clock menu more-arrow no yes
Two rows of tall buildings flanking a river with multiple bridges and yellow water taxi boats. Getty Images

Chicago’s most iconic buildings, mapped

These buildings are the heart and soul of the city

View as Map

Credited for inventing the skyscraper, Chicago and its lasting mark in the world of architecture is internationally renowned. The city has an abundance of remarkable, iconic structures and no shortage of residents and tourists eager to take in their beauty and learn their histories.

While a list of notable downtown buildings could easily reach triple digits, Chicago is more than its central core. Encompassing 77 neighborhoods, the city has more than its share of local icons that give each area a sense of place.

The following overview highlights 27 Chicago structures for architectural importance as well as their contribution to the city’s cultural identity.

Read More

1. Willis Tower

Copy Link
Willis Tower Skydeck, 233 S Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606

If you want to be factually correct, call it the Willis Tower. But many longtime residents who mourn the name change still say Sears Tower. Completed in 1973, the 1,450-foot tower is the undisputed king of the Windy City skyline. It held the title of the world’s tallest building for decades and maintained its claim to the highest roof in the Western Hemisphere up until last summer. Willis Tower is wrapping up a $500 million makeover which includes a new food hall, glass skylight, and revamped retail complex.

2. 875 North Michigan

Copy Link
John Hancock Center, 875 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

It is difficult to visualize the Chicago skyline without the famous supertall, formerly named John Hancock Center, now known by its address. Sharing many similarities with the Willis Tower, the SOM-designed skyscraper is perhaps the best example of structural expressionism. Rising 1,128 feet to the roof and nearly 1,500 feet to the tip of its twin antennas, the building was one of the tallest buildings in the world when it was completed in 1969. 

3. Aon Center

Copy Link
Aon Center, 200 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

Originally known as the Standard Oil Building or “Big Stan,” Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper was later renamed the Amoco Building and, ultimately, the Aon Center. Completed in 1973, the monolithic office tower’s white facade was initially wrapped in 43,000 thin slabs of Italian Carrara marble. It was later re-clad in white granite after the marble started falling off the building and was deemed structurally unsafe. There’s also plans for a third observatory with a “thrill ride” and a glass elevator at 1,185 feet.

A post shared by T.G.S. (@tgs_tgs) on

4. Aqua

Copy Link
225 N Columbus Dr #220
Chicago, IL 60601
(844) 820-8181
Visit Website

Completed in 2009, the Studio Gang-designed Aqua skyscraper is a relative newcomer among Chicago’s most notable buildings. Featuring dramatic undulating balconies reminiscent of a waterfall, the 859-foot combination hotel, apartment, and condominium building was Jeanne Gang’s tallest building until nearby Vista Tower reached 1,191 feet.

5. Tribune Tower

Copy Link
Tribune Tower
Chicago, IL 60611

The design of this famous skyscraper was the winning submission from John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood in a 1922 competition held by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. In addition to its notable neo-Gothic design, the structure features fragments from some the world's most famous structures—the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, and the Great Pyramids—embedded in its exterior. Big changes are coming to the landmark building as workers convert it into 162 luxury condos and a nearby supertall skyscraper.

6. The Wrigley Building

Copy Link
400-410 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 229-8941
Visit Website

Just across from the Tribune Tower is another one of Chicago’s most famous early skyscrapers—the Wrigley Building. Built by the Wrigley Company in the early ’20s, the terra cotta complex actually consists of two buildings: a 30-story south tower connected to a 21-story north tower via a 14th-floor elevated walkway. The riverfront structure was also Chicago’s first air-conditioned office building.

7. Marina City

Copy Link
Marina City, 300 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654

Designed by visionary architect Bertrand Goldberg and completed in 1968, Marina City was the original city-within-a-city development. Perched on the edge of the Chicago River, the Brutalist complex suddenly made it cool to live downtown and included innovative amenities for the time, such as an on-site grocery store, bowling alley, and marina. The towers’ famous corn cob shapes make them instantly recognizable.

8. Merchandise Mart

Copy Link

Sporting its own zip code, the 4 million-square-foot Merchandise Mart was the biggest building in the world in terms of total floor area when it opened in 1930. The massive Art Deco structure has long housed many of Chicago’s home furnishing showrooms and has become a favorite among Chicago’s tech companies. In 2018, the city launched Art on the Mart, a massive multimedia video art display on the building’s facade.

9. Civic Opera House

Copy Link
20 N Upper Wacker Dr #400
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 332-2244
Visit Website

Resembling a giant armchair, Chicago’s 1929 Civic Opera House consists of a 45-story office tower flanked by two 22-story wings. The riverfront building boasts Art Deco ornamentation both inside and out and includes a performance space with 3,563 seats. The Civic Opera House is the second largest opera auditorium in the country behind New York’s Lincoln Center.

The exterior of the Civic Opera House in Chicago. The facade is tan with many windows. Shutterstock

10. James R. Thompson Center

Copy Link
100 W Randolph St #4-300
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-6676
Visit Website

Completed in 1985, Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center has been polarizing since its inception. The Helmut Jahn-designed building sports a dramatic glass atrium as a nod to grand turn-of-the-century civic spaces like Union Station. Chicago’s most audacious postmodern building is also one of its most endangered. Deteriorating and facing a deferred maintenance bill of hundreds of millions of dollars, the state-owned Thompson Center has been eyed for redevelopment by Illinois lawmakers who are moving forward with a plan to sell the structure.

The interior of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Shutterstock

11. The Rookery Building

Copy Link
209 S LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 553-6100
Visit Website

The original design was by the legendary firm of Burnham & Root from the 1880s and an interior lobby renovation was then executed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. This early skyscraper is notable not only for its architectural pedigree, but also for being the oldest surviving high-rise in Chicago. Take a tour with the Chicago Architecture Center and get a glimpse of the landmark’s 11th-floor architects’ library.

12. Chicago Water Tower

Copy Link
806 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 742-0808
Visit Website

The Chicago Water Tower celebrated its 150th birthday in 2019. The squat limestone structure is a symbol of the city and its rebirth following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as it was one of just a few buildings to survive the devastation. Located on Michigan Avenue’s Mag Mile, the castle-like building houses a gallery that showcases the work of local artists and photographers.

Shutterstock

13. Auditorium Theatre

Copy Link
50 E Congress Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 341-2310
Visit Website

One of the oldest surviving concert halls in the downtown area, the gorgeous Auditorium Theater from Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan first opened in 1889. The venue has played an important role in Chicago’s cultural history serving as home to both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Opera. Roosevelt University owns the theater and rescued it from decay.

14. The Field Museum

Copy Link
1400 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-9410
Visit Website

The Field Museum traces its roots back to the Columbian Exhibition of 1893, when its collection was on display for visitors in Jackson Park. Marshall Field donated $1 million to house the collection in a permanent Neoclassical building in Grant Park in 1921. Only a fraction of the museum’s 40 million objects are on display—the most iconic being SUE the T. Rex, who just moved to a new space within the museum. Stanley Field Hall has a few new residents too: a flock of flying reptiles, a 122-foot long titanosaur, and floating plants.

The exterior of the Field Museum in Chicago. The facade is tan and there are columns next to the entrance. Shutterstock

15. Chinatown Gate

Copy Link
2206 S Wentworth Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

One of the most visible neighborhood markers in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, the Chinese-inspired gateway at the intersection of Wentworth and Cermak frames one of the area’s most busy commercial corridors. Designed by architect Peter Fung and installed in 1975, the structure draws inspiration from a wall in Beijing. The letters near the top of the gate translate to “the world belongs to the commonwealth,” a famous saying in early 20th century China.

16. The Robey

Copy Link
2018 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(872) 315-3050
Visit Website

Formerly known as Northwest Tower, the 186-foot Art Deco tower is the tallest and most visible landmark in Chicago’s vibrant Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. The office building was designed in the 1920s by Perkins, Chatten, and Hammond. It reopened in 2016 as The Robey, a boutique hotel with 69 guest rooms, rooftop views ,and antique elevators.

A post shared by Ben Greiner (@bsgreiner) on

17. S. R. Crown Hall

Copy Link
3360 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 567-3230
Visit Website

Housing the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, S. R. Crown Hall is considered a masterpiece work by the father of modernism Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The rectangular steel and glass structure embodies the designer’s “less is more” philosophy and was described by Mies as his “cleanest structure.” After its most recent renovation, Crown Hall looks as fresh as when it was completed in 1956.

18. Humboldt Park Field House

Copy Link
1400 N Sacramento Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 742-7549
Visit Website

This field house with Georgian and Tudor details is situated at the center of a 219-acre park named for the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. It was designed in 1928 by Norwegian firm of Michaelsen & Rognstad and has intricately designed event spaces with terrazzo flooring and beautiful plaster ceilings.

