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Architecture of Money and Power Financial District Walking Tour

Discover opulent architecture and secret stories.

This walking tour in the heart of Chicago’s financial district will take you to discover opulent architecture and secret stories. We explore architecture of bank and insurance buildings from the turn of the 20th century and beyond. You’ll hear about the flamboyant characters of the past, including stories of both greed and generosity. We’ll visit what was the largest and most technologically advanced building of the 1930’s, and consider the background of skyscrapers as a symbol of financial power.

Please see our walking tour FAQ for details on our safety precautions and policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

PLEASE NOTE: This tour is temporarily suspended but can be booked as Private Tour. Call us at 312.350.1131 for details on booking a Private Tour. Check back to soon or join our mailing list to find out when we’re offering this tour again to the public!


Architecture on this financial district walking tour will range from sleek Art Deco to glittering Postmodern, with buildings constructed from the late 1800’s to the present day. We’ll consider the roots of why bank buildings often look like temples. Architectural eye candy includes ornate carved stone details and massive murals. Buildings visited include the Chicago Board of Trade, The Rookery, Union League Club, the Federal Center, the Field Building and more.

We also venture to the “back door” of the Board of Trade. Here a time-warp exists in the middle of downtown Chicago, with historic bars, an old school pizza joint, a pawn shop, and the rickety tracks of the ‘L’ train.

In keeping with Chicago Detours’ mission to explore stories and places locals don’t know, this tour will either tell lesser-known stories behind famous buildings or take guests into buildings they might not normally notice right in the heart of the financial district.


1.5 Hours


.6 miles



  • Days & Times

  • --


  • The Art Deco glamour of the Bank of America Building
  • Glittering architecture of the Postmodern 190 S. LaSalle Building
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s opulent remodel of the Rookery
  • The Union League’s residential-inspired architecture
  • The site of the Home Insurance Building, the world's first skyscraper

Stories & Ideas

  • The vibrant history of open outcry
  • The gorgeous building cursed with the worst bank collapses in American history
  • The surprising story of the Chicago Board of Trade’s disappearing sculptures
  • The armed militia of Northern Trust Bank
  • The story of the eccentric self-made billionaire John D. MacArthur

Tour Includes

  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Special gifts

Tour Location

Walking tour meets outside the street-level lobby of 39 S. LaSalle Street.
Tour ends inside the Marquette Building, 140 S. Dearborn.

Book Now


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]