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Chicago Temple Architecture Tour with Prosecco on Skyscraper Terrace

By Amanda on April 17, 2014


Our next special, one-off tour is on Friday, April 25th, 5:45pm. We are very happy to offer a rare visit to the Chicago Temple building’s skyscraper terrace and a “Chapel in the Sky.” So please join us for the “Exclusive Temple Tour with Views and a Toast!” (If you could not make it to this special event, we visit the Chicago Temple almost every day on the Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour.

This is our third time offering this special event architecture tour of the Chicago Temple to the public. It also might be our last since the senior pastor is retiring. We do not know who the next resident of the three-story penthouse overlooking downtown Chicago will be. Nor do we know if the person will enjoy having random people hang out on their terrace – rightfully so!

downtown chicago architecture skyscraper neo-gothic
Looking up at the turrets from the private roof terrace.

About the Chicago Temple Building

For this architectural and historical tour, I will share some unexpected stories of the history of the Chicago Temple building. It houses the First United Methodist Church, offices for various businesses, and the pastor’s private residence. On this special tour, I will take a limited group of 24 guests to experience the building’s beautiful Neo-gothic architecture, as well some surprises hidden in the ornate and colorful stained glass windows of the church’s sanctuary.

The scope of the tour extends beyond church history. Guests will hear the fascinating and radical story that surrounds a sculpture that incorporates an actual KKK cross, and they will walk down the marble hallway that leads to Clarence Darrow’s former office, the famous lawyer for the Leopold and Loeb murder trial.

chicago architecture tour temple building skyscraper
Chatting with Phil on his skyscraper terrace on a previous tour.

Visit a Residence and Chapel in the Sky

Then we will head up to the top of this 1920s skyscraper. On the 26th floor we will enter the magnificent Chapel in the Sky with its carved walnut beams and stained glass windows. The tour will conclude with a prosecco toast on the pastor’s private roof terrace with fantastic views of downtown Chicago.

It’s prosecco instead of champagne because from all my travels in Italy as a tour guide with Rick Steves, I have acquired a taste for this dry sparkling white wine from the Veneto region.

As with all of Chicago Detours’ walking tours, guests will share iPads with historic images and video clips while the tour guide gives commentary.

Tickets for the Chicago Temple Tour are $36 for the 2 hour, 15-minute long tour, which includes guide commentary, shared use of iPads, sparkling wine, cheese and other light snacks, entrance to the Chapel in the Sky, access to the private terrace, and the gift of a historic print of the building. Additionally, guests get a peek inside the mid-century modern interior of the pastor’s three-story penthouse. For this special event, I will give half of guide gratuities to a church initiative that gives specially designed backpacks to the homeless.

Reservations are required via Group size is limited and only a few tickets are left! Like I said, it may be the last time we offer this, so we hope to see you there!

– Amanda Scotese, Chicago Detours Executive Director 


Chicago Detours offers guided walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture to public and private groups. We are a passionate team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers, and are proud to be one of very few tour companies in Chicago that is rated five stars on both Google and TripAdvisor.


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]