2. Chicago: Architecture Center Exhibit Admission
The Chicago Architecture Center is the city’s newest must-see cultural destination.
The CAC, formerly Chicago Architecture Foundation, is a hub for everything architecture in Chicago. The CAC will be a gateway for docent-led tours, exciting programs and imaginative, new interactive exhibits including the expanded, popular Chicago Model. Discover the stories behind the city’s architectural marvels and see how Chicago designers are changing skylines around the world.
The Chicago Architecture Center fills a dramatic space, designed by the world-renowned firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, in a building by the Office of Mies van der Rohe, pioneer of mid-Century modernism. Center visitors are greeted by stunning views—through a 40-foot tall wall of glass—of some of the city’s most iconic buildings: Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building and the new flagship Apple Store.
The 20,000-square-foot Center is an extraordinary Chicago experience conveniently located at 111 East Wacker, just steps from Michigan Avenue and above the dock for the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises. The nearly 10,000-square-feet of gallery space features exhibits including:
In the Drake Family Skyscraper Gallery’s inaugural exhibit, "Building Tall" discovers how architects break boundaries and design tall and super tall buildings pushing ever higher into the sky.
Explore supersized scale models of famous skyscrapers from Chicago and around the world that reveal how design and engineering innovations spurred a “race to the top”: from the world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building in Chicago; to the Willis or Sears Tower, the world’s tallest building for nearly 25 years; to the next tallest building in the world, Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, also designed in Chicago.
In the Chicago Gallery, the popular Chicago Model is bigger and better than ever—expanded from 1,300 to over 4,000 buildings. A film and light show illuminate the model with the amazing story of Chicago’s early growth, rebirth after the Great Chicago Fire, first-ever skyscrapers and modernist masterpieces of steel and glass.
Using interactive touch screens, visitors can orient themselves to Chicago, search for buildings by architect or building style and find walking tour routes. They can use the model to track how the city evolved with booming, new neighborhoods, expanding boundaries, cutting-edge uses of big data and new projects that will change the skyline. See how state-of-the-art 3D printing creates these accurately scaled buildings for this first-of-its-kind city model.