19. Wrigley Field

Copy Link
1060 W Addison St
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 404-2827
Visit Website

Wrigley Field is nothing short of a Chicago institution. Built in 1914 by architect Zachary Taylor Davis who served as a draftsman for the legendary Louis Sullivan, the classic ballpark offers a unique throwback to a bygone age of baseball. The grittiness that used to exist around the stadium has been replaced by a new hotel, restaurants, and a grassy plaza known as Gallagher Way, but there’s plenty of nostalgia left once inside the Friendly Confines.

20. Andersonville Water Tower

Copy Link
Andersonville
Chicago, IL

While an old water tank painted to look like the Swedish flag may not seem very noteworthy to outsiders, the landmark is a deeply loved neighborhood icon for Chicago’s Andersonville community. After standing atop the former Lind Hardware Store since 1927, the original wooden tower was removed in 2014. The neighborhood raised money for a replica of the blue and yellow tank recreated in more durable steel and fiberglass. It was installed above Clark Street a few years back and can be seen emblazoned on local art and neighborhood guides.

21. Edgewater Beach Apartments

Copy Link
5555 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 907-2130
Visit Website

Designed by architect Benjamin Marshall, the 1928 Edgewater Beach Apartments is one of the North Side neighborhood’s most recognizable buildings. Clad in an unmistakable shade of “sunset pink,” the structure originally connected to the now-demolished 1918 Edgewater Beach Hotel. The surviving apartment building overlooks Lake Michigan at the north end of Lake Shore Drive.

22. Garfield Park Conservatory

Copy Link
300 N Central Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60624
(312) 746-5100
Visit Website

Plans for this 4.5-acre horticultural oasis began in 1905 with the lofty goal of creating the world’s largest publicly owned conservatory under one roof. Taking design inspiration from the Midwest’s rural haystacks, famed Danish-American landscape designer Jens Jensen teamed with architects Schmidt, Garden, & Martin and engineers from Hitchings and Company to build a structure that was both sturdy and an elegant expression of the newly emerging Prairie School style. Since opening in 1908, the Garfield Park Conservatory has impressed both visitors and Chicago residents alike with its six greenhouses and two exhibition halls.

23. Union Stockyards Gate

Copy Link
South Union Avenue
Chicago, IL 60609

Established in 1865, the Union Stockyard was instrumental to the city’s rise to become the center of the American meatpacking industry and “hog butcher for the world.” While the sprawling stockyard once encompassed 475 acres of holding pens and railroad tracks, a 1934 fire destroyed nearly 90 percent of the complex. Today, Union’s iconic 19th-century limestone gate is the most visible remaining relic from Chicago’s meatpacking heyday.

View this post on Instagram

#burnham #stockyards #chicago

A post shared by Christopher Reinhart (@_chrisreinhart) on

24. Frederick C. Robie House

Copy Link
5757 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

If there’s any one house that best reflects Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique Prairie School style, it’s the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Built in 1909 for a young industrialist, the Robie House was conceptualized and constructed with custom furnishings, art glass windows, and other details. The house emphasizes the horizontal over the vertical with its low-hanging cantilevered eaves, earthy colors, and natural building materials. The structure was restored to its original grandeur and was among eight notable Wright-designed buildings named UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

25. South Shore Cultural Center

Copy Link
7059 S South Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60649
(773) 256-0149
Visit Website

Originally built as the South Shore Country Club, this South Side icon was penned by architects Marshall and Fox in 1905. Purchased by the Chicago Park District in 1975 and renamed as the South Shore Cultural Center, the landmarked Mediterranean Revival building features painstakingly restored historic details, a grandiose ballroom, and golf course. It remains a popular venue for weddings and other large events. Film buffs might recognize the exterior as the fictional “Palace Hotel Ballroom on Lake Wazzapamani” from the climax of The Blues Brothers.

View this post on Instagram

South Shore Cultural Center views for days

A post shared by Eric Allix Rogers (@ericallixrogers) on

26. Pullman National Monument

Copy Link
11141 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

Located on Chicago’s Far South Side, Pullman was the site of the country’s first planned industrial community in 1880. Conceived by railroad car tycoon George Pullman, the former company town is famous not only for the Romanesque architecture of its 1880 Clock Tower and Administration Building, but also the role it played in Chicago’s labor and civil rights movements. Pullman’s historic district was declared Chicago’s first—and only—National Monument in 2015.

27. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

Copy Link
951 Chicago Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302
(312) 994-4000
Visit Website

Though technically outside of Chicago’s city limits in Oak Park, Illinois, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is arguably one of the area’s most famous and influential of Wright’s buildings. Built in 1889, the structure on Chicago Avenue served as Wright’s personal home and design studio where a whole generation of architects honed and refined the iconic Prairie School style. Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust manages and maintains the property as a museum.

Loading comments...

1. Willis Tower

Willis Tower Skydeck, 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

If you want to be factually correct, call it the Willis Tower. But many longtime residents who mourn the name change still say Sears Tower. Completed in 1973, the 1,450-foot tower is the undisputed king of the Windy City skyline. It held the title of the world’s tallest building for decades and maintained its claim to the highest roof in the Western Hemisphere up until last summer. Willis Tower is wrapping up a $500 million makeover which includes a new food hall, glass skylight, and revamped retail complex.

Willis Tower Skydeck, 233 S Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606

2. 875 North Michigan

John Hancock Center, 875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

It is difficult to visualize the Chicago skyline without the famous supertall, formerly named John Hancock Center, now known by its address. Sharing many similarities with the Willis Tower, the SOM-designed skyscraper is perhaps the best example of structural expressionism. Rising 1,128 feet to the roof and nearly 1,500 feet to the tip of its twin antennas, the building was one of the tallest buildings in the world when it was completed in 1969. 

John Hancock Center, 875 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

3. Aon Center

Aon Center, 200 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Originally known as the Standard Oil Building or “Big Stan,” Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper was later renamed the Amoco Building and, ultimately, the Aon Center. Completed in 1973, the monolithic office tower’s white facade was initially wrapped in 43,000 thin slabs of Italian Carrara marble. It was later re-clad in white granite after the marble started falling off the building and was deemed structurally unsafe. There’s also plans for a third observatory with a “thrill ride” and a glass elevator at 1,185 feet.

Aon Center, 200 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

4. Aqua

225 N Columbus Dr #220, Chicago, IL 60601

Completed in 2009, the Studio Gang-designed Aqua skyscraper is a relative newcomer among Chicago’s most notable buildings. Featuring dramatic undulating balconies reminiscent of a waterfall, the 859-foot combination hotel, apartment, and condominium building was Jeanne Gang’s tallest building until nearby Vista Tower reached 1,191 feet.

225 N Columbus Dr #220
Chicago, IL 60601

5. Tribune Tower

Tribune Tower, Chicago, IL 60611

The design of this famous skyscraper was the winning submission from John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood in a 1922 competition held by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. In addition to its notable neo-Gothic design, the structure features fragments from some the world's most famous structures—the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, and the Great Pyramids—embedded in its exterior. Big changes are coming to the landmark building as workers convert it into 162 luxury condos and a nearby supertall skyscraper.

Tribune Tower
Chicago, IL 60611

6. The Wrigley Building

400-410 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Just across from the Tribune Tower is another one of Chicago’s most famous early skyscrapers—the Wrigley Building. Built by the Wrigley Company in the early ’20s, the terra cotta complex actually consists of two buildings: a 30-story south tower connected to a 21-story north tower via a 14th-floor elevated walkway. The riverfront structure was also Chicago’s first air-conditioned office building.

400-410 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

7. Marina City

Marina City, 300 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654

Designed by visionary architect Bertrand Goldberg and completed in 1968, Marina City was the original city-within-a-city development. Perched on the edge of the Chicago River, the Brutalist complex suddenly made it cool to live downtown and included innovative amenities for the time, such as an on-site grocery store, bowling alley, and marina. The towers’ famous corn cob shapes make them instantly recognizable.

Marina City, 300 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654

8. Merchandise Mart

Chicago, IL 60654

Sporting its own zip code, the 4 million-square-foot Merchandise Mart was the biggest building in the world in terms of total floor area when it opened in 1930. The massive Art Deco structure has long housed many of Chicago’s home furnishing showrooms and has become a favorite among Chicago’s tech companies. In 2018, the city launched Art on the Mart, a massive multimedia video art display on the building’s facade.

