Skip to main content
Book a private virtual tour for conferences and corporate events

Chicago Initiatives for Architecture and History


Chicago Initiatives to Support Architecture and History Education

As a socially responsible business, we tour guides donate 50% of gratuities from public tours to Chicago initiatives which support programs and non-profit organizations with like-minded missions. (Our mission is to bring curious people to explore stories and places locals don’t even know through guided tours of Chicago’s architecture, history and culture.) Each year, our donations support organizations that contribute to the community via education, archives, and/or job training in the fields of history, architecture, urban studies, and the arts.

We are currently supporting Albany Park Theater Project. APTP’s youth ensemble members explore Chicago neighborhoods, connect with residents, and learn about social issues that impact their own community in order to create original plays about real-life Chicagoans.

Past Featured Organizations from the Chicago Detours Giving Program

We gave to Archeworks, a Chicago-based multidisciplinary design educator that advances design in the public interest and inspires collaborative action to shape more healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. The gifts to Archeworks supported their “Elemental Mud Workshop Series,” which teach water and soil conservation within our Chicago environment that has many decades of industrial pollution in its ecological system.

We gave to the Rebuilding Exchange, which creates a market for reclaimed building materials. This non-profit organization promotes sustainable deconstruction practices and educates on reuse. We raised funds to improve their workshop facilities, which provide public education via the workshops and also job training to people with barriers to employment.

Free Monadnock Building Tours

Each November we offer free weekly 30-minute tours of our home base: the historic Monadnock Building. The tour guide tips from this tour of the groundbreaking early high-rise are donated to our friends at Preservation Chicago.

Artist Residency Program

Through our past Artist Residency Program, Chicago Detours encouraged artistic inquiry into the city of Chicago architecture, history, tourism, landscape, neighborhoods, communities. During the residency we provided office/studio space in our office downtown with easy access to museums, architecture and public transportation to Chicago neighborhoods. This opportunity allows artists to make and show a project (installation, documentary or experimental video, drawings, sculpture, photography, mixed media) that will contribute to their creative and professional development, while helping them connect with new audiences for their work.

We have put this program on pause until we find a better place to exhibit the work and organize the details of the program.


In March 2018 we hosted “Badass Women of Chicago History” as part of Women’s History Month, Storytellers, historians and other awesome presenters shared the stories of Chicago heroines on the periphery of traditional historical narratives. A portion of ticket sales and all raffle proceeds were donated to the Chicago Women’s Health Center. The amazing response inspired us to make this an annual event, shining a spotlight on overlooked women in Chicago’s history while supporting badass local organizations that support the community. Learn more or register for tickets here.

Other Ways We Support Chicago Architecture and History

We are happy to help out for fundraisers in Chicago city limits that fall under the umbrella of our mission to share Chicago architecture, history, and culture in creative ways. We have a limited amount of gift cards for walking tours that we give for raffles and silent auctions. Fundraisers we support are in education, the arts, Chicago history, architecture, sustainability, and urban poverty. We do not donate to religious organizations, medical fundraisers, or any other organization that does not connect with what we do with our tours at Chicago Detours.


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]