Chicago Architecture:
Photo: Courtesy Chicago Architecture Foundation

Chicago Architecture:

A Scavenger Hunt for Visitors, Fans and Obsessives

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Meet at CAF, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

Registration: 12pm

Game: 1–4pm

Awards reception: 4–6pm

Cost: $20 for CAF members, $25 non-members; register online at 


  Chicago is known for its iconic classic and contemporary architecture, as well as for its famous and eccentric architects, such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Perhaps because of that environment, many Chicagoans are architecture fans, experts or even obsessives.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is inviting fans of Chicago Loop buildings to participate in an architectural scavenger hunt on Saturday, June 7. The three-hour game will be followed by an awards reception at the CAF’s headquarters, the Railway Exchange Building (originally the Santa Fe Building), designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Dinkelberg, who also designed New York’s Flatiron Building.

Participants will travel through the Loop with a map and game guide furnished by the CAF. They will solve clues and complete various tasks at 20 different architectural sites. The game is designed for novices as well as architectural experts. The scavenger hunt will take place rain or shine, and involves three hours of physical activity traveling around the Loop.

The clues might involve an intro about the historic nature of a building along with a clue to images or ornaments on its façade or in its lobby. Participants would be asked to write down the answers to the clues and to take a photo and post it to a social media site.

The CAF sponsors an annual Open House Chicago, in which commercial and residential landmark buildings are open to the public for one weekend in October. The scavenger hunt is part of a new CAF series that offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at iconic buildings. The first such event was an all-access tour of the Adler and Sullivan-designed Auditorium Theatre building in March 2014. The CAF conducted a similar tour in May at the historic private Columbia Yacht Club on Lake Michigan, which featured a tour of the classic MV Abegweit “Abby” ferry, a 372-foot railway, vehicle and passenger ferry that became the yacht club’s dining and event space.   (A modified version of this article appears on

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Nancy is editor and publisher of Third Coast Review a Chicago arts and culture website, where she writes on theater, film, art and lit. She is a 2014 fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. You can find her personal writings on pop culture of all types at Nancy, recently retired after 30+ years in corporate marketing and PR, holds a B.J. from the University of Missouri and an M.A. in communications and design from Northern Illinois University. Follow her on Twitter @nsbishop. Author website: