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Architectural Tours

The stops on our Chicago Architectural Tours are:

  1. Chicago Cultural Center – 78 East Washington (Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, Architects)This building was built in 1897 as the City’s Central Library, as well as a monument to the Civil War’s Grand Army of the Republic. The limestone building uses a Greek/Roman motif which became very popular for public building after the 1893 Chicago World Fair. The library was moved to the Harold Washington Library at 400 South State Street in 1991 and the building now serves as the home for the office of cultural affairs.
  1. Merchandise Mart – 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza (Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, Architects) – Originally built for Marshall Field & Company to consolidate wholesalers, the building’s four million square feet of space made it the largest in the world when it was completed in 1931. In 1945, the building was sold to Joseph P. Kennedy, Father of President John F. Kennedy.
  1. Marshall Field & Company/Macy’s – 111 North State Street (Daniel Burnham’s Co.) – On the corner of Washington and State Street. More than a century after Potter Palmer, Marshall Field built State Street into a major shopping thoroughfare. Marshall Field & Co building was completed in 1907. Look for the great clocks at Washington St. and Randolph St.
  1. The Wrigley Building – 400 North Michigan (Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, Architects) – This building was commissioned by the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company and completed in 1924. Wrigley maintained its headquarters here until 2012.
  1. Old Chicago Water Tower – 800 North Michigan Ave. (William W. Boyington Architect) – The water tower was constructed in 1869. The old Chicago water tower and pumping station are best known for being one of the few surviving structures that left after the Great Fire of 1871. The castle like structure has a 154 Foot tower. It has become a popular tourist attraction.
  1. Original Playboy Mansion  1340 N. State Street – Originally built in 1899 for a wealthy Chicago surgeon, this stately structure became the original playboy mansion for Hugh Hefner and his bunnies during the 1960’s and 1970s. Today, the mansion houses luxury condominiums.
  1. Archbishop’s Rjasmi Residence1555 N. State Street – This is the residence of the Roman Catholic Archbishop. The distinctive red brick Queen Anne Structure with 19 chimneys, which was built on the grounds of a Catholic cemetery, has been the residence of Chicago’s Archbishops since 1880.
  1. Chicago History Museum – 1601 N. Clark Street – On the Northeast corner of North and Clark, you will find the Chicago History Museum, which was founded in 1856. It contains a wealth of information about the history of Chicago from the early settlers, the great Chicago fire, the Democratic Convention, riots of 1968 and Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.
  1. John Hancock Center – 875 N. Michigan (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Architects)This building was completed in 1969 and is 1,127 ft, tall. This building is a famous Chicago icon. It is Chicago’s fourth tallest structure. Be sure to visit the 94th floor John Hancock Observatory for spectacular views of the city.
  1. SEARS (Willis) Tower – 233 S. Wacker Drive or (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Architects)At 110 stories and 1,450 ft, the Willis Tower is the tallest building in the United States. On the 103rd floor is an awesome observation deck.