Loop Architecture and the Pedway

Why is Chicago the birthplace of the skyscraper?

Your guide will answer with a story that is forever linked to the Great Fire of 1871.

Left with a clean slate for the rebuilding of the "second Chicago", young architects flocked to the area looking for work and a free hand at revolutionary new designs. The result is what the American Institute for Architecture recently designated as the "finest and most diverse architecture anywhere in America". Your guide will tell the story behind the history of each of the downtown's landmark buildings. The walking narrative will continue through the heart of the Loop where you will learn to identify an entire panorama of design styles… Beaux Art, Art Deco, International Style, Post-Modernist and, of course, the signature Chicago Style of architectural design.

You can expect to see masterpieces of brick, steel and glass by the likes of Louis Sullivan, John Root, Frank Lloyd Wright, Helmut Jahn and Mies vander Rohe to name just a few.

The walk will take you to the doorsteps and through the lobbies of more than twenty buildings until you are finally escorted below into the Chicago Pedway System, a subterranean "city unto itself" with nearly three miles of underground passageways that meander under the very giants you met at street level. Your Pedway stroll will find you surfacing back at your point of origin, having heard the stories of the city's towering landmarks.

Schedule All Year
Time Call or email for available times
Meet Your Loop area hotel or inside the Randolph Street lobby of the Chicago Cultural Center at the corner of Michigan and Randolph.
Minimum Number 2 persons
Cost accessibile tour $30 per person. No Credit Cards.
$40 per person for groups of just two people.
See the FAQ page for policies regarding discounted costs for children under 14.
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