Neighborhood walking tours, architecture trivia and new online programs

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MARCH 9, 2021 • ISSUE 32

Walking tours



We're excited to resume select neighborhood walking tours starting in April. Explore architectural gems in neighborhoods like Uptown, Evanston, Kenwood and more. Let our entertaining and expertly trained docents guide you through the Chicago you’ve been longing to rediscover. Tickets for these additional tour departures go on sale on March 15—mark your calendars! Tours remain limited to six attendees per departure, with face coverings and advance reservations required.


Save 20% at the CAC Design Store when you shop online through March 21, no promo code necessary. Explore a wide variety of unique, architecture-themed products and high-quality designer goods. Start shopping now!

CAC Design Store


Healthy Buildings program

Last Chance to Register for Healthy Buildings Learning Event

Tuesday, March 16 at 8:30am

The COVID-19 pandemic puts the health and safety of building interiors to the test, with improved airflow and sanitation taking on new urgency. Next Tuesday, we’re hosting an expert panel to discuss all that goes into designing and retrofitting buildings for a new era of heightened health and safety.

Emblematic of this craze for healthier buildings is a new celebrity-studded media campaign promoting the WELL Health-Safety seal, a third party-verified method for businesses and organizations to communicate their commitment to adopting evidence-based antiviral measures. Watch the full campaign video.

YouTube spot about Health-Safety seal

Our panel will delve into this and other programs like Fitwel and the UL Verified Healthy Buildings Mark that are proving indispensable as we navigate the re-opening of our cities and a return to normalcy.

Certification is just one part of the story. Attendees will also learn about Chicago’s design and engineering leadership in this area, through building case studies including 150 North Riverside and the just-completed Fulton East office project. We’ll also consider how workplace interventions and healthy human behaviors can carry over to residential settings and reinforce green design. What new trends will stick with us, and what are likely to be fleeting fads as we consider all options on the table for improving our home and work environments?


Chicago's Moveable Bridges
Wednesday, March 24 at noon

Chicago is home to more moveable bridges than any other city in the country, keeping all sides of the city connected despite waterways that cut across them. Explore how these marvels of engineering helped shape the Chicago we know today.

Chicago's Moveable Bridges program


Newhouse competition


The 39th annual Newhouse Architecture + Design Competition is underway. Help us connect with high school-age youth who are passionate about architecture, design and supporting their communities by sharing information about the competition. Download the competition manual to get started. Submissions are due April 9, 2021.

The Newhouse Competition is made possible by generous support from the Turner Construction Company Foundation.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the CAC's docent body. To honor the history of the volunteers who aid CAC by giving tours all over the city, a group of docents put together trivia questions to test your architectural knowledge. Here's the first installment of docent trivia:


Many buildings from Chicago’s industrial past have been adaptively reused to become residential buildings—loft buildings, apartments or condos. We’ll give you the new name of the location. Use your sleuthing skills to figure out what the building was in its first iteration.


Today it is 6 N. Michigan Avenue, a condo building. What was it in its first life?
Answer: The Montgomery Ward Tower (headquarters for the catalogue firm)


What were these buildings in their former role?
Hint: Many of them refer to their first use in the name.

1. Postcard Place Lofts
2. Prairie District Lofts
3. The Lofts at 1800
4. Shoemaker Lofts

Look for the answers in the next issue of CAC@Home on March 23.

To learn more about Chicago architecture, be sure to join CAC docents on downtown, neighborhood, and soon, river cruise tours. Stay tuned for additional installments of “Looking Up,”—including more trivia—contributed by our docents, in future issues of CAC@Home.


Girls Build!

March is Women's History Month. This month, we're celebrating the vital role of women in American history—and at the CAC.

We're proud to serve young women with Girls Build!, a unique program funded by ArcelorMittal that gives girls the opportunity to get hands-on experience with architecture in an encouraging and uplifting environment. Learn more about this special program, and the important role some of its participants played in Open House Chicago 2020

Girls Build! is made possible by support from ArcelorMittal, the Herman Miller Cares Foundation, and the Turner Construction Company Foundation.


Select CAC walking tour departures will be available for purchase on March 15. Please note that advance reservations and face coverings are required for all CAC walking tours. Those who attend CAC walking tours departing through April may request vouchers for complimentary Center admission once exhibits reopen in May. Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady will resume in spring 2021 on a date to be announced. Located at 111 East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago, the Center remains temporarily closed to visitors.

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