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

Evolution of the Skyscraper: 90-Minute Chicago Walking Tour

Product ID: 159698
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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.
About this activity
Duration 90 minutes
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Easy cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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Experience

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
Full 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.

Includes
  • Includes admission to the Chicago Architecture Center Exhibits (new)
  • 90-minute walking tour
  • Certified guide from the Chicago Architecture Center
What’s Not Included
  • Hotel pickup or drop-off
  • Storage for luggage and strollers
  • Coat check

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Inside the Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601

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Important information
Not allowed
  • Pets
  • Luggage or large bags
Know before you go
• 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