During the period between the two World Wars, an eclectic design style developed that later became known as Art Deco, used to refer to a mix of styles from the 1920s and 1930s. Through the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Art Deco style infused the everyday world with an elegant style of cool sophistication.
What characterizes Art Deco design most is its geometry and simplicity, often combined with vibrant colors and simple shapes that celebrate the rise of commerce and technology. From luxurious objects made from exotic materials to mass produced, streamlined items. Chicago's Jazz Age architecture was simply called Modernistic when it was created in the 1920s, and Moderne as it evolved into the Swing era of the 1930s. Whether starkly cubistic or smoothly streamlined, the new office and apartment buildings that redefined the skyline embodied the new language of building until the 1950s.
On this tour you will discover the opulent exteriors and interiors of the Roaring '20s Jazz Deco buildings and the classic finishes of Art Moderne buildings. Learn of Chicago's influence on the international Art Deco movement, and trace the history of this short-lived but lively architectural heritage. Come and experience the very essence of Art Deco!
CTA rapid transit stations: (walking distance from the following)
Walk east on Adams or Jackson to Michigan Avenue. At Adams, turn right (south) on Michigan Avenue.
CTA Bus Lines:
ArchiCenter is operated by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and is
located at 224 South Michigan Avenue in the CAF’s Shop & Tour Center
across from the Art Institute on the northwest corner of Jackson
Boulevard at Michigan Avenue. Open 361 days a year from 9:30am-6:30pm
Monday-Saturday, 9:30am-6:00pm Sundays. The ArchiCenter has free
galleries and interpretive exhibits as well as a museum shop.
Metra operates 11 suburban commuter lines serving downtown Chicago.
Please note: this tour is not suitable for young children. The academic and historic content of the tour is oriented to adults and mature young people.
Please meet 15 minutes before departure at the CAF’s Shop & Tour Center 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago.