Tour the New Chicago Architecture Center

Daniel Hautzinger
The new Chicago Architecture Center on East Wacker Drive. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers, courtesy CAC
The new Chicago Architecture Center on East Wacker Drive. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers, courtesy CAC

The Chicago Architecture Center (formerly Chicago Architecture Foundation), known for its tours of Chicago's built landscape as well as its educational programs, opens its new center to the public today. Moving from its previous location on Michigan Avenue to 111 East Wacker Drive, right off the Chicago River at the Michigan Avenue bridge, where its trademark boat tours start, CAC now occupies a two-floor space designed by Chicago-based firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture inside a Mies van der Rohe building. The new space features a skyscraper gallery filled with scale models of some of the world's tallest and most iconic skyscrapers and a gallery devoted to Chicago' storied architecture that includes an expanded model of the city that is now beefed up with a film and interactive light show narrating Chicago's history. The galleries at the new Center have an admission fee of $12.

Take our Audio Tour of the 10 Most Iconic Buildings along the Chicago Riverwalk narrated by Geoffrey Baer. Listen from your home or at the River. 

Now, view photos and features of the new Center...

The new skyscraper gallery, Building Tall, features scale models of iconic buildings like the Hancock Building, Petronas Towers, Willis Tower, Empire State Building. Photo: Tom Harris, courtesy CACThe new skyscraper gallery, Building Tall, features scale models of iconic buildings like the Hancock Building, Petronas Towers, Willis Tower, and the Empire State Building. Photo: Tom Harris, courtesy CAC

The new Center was designed by Chicago-based firm AS + GG, which is also responsible for the Jeddah Tower (scale model on the left), which will be the world's tallest building when completed. Photo: Tom Harris, courtesy CACThe new Center was designed by Chicago-based firm AS + GG, which is also responsible for the Jeddah Tower (scale model on the left), which will be the world's tallest building when completed. Photo: Tom Harris, courtesy CAC

Models of Chicago icons such as Marina City can be found in the second-floor gallery. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CACModels of Chicago icons such as Marina City can be found in the second-floor gallery. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CAC

The Chicago model now also features a film and interactive light show illustrating Chicago's history. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CACThe Chicago model now also features a film and interactive light show illustrating Chicago's history. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CAC

The Center's model of Chicago has been expanded from 1,300 to 4,250 buildings. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CACThe Center's model of Chicago has been expanded from 1,300 to 4,250 buildings. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CAC

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CAC President Lynn Osmond look at the Center's exhibit on Chicago's place in architecture. Photo: Courtesy CACMayor Rahm Emanuel and CAC President Lynn Osmond look at the Center's exhibit on Chicago's place in architecture. Photo: Courtesy CAC

CAC tours have been rerouted now that they begin at the new Center. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CACCAC tours have been rerouted now that they begin at the new Center. Photo: Anthony Tahlier, courtesy CAC

The Center's new location is just steps away from the docks from which their river tours depart. Photo: Angie McMonigal, courtesy CACThe Center's new location is just steps away from the docks from which their river tours depart. Photo: Angie McMonigal, courtesy CAC

The new Center is surrounded by some of Chicago's most famous buildings. Photo: Angie McMonigal, courtesy CACThe new Center is surrounded by some of Chicago's most famous buildings. Photo: Angie McMonigal, courtesy CAC

The Center is on the first two floors of a building designed by the office of Mies van der Rohe. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers, courtesy CACThe Center is on the first two floors of a building designed by the office of Mies van der Rohe. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers, courtesy CAC

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