The Chicago Architecture Center and River Cruise

Chicago Architecture Foundation

The Chicago Architecture Center, formerly the famous Chicago Architecture Foundation, is a non-profit cultural institution in Chicago. The organization was founded by architect Philip Johnson in 1893. It focuses on contemporary architecture, and works with artists, architects, and historians to share the best of contemporary design. Here are some of the highlights of a visit to the Chicago Architecture Center. While you’re there, take the River cruise and tour an exhibit.


Docents at the Chicago Architecture Foundation are frontline ambassadors for the city’s architectural treasures. By providing knowledgeable tours of the city’s most notable buildings, they burnish Chicago’s reputation as the birthplace of the skyscraper. Becoming a docent is a serious commitment, requiring three months of classroom study and intense field training. If you’re interested in becoming a docent, contact the Chicago Architecture Foundation for more information.

Applicants should apply as early as possible, as applications for the program tend to close several weeks in advance. After a rigorous interview process, about half of applicants advance to the next round. The second round of the application process involves an interview with a committee of three members, during which applicants must deliver a three-minute presentation of a specific building. Judges will assess their presentation skills, communication skills, and cohesiveness. The second round of applicants makes up about 70% of the class, so you need to be serious about becoming a docent.

River cruise

If you are looking for a fun way to explore the famous architecture of Chicago, you should consider taking a Chicago Architecture Foundation River cruise. You can choose from several boat sizes and tour venues. The Chicago Architecture Foundation also works with event planners to organize custom tours. You can also take advantage of their year-round boat tours and special events. Just make sure to wear sunscreen to protect your skin. After all, you don’t want to miss seeing Chicago’s famous architecture!

To make the most of your Chicago Architecture Foundation River cruise, you will want to arrive a few hours before the start time. Moovit provides you with directions to the Chicago Architecture Foundation River cruise in downtown Chicago. You can also visit the Chicago Architecture Center while you’re there. Moovit also makes it easy to find nearby parking garages and attractions, so you can plan your trip accordingly. You can also enjoy food concessions on certain boats.


The new Chicago Architecture Center opened in 2018. Located where Michigan Avenue meets the Chicago River, the center is home to more than 10,000 square feet of exhibition space and super-sized models of iconic skyscrapers. The new center is also the gateway to more than 50 walking tours and river cruises that focus on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, leading architects, and future projects. Exhibits include the largest scale model of Chicago and 4,250 miniature buildings, interactive touchscreens, and a cinematic backdrop.

This new exhibition honors the late Helmut Jahn, an architectural style icon and Chicago native. Jahn won nearly every architectural award under the sun. In addition to creating landmark buildings, Jahn was a charismatic figure who graced the covers of popular magazines and competed in world championship sailing competitions. In addition to his architectural designs, Jahn also exhibited his art and his life through photography, drawings, and models.


To learn more about the beautiful architecture of Chicago, take a tour at the Chicago Architecture Center, formerly the City of Design. This cultural organization, which focuses on modern and contemporary art and architecture, has tours that showcase its various collections. The tours are free of charge and are a great way to get a better understanding of the city’s diverse cultural landscape. Founded in 1974, the Chicago Architecture Center is now a nonprofit cultural organization that has tours of its collection.

You can also take a 90-minute river cruise at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. On this tour, you’ll learn about the history and construction of more than 50 iconic Chicago buildings. With knowledgeable guides, you’ll learn more about Chicago’s rich history and culture, as well as its thriving architecture scene. The tours are offered free of charge and do not require registration, so you can customize your trip to reflect your interests. There are tours in various neighborhoods throughout the city, including the Gold Coast, the South Side, and the West Loop.


The Foundation was founded in 1966 as the Chicago School of Architecture to protect the Glessner House, an iconic 19th-century residence in Chicago. The foundation’s mission is to promote the appreciation and preservation of the built environment, and the organization offers tours, lectures, exhibits, and youth education programs. Programs at the CAC focus on the history, design, and architecture of the city, and feature the work of Chicago’s leading architects and designers.

The youth education department of the Chicago Architecture Center engages high school students and college-bound students in a series of design competitions. The competitions develop quality portfolio pieces for college applications. The competitions culminate in a public showcase, during which professional architects award the top prizes. The CAF also offers a unique youth education program for high school students, which includes a three-hour studio project that introduces participants to the field of architecture. The classes are led by professional architects, contractors, and engineers.