Discover the Stories Behind Chicago’s Most Famous Buildings with Chicago Architecture Center

Meet RNDD’s newest design partner, the Chicago Architecture Center.

Opened to the public in 2018, the riverfront location at 111 E Wacker Drive is in the heart of the city, where Michigan Avenue meets the Chicago River, featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space filled with super-sized models—and views—of iconic skyscrapers.

Chicago Architecture Center Exhibits

Center exhibits focus on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, housing types, leading architects and future projects, and include the largest scale model of the city, with more than 4,250 miniature buildings, interactive touchscreens, and a cinematic backdrop animating key moments in its history.

The Chicago City Model Experience is the star attraction in the Chicago Gallery, featuring more than 4,000 buildings and interactive elements that tell amazing stories of the city.

Since its debut in 2009, the Chicago Model has been an icon, beloved by tourists and locals alike. The Model was enhanced and expanded in 2018 to include more than 4,000 buildings. A film and light show illuminate the model with the amazing story of Chicago’s early growth, its rebirth after the Great Chicago Fire and its ever-changing skyline, which includes some of the world’s first skyscrapers and iconic modern towers made of steel and glass.

Interactive touch screens around the Model allow visitors to orient themselves to Chicago, search for buildings by architect or architectural style and see data projected on the Model.

Chicago Architecture Tours & River Cruises

The Center is also your gateway to more than 50 CAC walking tours plus Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady.

Their River Cruise was rated the #1 boat tour in North America from the USA Today Readers’ Choice 2021 Awards. For more than 25 years, the CAC’s expertly trained docent volunteers have led the river cruise, sharing fascinating stories behind more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. Hear how Chicago grew from a small settlement into one of the world’s largest cities in less than 100 years. In just 90 minutes, you’ll get the best overview of Chicago’s architecture and its history.

Learn more and get tickets here.

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