The Chicago Architecture Center inspires people to discover why design matters.
The Chicago Architecture Center is the leading organization devoted to celebrating and promoting Chicago as a center of architectural innovation. As Chicago’s forum for the exchange of ideas on urban design, the CAC inspires people to participate in the building of vibrant communities and to demand the highest standard in urban design. The CAC awakens young people to achieve their potential through the discovery of architecture, engineering and design.
WHO WE ARE
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) was founded in 1966 as the Chicago Architecture Foundation to save the historic Glessner House. The CAC is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. Our mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters.
By the Numbers
people served annually
guest services volunteers
Our riverfront location is in the heart of the city and features nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space.
Center Location111 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
Near the corner of Michigan & WackerVISIT THE CENTER
Members enjoy year-round benefits including discounts in the design store and on tours, early access to exhibitions, and exclusive member-only events.Become a Member
A VISUAL HISTORY
A group of volunteers joins together to save H. H. Richardson's Glessner House from demolition. This effort led to the founding of the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
The first class of 33 docents graduates from the CAF training program and begins to lead walking tours.
The Newhouse Architecture Competition for high school students begins.
CAF launches the first river cruise about architecture.
CAF moves to the Railway Exchange Building at 224 S. Michigan Avenue.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady is born! Still running today, the river cruise is consistently voted the #1 tour in Chicago.
The award-winning "Schoolyards to Skylines" K-8 curriculum is published.
The 320-square-foot Chicago Model is completed, featuring 400 blocks of the city and more than 1,000 Chicago buildings in miniature.
CAF hosts the inaugural Open House Chicago, a free citywide weekend festival—now the largest architecture event in the country.
The ArcelorMittal Design Studio opens to serve as a collaborative learning space for students and families. LEGO® donated 500,000 bricks for use in the space.
The Chicago Architecture Center opens at 111 E. Wacker. With exhibits, programs and events, the Center is a hub for all things architecture and a starting point for many tours.