Award-winning river cruise, Chicago Fire bus tour and family walking tours

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JUNE 29, 2021 • ISSUE 40

Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady

CAFC River Cruise Aboard Chicago's First Lady Voted Best Boat Tour

Chicago is now home to the #1 Boat Tour in North America, according to USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2021 Awards. The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady was the only Chicago boat tour nominated for the award and officially named the “Best Boat Tour” in North America out of 19 competitors from around the nation. Experience the award-winning river cruise for yourself this summer!


Bus Tour: The True Story of the Great Chicago Fire

Did the cow do it? In this 150th anniversary year of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, follow the route of the fire while riding in an open-top bus and discover who was blamed for the fire and who profited from the blaze that put Chicago on the world's map.

Fire Bus Tour


Virtual Tour: Go Inside Studio Gang's Solstice on the Park
Wednesday, July 14 at 6pm

Don’t miss this up-close investigation of Studio Gang’s exciting new project, Solstice on the Park. Learn how the building carries forward a tradition of architectural innovation in Hyde Park, and see what life is like inside its unique apartments.

Virtual Tour


Toward a Greener and More Resilient Chicago
Wednesday, July 28 at 12pm

Sustainability is more than solar panels and green roofs. Join us as we highlight a range of green building and sustainability initiatives taking place all across Chicago.

Chicago City Hall green roof


a family at the Chicago Architecture Center


Learn about Chicago's past, present and future on a family-friendly walking tour. Chicago Architecture Center Education Guides share secrets and stories behind some of the city's most famous buildings on tours curated specifically for youth ages 8 and up. Tours include Chicago: Chicago Architecture Basics, Chicago: City on the Move, 1893 World's Fair and Great Chicago Fire Family Walking Tour.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, if you take a family tour between June 15 and July 31, you'll be entered in a raffle to win four tickets to a Chicago Fire or Chicago Red Stars Major League Soccer game!


Chicago's St James Cathedral


From CAC Docent Thomas Stelmack

Chicago is famous for many architectural styles. But what is often unrecognized is that Chicago architects also adopted Gothic Revival during a period from the mid-19th to late-20th centuries. In fact, there are about 90 structures in the city that demonstrate several styles of Gothic architecture. For example, the Chicago Athletic Club on south Michigan Avenue (now a hotel and restaurant) is a unique style known as Venetian Gothic. The Gothic Chicago walking tour looks at five different Gothic architectural styles and compares them to their medieval predecessors. We'll explore examples that lie within a surprisingly short radius of the Water Tower, comparing their architectural elements and enjoying associated historical stories. 


Volunteer at OHC!

Each year, volunteers help Open House Chicago run smoothly. OHC is making a triumphant return to in-person site visits this year during the weekend of October 16-17. If you're interested in welcoming visitors to OHC sites throughout the city, volunteer registration will open on Tuesday, July 13.

Volunteer at OHC


Updated Mask Policy

Effective Friday, June 11, in accordance with CDC, State, and City guidelines moving Chicago fully into Phase 5 of the City Recovery Plan masks will no longer be required for fully vaccinated individuals visiting the Chicago Architecture Center. Masks are still encouraged for those who aren’t fully vaccinated. Safety measures like enhanced cleaning and social distancing will continue to be practiced. We will not require proof of vaccination but ask for guests’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy.

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