Second Presbyterian Marks 75 Years of Architecture Tours

Photograph by Martin Cheung, courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church

Photograph by Martin Cheung, courtesy of Friends of Historic Second Church

Chicago is a city of architecture and architecture tours.  There are dozens to choose from, whether you want to go by boat, bus, taxi, bicycle or by foot.  You can take in a view from a thousand feet up, or go underground.  But when it comes to longevity, few can compete with Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue).

It has been offering architecture tours of its sanctuary for 75 years.

If you haven’t been, this anniversary is as good an excuse to go as any.  The tours are free, but it’s a church so don’t be a jackwagon.  Put a couple of bucks in the poor box or something.

Second Presbyterian’s press release follows:


At Chicago’s Only National Historic Landmark Church

Chicago – On November 8th, Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago and Friends of Historic Second Church celebrated the 75th anniversary of the tour program at the church. The first official tour program was launched in 1940 by church leadership. It is believed to be the longest, continuous tour program in Chicago. Tours were conducted by numerous church members throughout the decades. Since 2006 the tour program has been led by the preservation based non-profit Friends of Historic Second Church. Then, as today, docents were trained on the artistic highlights of the Arts and Crafts sanctuary. Last year the docents led nearly 3,000 guests through the church. Tour attendees come from nearly all 50 states and 43 countries.

Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago, organized in 1842 is a part of Chicago’s history and has been located at 1936 South Michigan Avenue since 1874.

The sanctuary of this National Historic Landmark church is one of the best
preserved Arts and Crafts interiors in the country. It also contains a wealth of stained glass windows including nine by the firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The church was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service on February 27, 2013.

Tours of the church are offered Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and on Sundays at 12:15 p.m. Pre-arranged tours can be made by contacting Friends at

Location: 1936 South Michigan Avenue, South Loop

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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