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  1. United States
  2. Illinois
  3. Chicago
  4. Chicago Loop

90-Minute Walking Tour: Chicago's Art Deco Skyscrapers

Product ID: 159692
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Art Deco's lavish materials and geometric ornament epitomized the prosperity and optimism of the Roaring 20s. Learn the history and characteristics of this modern decorative style while touring some of the city's most beautiful skyscrapers.
About this activity
Duration 90 minutes
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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  • Learn the origins of Art Deco and discover its popular motifs
  • See how Art Deco enhances the soaring exteriors and opulent interiors of some of the city's most extraordinary skyscrapers
  • Delight in the beauty of the interiors of 5 opulent Art Deco skyscrapers
  • Learn from your local expert guide, trained by the Chicago Architecture Center – the city’s leading authority on architecture
Full description
Tour the lobbies of five opulent Art Deco skyscrapers built near the banks of the Chicago River during the business boom of the Roaring '20s.

Art Deco abounds in Chicago. The style made its way to the city in the 1920s, after it was showcased at an international art exposition in Paris. It was widely seen at the 1933-1934 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago as well.

Influenced by Cubism and the art and architecture of the ancient Middle East, Art Deco can be found in popular motifs like zigzags, octagons, sunbursts and flowers. Art Deco reflects the era’s fun-loving optimism with lavish materials and geometric ornaments.

Discover the origins of Art Deco while admiring buildings like the Carbide and Carbon Building (now the St. Jane Hotel), the Chicago Motor Club Building (now the Hampton Inn), the colorful, but often overlooked, Trustees System Service Building (now the Century Tower) and the Engineering Building—all of which are designated Chicago landmarks. This tour ends at the Merchandise Mart.
  • New: admission to the Chicago Architecture Center exhibits
  • 90-minute walking tour
  • Entry into 5 iconic Art Deco buildings
  • Certified docent from the Chicago Architecture Center
What’s Not Included
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Storage for luggage and strollers
  • Coat check

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Check in inside Chicago Architecture Center, 111 East Wacker Drive, Chicago IL 60601

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Important information
Not allowed
  • Pets
  • Luggage or large bags
Know before you go
• All tours are given by Chicago Architecture Center certified volunteer docents who receive hundreds of hours of training about Chicago’s architecture and its history. They are storytellers and Chicago experts
• This tour is unable to provide secure storage for luggage or strollers
• Unfortunately, there are no refunds due to the weather. Tours depart rain or shine
• Pets are not allowed, but service animals are welcome
Customer reviews
Overall rating
4.6 / 5
based on 9 reviews
Review summary
Value for money

Organized by

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Product ID: 159692