Chicago Architecture Center is one of the world’s leading centers for architectural exploration and education. The Center offers a wide range of programs, tours, exhibitions, lectures, and events that explore the history, design, and technology of architecture in Chicago and around the world. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of some of the city’s most iconic buildings; take in an indoor exhibit exploring historic
If you have a passion for architecture, whether you live in the city or not, you have likely heard of the Chicago Architecture Center. The Center is a wonder born of love and passion and a testament to what happens when like-minded individuals come together. To explain why we love this place so much, let’s go over our complete guide to the Chicago Architecture Center!
Understanding the Chicago Architecture Center
The Chicago Architecture Center was founded over fifty years ago, in 1966. At the time, it was known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation. And it was organized entirely to try and save the historically significant Glessner House. The Center has an average of over five hundred thousand guests annually! And it has become one of the largest and oldest cultural organizations in Chicago, bolstering the love for and desire to learn more about architecture in this beautiful city. The Center has four hundred and fifty volunteer docents, one hundred fifty guest service volunteers, and a cadre of professional educators on architecture. Since its inception, it has had the goals of protecting the city’s most important monuments to architecture and promoting Chicago as a center of architectural innovation.
The exhibits you can enjoy
Naturally, one of the biggest draws of the Center and an integral part of our guide to the Chicago Architecture Center are the exhibits it offers to visitors. The exhibits are not permanently set since, like a museum, new ones are installed and old ones removed. However, there are a few permanent and truly stunning features when interacting with them. Be it the first or the thousandth time you do so! Foremost among them is The Chicago City Model Experience. Created back in two thousand and nine, this Chicago model has been the center’s main icon. It then grew in two thousand and eighteen and now contains more than forty thousand buildings. The light show illuminated the models, and a film that conveys the history of the city’s growth completes the experience exquisitely.
Interesting tours to enjoy
There are several tours of the city you can opt for to get acquainted with it. If you have gone through the process of moving to Chicago and hiring moving services for assistance with any task that might be required, then this is one of the best introductions to the city you can have. There are five popular tours to look into in particular.
- Visiting Chicago
- Latest and Greatest
- Parks and Public Spaces
- Neighborhood tours
Every one of the tours has its appeal, and every one of them is highly educational and exciting! Still, you may find the final two of particular value if you’re trying to turn the city into your home!
The Center offers far too many educational opportunities to list here. They offer everything from guided school tours, to teen workshops, to family events. Including some fascinating camps and festivals for the youngest admirers of impressive feats of architecture! There are a few places you can send your kids to that will comprehensively introduce them to the subject. And in such an interesting fashion. Don’t be surprised if they suddenly know more about the importance of windows in architectural designing than you’d ever expect once they come back! Similarly, the opportunities for adults to learn that the Center provides are just as many.
The amazing membership offers
Our guide to the Chicago Architecture Center also needs to mention the membership models they offer. The membership benefits are considerable, including free admission to the Center, free essential walking tours, sixty-six percent discounts on all other types of walking tours, access to members-only events, priority access passes to skip lines during Open House Chicago, and more! As the moving and storing experts from Golans Moving and Storage insist, membership is only worth it when paying for it truly benefits you. And the Center has made sure to hit its mark with its amazing offers.
The interesting shop
There is an absolute wealth of exciting gifts, memorabilia, and even genuinely helpful and educational goods in the Chicago Architecture Center shop. One of the most compelling examples and articles of clothing with the designs of notable historical buildings of the city. They either feature some noteworthy part of their design or have a charming rendition of a local building. The many housewares with the same designs are equally valuable and pretty (arguably somewhat more practical). Finally, you can pick up all sorts of useful books, both as serious reading and as a way to introduce children to the wonders of architecture.
The amazing online resources
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention they are amazing online resources in our guide to the Chicago Architecture Center. Their site is of stellar quality and offers access to almost as many goodies as their physical facilities do! Of particular note are their learning resources, which come in several categories. You can go over the most notable buildings in Chicago under their ‘Building of Chicago’ tab. Or open their ‘Architecture Dictionary’ and look for a particular notable building in the city to learn more about it. You can check their CAC Watch List, where they keep a careful catalog of transformative projects in the city and their effects. Or you can read all about their ‘Land Acknowledgment.’ And learn about the history of the land the Center is on and its rich cultural history, which, of course, significantly predates the city of Chicago.
We hope our complete guide to the Chicago Architecture Center has roused your curiosity enough to check out the Center yourself! If you do, you will quickly realize that, if anything, we have failed to truly conjure just how special it is.