Chicago: Evolution of the Skyscraper Walking Tour

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Chicago built some of the world’s first skyscrapers, with changing designs and technologies over time. Explore how these major developments came about, with examples from classic buildings to super-tall highrises from 1872 to the present.

Highlights

  • Go on a journey through time to see how Chicago became the city it is today
  • Discover architecturally significant buildings in chronological order
  • Hear the story of the development of the city, from the exploration of the river to the present day
  • See how architectural technology has evolved over time and discover the unique designs in a variety of skyscrapers
  • Learn from your local expert guide, trained by the Chicago Architecture Center – the city’s leading authority on architecture

Description

This 90-minute tour is a chronological overview of Chicago's architecture, starting with its growth on the Chicago River, its rebirth after the Great Chicago Fire and its development into a commercial and cultural hub. See how architects adapted building styles to meet the fashions of their era and used cutting-edge engineering to build taller than ever before. This tour is an enticing overview which introduces you to the most important stories of Chicago architecture. On this tour, you'll learn about the city's beginnings on the river, its rebirth after the Great Fire and its development into a commercial and cultural hub, all while viewing structures in the order they were built. These buildings—including the Page Brothers Building, Old Dearborn Bank, the Chicago Motor Club, the Carbide and Carbon Building, NBC Tower and more—tell the story of how architectural technology evolved over time. You'll see up close how each building has its own unique design, often reflecting the style that was popular or prevalent when it was constructed. Tickets purchased for experiences run by the Chicago Architecture Center help build the greater Chicago community. When you hit the pavement on a walking tour, set sail on an award-winning river cruise (Chicago's First Lady), or visit the Center, you’re helping fund Chicago Architecture Center education initiatives like Girls Build!, Teen Fellows and the Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition. Or you may be helping to keep programs like Open House Chicago free for participants for years to come. As a certified nonprofit, all Chicago Architecture Center ticket purchases directly support local education efforts and community engagement projects.

Includes

Includes admission to the Chicago Architecture Center Exhibits (new) 90-minute walking tour Certified guide from the Chicago Architecture Center

Important Information

  • This tour is unable to provide secure storage for luggage or strollers
  • Unfortunately there are no refunds due to the weather and tours depart rain or shine
  • Pets are not allowed, but service animals are welcome

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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