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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 and your private group to discover opulent architecture and secret stories. We explore architectural interiors of bank and insurance buildings from the turn of the 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 1930s, and consider the background of skyscrapers as a symbol of financial power. This tour is only available Monday through Friday with the latest start time of 5:00pm.

Architecture on this financial district walking tour will range from sleek art deco to glittering post-modern, with buildings constructed from the late 1800s into more present times. We’ll consider the roots of why bank buildings often look like temples. We’ll see ornate carved stone details and massive murals. Buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade, The Rookery, Union League Club, the Federal Center, Field Building and more. About 70% of this interior walking tour takes place inside, making it good for any time of year in Chicago.

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 El train.

Our regular tour is 1.5 hours long. You can also opt to integrate a drink at a historic bar midway into the tour and extend the time to 2 hours. We would stop for a beer or well drink at the Sky Ride, to take little step back to a time long before artisan cocktails.

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.


Our expert tour guides are highly trained, smart, fun and passionate about Chicago architecture and history. We share the human side with the secret stories behind buildings and new ideas in appreciating architecture.

As you look into possibilities for your Chicago private tour, this quick guide may help you determine if we would be the best Chicago tour company for a special event. Dates book up quick, so call us now to reserve a spot for your group’s event!

In business since 2010, we are a top-rated Chicago tour company. We hold five-stars on both TripAdvisor and Yelp. Many of our Chicago architecture walking tours integrate historic bars, food, and music history. We hope you’ll join us to explore stories and places locals don’t even know, both downtown and in Chicago neighborhoods.


2 hours


.6 miles


  • The art deco glamour of the Bank of America Building
  • Glittering architectural interiors of the post-modern 190 S. Lasalle Building
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s opulent remodel of the Rookery
  • The Union League’s residential-inspired architecture
  • An adult beverage at a historic bar!

Stories & Ideas

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

Tour Includes

  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Shared use of iPads with video and photos
  • One beer, wine or well drink per person and bartender gratuity.
  • Special gifts

Tour Location

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Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]