Chicago Travel Guide - Must See Chicago

Chicago Landmarks Guide

Buckingham FountainInfo & Map Locations of Chicago's Top Landmarks
Chicago’s building landscape dates back only to the 1870’s because the city had to be rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. One exception is the Water Tower on Michigan Avenue, which was built in 1869 and survived the fire. Since that time, Chicago architects have designed buildings with ever-evolving technical proficiency allowing skyscrapers to soar and marking the city’s skyline with a variety of architectural styles.

The early 1900’s brought us the Robie House, Navy Pier, the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Soldier Field, Adler Planetarium and the Merchandise Mart; mid-century brought Marina City, Lake Point Tower, Sears Tower (now Willis Tower), John Hancock Building and the Standard Oil Building (now AON Center); and late 20th century buildings include NBC Tower and the Museum of Contemporary Art; and, most recently, the Trump International Hotel and Tower has been completed.

Architectural styles include Art Deco, Gothic Revival, Prairie School, Queene Anne, Spanish Revival and Modern, just to name a few. Chicago’s most famous architects include Daniel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and Fazlur Khan. Take a walking tour or boat tour to learn about Chicago’s most famous and unique buildings, landmarks and architects.. See our Map of Chicago's Landmarks.

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Guide to Chicago Landmarks

Name Neighborhood Address/City/State/Zip Phone

AON Center

Downtown

200 E. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL

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Originally built by the Standard Oil Company in 1973, this skyscraper was designed with a modernism architectural style. Its original marble facade was replaced with white granite in 1992.
 

Baha'I Temple

Suburbs

100 Linden Avenue, Wilmette, IL

847-853-2300

There are currently seven Baha’i Houses of Worship in the world, one being in north suburban Wilmette. Like all Baha’i Houses of Worship, it is circular, with nine sides and is surrounded by gardens with walkways. Groundbreaking for the House of Worship, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, occurred on May 1, 1912, construction began in earnest in 1920, and the temple was formally dedicated on May 1, 1953.
 

Buckingham Fountain

Downtown

1001 S. Columbus Drive, Chicago , IL

312-742-7529

Buckingham Fountain, located in Grant Park, is one of the largest in the world and one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. The Fountain runs daily in season, typically from April to mid-October, producing a major water display on an hourly basis. It was originally installed in 1927 as the centerpiece to Grant Park.
 

Chicago Board of Trade Building

Downtown

141 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL

312-435-3590

The Chicago Board of Trade, a national landmark, was the tallest building in Chicago from 1930 to 1965. The lobby features a variety of art deco floor designs, including a pattern with airplanes, steamships, & submarines in the basement.
 

Chicago Cultural Center

Downtown

78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, IL

312-744-6630

Drawn by its beauty and the fabulous free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Chicago Cultural Center every year. The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events. The building was completed in 1897 as Chicago's first central public library and was designed to impress and prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis.
 

Chicago Water Tower & City Gallery

Magnificent Mile

806 N. Michigan Avenue , Chicago, IL

312-742-0808

The Chicago Water Tower is the city’s most familiar and treasured landmark, as it survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was created for Chicago’s municipal water system. Today it houses the City Gallery, showcasing the work of local photographers and artists.
 

Cloud Gate

Downtown

201 E. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL

312-742-5222

Cloud Gate is a 110-ton, 66-foot by 33-foot elliptical structure forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates which reflect Chicago's famous skyline and the clouds above. It was designed British artist Anish Kapoor, inspired by liquid mercury, and completed in 2006 at the AT&T Plaza of Millennium Park.
 

Crown Fountain

Downtown

201 E. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL

312-742-1168

The Crown Fountain at Millennium Park consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. The towers project video images from a broad social spectrum of Chicago citizens. The fountain’s water features operate during the year between mid-spring and mid-fall, while the images remain on view year-round.
 

Graceland Cemetery

Wrigleyville

4001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL

773-525-1105

Long famous as the “Cemetery of Architects,” Graceland Cemetery owes its design and exceptional natural beauty to two 19th century landscape architects, H.W.S. Cleveland and Ossian Simonds. The Cemetery is open to all to visit, and its architectural masterpieces, local history and beauty are the magnets that attract people to Graceland.
 

Holy Name Cathedral

River North

730 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL

312-787-8040

Holy Name Cathedral, rebuilt in 1875 after the Great Chicago Fire, is of Gothic Revival architectural style. This Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest in the U.S. This stunning structure features bronze doors, weighing 1,200 pounds each and abstract stained glass from Milan, Italy.
 

Macy's on State Street

Downtown

111 N. State Street, Chicago, IL

312-781-1000

Macy's on State Street is the second largest department store in the world, and has been a quintessential Chicago destination for over a century. This landmark 12-story building spanning an entire city block is listed on the National Register of Historic Spaces, and formerly housed the Chicago retail institution, Marshall Field and Company. Historic symbols of the Marshall Field's era still adorn the building's interior and exterior.
 

Michigan Avenue Bridge

Magnificent Mile

E. Wacker Dr. & N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

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Conceived as part of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago, this bridge and upper-level Wacker Drive were designed to improve transportation and to enhance Chicago's riverfront. The completion of the bridge, followed by the Wacker Drive esplanade (1926) and the monumental sculptures (1928), provided an impressive gateway to North Michigan Avenue and led to its development as one of the city's premier thoroughfares.
 

Picasso Statue

Downtown

50 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL

877-244-2246

Standing 50 feet tall and weighing over 160 tons, the Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza is much more than just artwork to Chicagoans. The untitled Picasso sculpture that originally sparked controversy when it was unveiled in 1967 has now become one of Chicago’s most famous sculptures and beloved icons. Picasso's early sketches for planning the sculpture may be seen today at the Art Institute of Chicago.
 

Soldier Field

Museum Campus

1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL

312-235-7000

Building of Soldier Field began in 1919. It was to be a showcase for events and a playground for the people, as well as a memorial to American soldiers who died in wars. With its Greco-Roman architecture, it has been a key part of the city landscape. An extensive renovation in 2003 resulted in a unique, somewhat odd blend of historic and modern. Soldier Field has been home to the Chicago Bears football team since 1971. On most days when there is no event scheduled, you can take a guided tour of Soldier Field.
 

The Rookery

Downtown

209 S. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL

312-994-4000

The Rookery Building is a Chicago landmark, containing a luminous and brilliantly articulated central light court remodeling by Frank Lloyd Wright. You can learn about the building’s fascinating history and the unique contribution of one of America’s greatest architects on a guided tour by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.
 

Tribune Tower

Downtown

435 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

312-222-3097

In 1922, newspaper publisher Colonel Robert R. McCormick set out to build "the most beautiful and eye-catching office building in the world." The tower has all of the traditional elements of a skyscraper plus heritage expressed in flying buttresses, spires, grotesques, and more. The base of the Tribune Tower contains 120 stones from important locations all around the world.
 

Wright's Robie House

Hyde Park

5757 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL

312-994-4000

The Robie House on the University of Chicago campus is considered one of the most important buildings in the history of American architecture. It was created by Frank Lloyd Wright for his client Frederick C. Robie, a forward-thinking businessman. Tours of the site offer both a first-hand experience of its amazingly contemporary spaces.
 

Wrigley Building

Downtown

400 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

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The Wrigley Building, built in 1922, has been recognized as one of Chicago's most attractive buildings. Its sparkling white terra-cotta cladding, well-proportioned architecture, two-story clock in the south tower, and nighttime lighting have established it as a symbol of Chicago in many books, motion pictures and television programs, and is an unforgettable nighttime sight for Chicago's residents and visitors.
 

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Map of Chicago Landmarks

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