9. Civic Opera House

20 N Upper Wacker Dr #400, Chicago, IL 60606
The exterior of the Civic Opera House in Chicago. The facade is tan with many windows. Shutterstock

Resembling a giant armchair, Chicago’s 1929 Civic Opera House consists of a 45-story office tower flanked by two 22-story wings. The riverfront building boasts Art Deco ornamentation both inside and out and includes a performance space with 3,563 seats. The Civic Opera House is the second largest opera auditorium in the country behind New York’s Lincoln Center.

20 N Upper Wacker Dr #400
Chicago, IL 60606

10. James R. Thompson Center

100 W Randolph St #4-300, Chicago, IL 60601
The interior of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Shutterstock

Completed in 1985, Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center has been polarizing since its inception. The Helmut Jahn-designed building sports a dramatic glass atrium as a nod to grand turn-of-the-century civic spaces like Union Station. Chicago’s most audacious postmodern building is also one of its most endangered. Deteriorating and facing a deferred maintenance bill of hundreds of millions of dollars, the state-owned Thompson Center has been eyed for redevelopment by Illinois lawmakers who are moving forward with a plan to sell the structure.

100 W Randolph St #4-300
Chicago, IL 60601

11. The Rookery Building

209 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604

The original design was by the legendary firm of Burnham & Root from the 1880s and an interior lobby renovation was then executed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. This early skyscraper is notable not only for its architectural pedigree, but also for being the oldest surviving high-rise in Chicago. Take a tour with the Chicago Architecture Center and get a glimpse of the landmark’s 11th-floor architects’ library.

209 S LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60604

12. Chicago Water Tower

806 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Shutterstock

The Chicago Water Tower celebrated its 150th birthday in 2019. The squat limestone structure is a symbol of the city and its rebirth following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as it was one of just a few buildings to survive the devastation. Located on Michigan Avenue’s Mag Mile, the castle-like building houses a gallery that showcases the work of local artists and photographers.

806 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

13. Auditorium Theatre

50 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60605

One of the oldest surviving concert halls in the downtown area, the gorgeous Auditorium Theater from Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan first opened in 1889. The venue has played an important role in Chicago’s cultural history serving as home to both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Opera. Roosevelt University owns the theater and rescued it from decay.

50 E Congress Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60605

14. The Field Museum

1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
The exterior of the Field Museum in Chicago. The facade is tan and there are columns next to the entrance. Shutterstock

The Field Museum traces its roots back to the Columbian Exhibition of 1893, when its collection was on display for visitors in Jackson Park. Marshall Field donated $1 million to house the collection in a permanent Neoclassical building in Grant Park in 1921. Only a fraction of the museum’s 40 million objects are on display—the most iconic being SUE the T. Rex, who just moved to a new space within the museum. Stanley Field Hall has a few new residents too: a flock of flying reptiles, a 122-foot long titanosaur, and floating plants.

1400 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60605

15. Chinatown Gate

2206 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

One of the most visible neighborhood markers in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, the Chinese-inspired gateway at the intersection of Wentworth and Cermak frames one of the area’s most busy commercial corridors. Designed by architect Peter Fung and installed in 1975, the structure draws inspiration from a wall in Beijing. The letters near the top of the gate translate to “the world belongs to the commonwealth,” a famous saying in early 20th century China.

2206 S Wentworth Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

16. The Robey

2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Formerly known as Northwest Tower, the 186-foot Art Deco tower is the tallest and most visible landmark in Chicago’s vibrant Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. The office building was designed in the 1920s by Perkins, Chatten, and Hammond. It reopened in 2016 as The Robey, a boutique hotel with 69 guest rooms, rooftop views ,and antique elevators.

2018 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

17. S. R. Crown Hall

3360 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

Housing the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture, S. R. Crown Hall is considered a masterpiece work by the father of modernism Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The rectangular steel and glass structure embodies the designer’s “less is more” philosophy and was described by Mies as his “cleanest structure.” After its most recent renovation, Crown Hall looks as fresh as when it was completed in 1956.

3360 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

18. Humboldt Park Field House

1400 N Sacramento Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

This field house with Georgian and Tudor details is situated at the center of a 219-acre park named for the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. It was designed in 1928 by Norwegian firm of Michaelsen & Rognstad and has intricately designed event spaces with terrazzo flooring and beautiful plaster ceilings.

