Chicago Architecture

Tour the Windy City's extensive and impressive collection of architectural styles.
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Photo By: Cesar Russ Photography

Photo By: Photo from the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

Photo By: The City of Chicago

Photo By: Cesar Russ Photography

Photo By: Cesar Russ Photography

Photo By: Cesar Russ Photography

Photo By: Brandon Bartoszek

Photo By: Cesar Russ Photography

The Chicago Theater: Neo-Baroque, French Revival Style

The Chicago Theatre was constructed in 1921 as a movie theater, and it was designed by architects Cornelius W. Rapp and George L. Rapp in their signature Neo-Baroque, French Revival style.

Chicago's McCormick Place: Modern on a Grand Scale

A prime example of modern architecture, McCormick Place is the largest convention center in the United States. It is made up of four interconnected buildings by Lake Michigan. Modern architecture features clean, geometric lines, technologically advanced materials, and the mentality of function over form.

Museum of Science and Industry: 19th Century Beaux-Arts

The Museum of Science and Industry was originally built with its Beaux-Arts style in 1893 as The Palace of Fine Arts for the World's Columbian Exposition. The Museum moved into the building in 1926 after a $5 million restoration project. The original Beaux-Arts exterior was kept, but the interior was replaced with an Art Moderne-style design.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion: Frank Gehry's Boldly Contemporary Vision

As the centerpiece of Millennium Park, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is an eye-catching, contemporary-style design by Frank Gehry. The band shell is made from brushed stainless steel. The main stage can accommodate a full orchestra and 150-member choir, and the pavilion has an 11,000-person capacity. The venue also has an innovative sound system that mimics indoor concert hall acoustics.

Buckingham Fountain: Chicago's Beaux-Arts Front Door

Buckingham Fountain is considered Chicago's front door. The fountain represents Lake Michigan, surrounded by four sea horses representing Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. It has a Beaux-Arts style and was modeled after Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles in France.

The Wrigley Building: Spanish Revival Meets French Revolution

The Wrigley Building is a fusion of French Revolution and Spanish Revival architecture styles with a design inspired by Seville Cathedral's Giralda Tower in Spain. The building has 250,000 terra cotta tiles that were custom made in England, and each is tracked by computer to determine when maintenance is needed.

The Aqua Building: Tall, Modern and Oceanic

Aqua, an 86-story residential skyscraper in the Lakeshore East part of downtown Chicago, is named after the nautical theme of its location and also for the wave-like forms of the windows. The name also matches the blue-green tint of the windows. This building is the third tallest building in the world that was designed by a female architect.

The Courthouse Place: Imposing and Neo-Romanesque

The Courthouse Place is a Neo-Romanesque building at 54 West Hubbard Street in the Near North Side. The building housed the Cook County Criminal Courts for 35 years, where it was the site of legendary trials, such as the Black Sox Scandal regarding eight Chicago White Sox players who were banned from baseball for intentionally throwing games. The Criminal Courts left the building in 1929.

The Auditorium Building: Romanesque Center for the Arts

The Auditorium Building was created to provide a permanent home for Chicago's operatic, symphonic and other cultural events. It also included multi-use commercial components, such as a 400-room hotel and rental offices. The composition of the street facades shows the Romanesque style of the building. It now belongs to Roosevelt University.

The Trump International Hotel: Glittering and Modern

The Trump International Hotel and Tower is a skyscraper condo-hotel in downtown Chicago. The 98-story structure is 1,389 feet tall, including its spire. 

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