28 reviews
"oak park"
in 38 reviews
"white city"
in 40 reviews
"the frank lloyd wright"
in 24 reviews
"south loop"
in 29 reviews
"great tour"
in 109 reviews
"learn something"
in 28 reviews
"different perspective"
in 34 reviews
"top deck"
in 26 reviews
"two hours"
in 38 reviews
"great city"
in 35 reviews
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150 - 154 of 2,487 reviews

Reviewed 1 January 2018 via mobile

This place has so much to offer! First of all, it has the BEST mementos of Chicago ever. Not tacky souvenirs, but things you'll actually use around your home or office. Great presents too. It literally has something for everyone. Second, they have dozens of tours around the city that are fascinating. Sign up for one, or more! Finally, through the back door and into the building behind is a small scale, but very large, replica of Chicago that really helps you wrap your mind around this big beautiful city. You'll definitely be in the area at the Art Museum, beginning of Route 66, or at Millennium Park, so walk over and check this pace out!

Thank SportsMoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChiArchitecture, Social Media Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Center, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2018

We are so glad that you enjoyed the Chicago model and the store! Thank you for taking the time to review us.

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Reviewed 28 December 2017 via mobile

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChiArchitecture, Social Media Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Center, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2018

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Reviewed 22 December 2017

The Architectural Boat Tour came recommended to me by people who had taken it a decade ago. Given the rich architectural tradition of Chicago, it is to my shame that I'd never considered an architectural tour. Missing this piece of Chicago should be a criminal offense.
The docent for our tour, Susan B., proved to be incredibly knowledgeable both about the history and development of Chicago as well as architectural styles including challenges and artistic merit. Seeing buildings from the river is to see them from the city's heart, and Susan's explanation brought architecture, art, engineering and history to life. All of us, including those who had previously taken the tour, were inspired by the description and realized how rapidly the city continues to grow and change.
I strongly urge pre-booking. This memorable tour is in heavy demand (justifiably), and missing it because one fails to plan would be crushing.

Thank BienAgiter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChiArchitecture, Social Media Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Center, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2018

We are thrilled that you enjoyed the river cruise! Thank you for taking the time to review us and for your kind words. I will be sure to pass your compliments along to your docent, Susan.

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Reviewed 22 December 2017

The River Tours run by the Architecture Foundation are the absolute best "compact" Chicago Tour. Whether you've lived in Chicago your entire life or are just visiting, this is a great way to learn some of the history and architectural importance of the "Second City" (which you'll learn has nothing to do with being "second" to New York!). I can't recommend the CAF's tours enough - their docents are always exceptionally knowledgeable.

Moreover, the store on Michigan Avenue is definitely worth stopping into during your visit to Millennium Park or your walk along the Magnificent Mile!

For any tour on a boat, regardless of season, dress in layers. Even on cool days it can be really warm in the sun, and it can get downright chilly on the river even on the warmest days.

Thank MrVarmint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChiArchitecture, Social Media Coordinator at Chicago Architecture Center, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2018

We are so glad that you enjoyed the river cruise! Thank you for taking the time to review us and for your kind words. It is much appreciated!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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