1400 N Sacramento Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

19. Wrigley Field

1060 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613

Wrigley Field is nothing short of a Chicago institution. Built in 1914 by architect Zachary Taylor Davis who served as a draftsman for the legendary Louis Sullivan, the classic ballpark offers a unique throwback to a bygone age of baseball. The grittiness that used to exist around the stadium has been replaced by a new hotel, restaurants, and a grassy plaza known as Gallagher Way, but there’s plenty of nostalgia left once inside the Friendly Confines.

1060 W Addison St
Chicago, IL 60613

20. Andersonville Water Tower

Andersonville, Chicago, IL

While an old water tank painted to look like the Swedish flag may not seem very noteworthy to outsiders, the landmark is a deeply loved neighborhood icon for Chicago’s Andersonville community. After standing atop the former Lind Hardware Store since 1927, the original wooden tower was removed in 2014. The neighborhood raised money for a replica of the blue and yellow tank recreated in more durable steel and fiberglass. It was installed above Clark Street a few years back and can be seen emblazoned on local art and neighborhood guides.

Andersonville
Chicago, IL

21. Edgewater Beach Apartments

5555 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640

Designed by architect Benjamin Marshall, the 1928 Edgewater Beach Apartments is one of the North Side neighborhood’s most recognizable buildings. Clad in an unmistakable shade of “sunset pink,” the structure originally connected to the now-demolished 1918 Edgewater Beach Hotel. The surviving apartment building overlooks Lake Michigan at the north end of Lake Shore Drive.

5555 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640

22. Garfield Park Conservatory

300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

Plans for this 4.5-acre horticultural oasis began in 1905 with the lofty goal of creating the world’s largest publicly owned conservatory under one roof. Taking design inspiration from the Midwest’s rural haystacks, famed Danish-American landscape designer Jens Jensen teamed with architects Schmidt, Garden, & Martin and engineers from Hitchings and Company to build a structure that was both sturdy and an elegant expression of the newly emerging Prairie School style. Since opening in 1908, the Garfield Park Conservatory has impressed both visitors and Chicago residents alike with its six greenhouses and two exhibition halls.

300 N Central Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60624

23. Union Stockyards Gate

South Union Avenue, Chicago, IL 60609

Established in 1865, the Union Stockyard was instrumental to the city’s rise to become the center of the American meatpacking industry and “hog butcher for the world.” While the sprawling stockyard once encompassed 475 acres of holding pens and railroad tracks, a 1934 fire destroyed nearly 90 percent of the complex. Today, Union’s iconic 19th-century limestone gate is the most visible remaining relic from Chicago’s meatpacking heyday.

South Union Avenue
Chicago, IL 60609

24. Frederick C. Robie House

5757 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

If there’s any one house that best reflects Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique Prairie School style, it’s the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Built in 1909 for a young industrialist, the Robie House was conceptualized and constructed with custom furnishings, art glass windows, and other details. The house emphasizes the horizontal over the vertical with its low-hanging cantilevered eaves, earthy colors, and natural building materials. The structure was restored to its original grandeur and was among eight notable Wright-designed buildings named UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

5757 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

25. South Shore Cultural Center

7059 S South Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60649

Originally built as the South Shore Country Club, this South Side icon was penned by architects Marshall and Fox in 1905. Purchased by the Chicago Park District in 1975 and renamed as the South Shore Cultural Center, the landmarked Mediterranean Revival building features painstakingly restored historic details, a grandiose ballroom, and golf course. It remains a popular venue for weddings and other large events. Film buffs might recognize the exterior as the fictional “Palace Hotel Ballroom on Lake Wazzapamani” from the climax of The Blues Brothers.

7059 S South Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60649

26. Pullman National Monument

11141 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60628

Located on Chicago’s Far South Side, Pullman was the site of the country’s first planned industrial community in 1880. Conceived by railroad car tycoon George Pullman, the former company town is famous not only for the Romanesque architecture of its 1880 Clock Tower and Administration Building, but also the role it played in Chicago’s labor and civil rights movements. Pullman’s historic district was declared Chicago’s first—and only—National Monument in 2015.

11141 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

27. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302

Though technically outside of Chicago’s city limits in Oak Park, Illinois, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is arguably one of the area’s most famous and influential of Wright’s buildings. Built in 1889, the structure on Chicago Avenue served as Wright’s personal home and design studio where a whole generation of architects honed and refined the iconic Prairie School style. Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust manages and maintains the property as a museum.

951 Chicago Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302