Photo: Anne Ruthmann Photography
If you're looking to give groups a unique perspective on Chicago's architecture, consider adding these tours to your itineraries.
1. LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS (MY KIND OF TOWN)
Even Robin Leach would be impressed by the lifestyles of select early Chicagoans. Give your groups a glimpse into the world where wealthy Chicagoans lived, worked and played. On the agenda? A 30-room mansion on the north side, an 1870s church restored to its original decoration, a beautifully restored country club and the elite Board of Trade.
Group policy: Contact for details.
Book group tickets: Call 847-432-7003 or email email@example.com.
2. INSIDE THE LOOP (CHICAGO DETOURS)
Send groups underground on this two-hour tour to explore the interior architecture of Chicago's vast Pedway network. They'll see the sites, hear overlooked stories, learn about fresh architectural concepts and use iPads with archival images — like maps, historic photos and documentary video clips — to get a true sense of Chicago's architectural history.
Group policy: Private tours accept up to 60 guests.
Book group tickets: Call 312-350-1131.
3. CHURCHES BY BUS (CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION)
With four new churches on the route, this five-hour tour is better than ever. Groups will visit crypts beneath a 1920s chapel, a modern structure at Northwestern University, a New England colonial church here in the Midwest, a Victorian-style church with an attached English-Gothic parish house, and an English-Gothic church with a beautiful Lady Chapel and windows depicting scenes from Jesus' ministry.
Group policy: Groups are encouraged to book four to six weeks in advance.
Book group tickets: Call 312-922-3432 x226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. THE WRIGHT KIND OF HISTORY (CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM)
Frank Lloyd Wright perfected his Prairie style in Chicago, but this famous craftsman was also well-known for his ego and tragic personal life. Here, your groups will view some of the spectacular buildings that played a direct role in all areas of Wright's life. (Note: This is a step-on tour that requires you to provide your own motorcoach transportation with sound system and seating for guide.)
Group policy: Minimum of 20 people per tour.
Book group tickets: Call 312-799-2162 or email email@example.com.
5. THE CITY THAT TRAINS BUILT (ACCENTING CHICAGO)
Help groups explore Chicago's rich history on rails. This tour reveals the spaces, places and artifacts of the golden age of rail transport, including working terminals and even the historic Pullman District, the company town where the Pullman Sleeping Car was made famous.
Group policy: Contact for details.
Book group tickets: Call 312-819-5363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. LOOP PUBLIC ART (JOYCE WALKS CHICAGO)
Amid the Loop's towering skyscrapers and well-known buildings lie beautiful public murals, mosaics, sculptures, monuments and intricate works of art from great talents. This tour stops by many memorable pieces of public art, including Roger Brown's Flight of Daedalus and Icarus, Marc Chagall's The Four Seasons (composed of thousands of inlaid chips in more than 250 colors) and Alexander Calder's 50-ton red steel Flamingo.
Group policy: Groups small and large (can provide multiple guides); all ages.
Book group tickets: Email email@example.com.
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