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Architecture in Illinois

Illinois is a paradise for fans of architecture. From Chicago's soaring skyline to Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic buildings, Illinois has world-class architecture to explore throughout the state. You'll find modernist masterpieces, religious buildings, spectacular skyscrapers, pre-Civil War architecture and Greek Revival grandeur.

Window tilt for view
An aerial view of the skyscrapers of the Chicago Loop. (Bob Stefko)
People on a sightseeing boat on the Chicago River

Chicago's Famous Skyline

Spectacular Skyscrapers

Chicago boasts landmark buildings from some of the finest architects in the world. Destroyed by the Great Fire in 1871, the architects who rebuilt Chicago used pioneering techniques to build the first modern skyscrapers. Start your architectural odyssey with an architecture river cruise, walking tour or bus tour. Other memorable ways to experience Chicago’s monumental cityscape are Segway tours, or take a bird’s eye view of it all with the exhilarating 360 Chicago Tilt, the Ledge at Skydeck Chicago or a helicopter tour.

Interior of building with a large staircase
A guide speaks to a tour group on the sidewalk in front of Frank Lloyd Wright's house and studio in Oak Park

Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in Illinois

13 Buildings in Oak Park & Beyond

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright spent the first 20 years of his career in Chicago. Here he developed the Prairie School style of architecture. Explore the cluster of Wright buildings in Oak Park, where a self-guided walking tour of the historic neighborhood begins at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. Or tour Wright buildings around Chicago by bus, starting at the Light Court in The Rookery and ending at Frederick C. Robie House. Wright's work can also be found elsewhere throughout the state.

A large old styled building
State capitol building in Springfield

The Old and New State Capitol


The State Capitol in Springfield houses the government of Illinois. The current capitol, built in Renaissance Revival architectural style, is the sixth capitol building since Illinois was granted statehood in 1818. Nearby is the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, the fifth capitol building. Built in the Greek Revival style, it served as the state house from 1840 to 1876.

The exterior of a building
The interior of a hindu temple

Religious Architecture in Illinois


Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois, the Bahá'í House of Worship is the oldest and largest of the Bahá'í temples and the only one in the USA. It features a 135-ft. white-stone dome and a variety of gorgeous gardens and fountains throughout the courtyard.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir opened in 1953 as a traditional Hindu place of worship. Spreading across 27 acres, the Mandir is the largest of its kind in Illinois.

Exterior of Quincy Museum
A lit up bridge with water fountains

Historic Architecture in Quincy


Quincy has over 3,600 buildings on the National Historic Register. Many pre-Civil War buildings can be found in the city’s Downtown Historic District. The city is also known for the influence of German immigrants on its architecture and its large number of Craftsman bungalows. Try the self-guided architectural driving tour or the private home tours organized by the Quincy Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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