152 Iconic Buildings to Explore in Illinois

Checkout places to visit in Illinois


Located in the Midwestern area of the United States, Illinois is a vast state filled with charming towns, vibrant metropolitan cities, lush coastal plains, and natural prairies. From Chicago to Springfield and all other points in-between, each part of Illinois offers its own unique vibe that locals and visitors alike can appreciate. The region is steeped in history and culture; among its many landmarks are the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Cahokia Mounds State Historic site, and

Activities Around

Iconic Buildings to Explore in Illinois

1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House

The Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House is an important piece of history that draws many visitors every year. Constructed in 1820, it was originally built as a one-and-a-half-story brick dwelling with a limestone foundation. The house has been restored to its original appearance and was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Visitors can tour the interior of the house, which includes such 19th century artifacts as furniture pieces, books, paintings and more.


360 CHICAGO, is a top-notch tourist attraction as well as a popular local haunt. Home to the iconic skyline view from atop the historic John Hancock Center building, 360 CHICAGO opens its doors to all who seek to take it in. Offering 100 miles of picturesque scenery and amazing city skylines coupled with interactive experiences both inside and outside the enclosed observation level, 360 CHICAGO has something to offer everyone looking for a unique experience.

875 N Michigan Ave

875 North Michigan Avenue is a stunning piece of architecture located in the heart of a bustling city. This building was designed by award-winning architects and boasts an impressive aesthetic with its towering height and sleek glass exterior. The lobby has modern furnishings and finishes, creating a sophisticated first impression. It is home to numerous tenants as well as amenities such as office space, terraces for outdoor gatherings, fitness centers, and gourmet dining establishments.

875 North Michigan Avenue

875 North Michigan Avenue, is a world-renowned structure that is instantly recognizable for its majestic presence. Built in 1925 and formerly known as The John Hancock Center, the building stands at an incredible 1 128 feet tall and boasts 99 floors of gleaming glass, steel, and concrete. It was built by architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan, who gave it an innovative design to make it the tallest concrete structure in the world at the time of construction.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, is a must-see for anyone interested in the life of one of America's greatest presidents. Visitors can explore more than 50,000 artifacts that tell the story of some of Abraham Lincoln's most iconic moments, such as life on the frontier, his rise to power, the Civil War and ultimately to his assassination and legacy. The museum offers daily presentations and interactive exhibits showcasing many significant moments in American history.

Arcada Theatre

The Arcada Theatre, is a historic venue that has been entertaining audiences since the 1920’s. This iconic theatre features a vast array of shows and performances, from classic films to live music and comedy acts. Showcasing both local and well-known artists across a broad range of genres, the Arcada Theatre boasts an eclectic mix of artistry sure to entertain everyone! The theatre also offers many other events including receptions and corporate gatherings.

Ashmore Estates

Ashmore Estates, is an abandoned mental asylum and amusement park. Originally the grounds of the asylum served as farmland for local settlers in the early nineteenth century. In 1848, Dr. Richard Ashmore partnered with other prominent citizens to establish a separate institution dedicated to psychiatric care. The estate included a large stone building, with numerous other structures used both for residential and vocational purposes.

B Harley Bradley House

The B Harley Bradley House, is an iconic example of the Prairie School style of architecture. Designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1901, this landmark house was one of the earliest examples of his signature designs. Constructed over ten acres, it features a continuous terrace that wraps around three fourths of the home's foundation. The materials used were also fundamental to Wright’s prairie school style.

Bahá'í House of Worship

The Bahá'í House of Worship is a breathtakingly beautiful seven-sided temple for worship and meditation. Located on a sprawling 18 acres of land, the structure consists of nine sides surrounded by the immaculately-groomed gardens, fountains and pathways. A prominent feature of the building are its intricate ribbed dome, which is visible from miles away - during daytime it reflects hues of gold, while at night is illuminated with various vibrant colours.

Beecher Hall

Beecher Hall, is a historic Italianate home that dates back to the late 1800s. Built by Samuel Nesbitt of Jacksonville, the home features charming ceramic tile fireplaces and an impressive wood stairway. The surrounding grounds are breathtaking and feature a large brick barn and granary, picturesque landscaping and gardens, as well as a three-story carriage house. Beecher Hall is a popular spot for weddings and photoshoots due its grandeur beauty capabilities.

Beith House Museum

The Beith House Museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into the history and culture of this region. Built in 1844 by Reverend John Corron Kirk, this structure is an excellent example of a Federal-style stone house and has been meticulously restored over the years. Inside, guests can enjoy viewing an impressive collection of artifacts from the early settlers that lived in the area including period furniture, literature, photographs and artifacts pertaining to local Native American tribes.

Belvidere Mansion

The Belvedere Mansion set amongst a rolling backdrop of bluffs and open land, this stunning home has been standing since before the Civil War as a reminder of times past. Counted amongst one of the state's largest historic estates, it is comprised of more than 100 acres along with a remarkable Victorian mansion that was built in 1857. The house is known for its ornate details and Gothic Revival style architecture, making it both admire-worthy for visitors and a unrivaled icon to the area.

Bettendorf Castle

Bettendorf Castle is an impressive four-tower medieval stone castle situated on 11 scenic acres. Constructed over the course of 40 years by German immigrant Nicholas J. Bettendorf, the castle was built entirely with his own two hands and no machine assistance or outside labor. The 24-room structure includes several original fireplaces and woodwork, a unique walled courtyard, 20th century bathrooms and electric kitchen appliances.

Broadway National Historic District

The Broadway National Historic District, is known for its Victorian-style homes that line the historic street. Along with these homes, the district also contains businesses, parks, churches and a former armory. With over 100 years of history taken in through these features, it's no wonder why Broadway is such an iconic piece of the area. Visitors can explore not just the beautiful architecture but also various historical monuments.

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site

Bryant Cottage State Historic Site is a great place to learn about the past. This state-owned property features the Bryant Cottage, which was the home of Joseph and Mary Ann Bryant in 1870. The two-story frame structure was originally constructed on the adjoining farm in 1848 and later moved after the property was purchased by the state. Visitors to Bryant Cottage can see period furnishings, photographs, and documents depicting family life in America during this time.

C. H. Moore House

The C. H. Moore House, is one of the best-preserved early Gothic Revival-style homes in the United States. Built in 1872 by prominent businessman and civic leader Charles Henry Moore, the two-story brick house stands as a testament to Moore's elegant vision of grandeur and wealth. The house features steep gabled roofs and pointed arches, along with tall narrow windows that create a striking contrast with its vibrant red exterior walls.

Cahokia Courthouse

Cahokia Courthouse is a prominent icon of American history. Built in 1858, the structure is of Italianate style featuring rich trim and an impressive cupola. The grounds are adorned with historically significant statuary, such as Lewis and Clark, Tecumseh, Marquette and LaSalle. Inside the building one can find an elaborate rotunda along with an original stained glass window depicting Cahokia's Native American heritage.

Carl Sandburg State Historic Site

The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site, is an inspiring tribute to the renowned American poet and author. Built on the lands of Sandburg’s beloved home, it provides a beautiful space for visitors to explore his life and work. Visitors can take a guided tour through the three-story farmhouse, and learn about the farm chores he was assigned as a young boy. Throughout the site, interactive displays and programs provide insight into his life, poetry and legacy.

Carthage Jail

The Carthage Jail is one of the many historical buildings which has stood since 1839. The two-story brick building was used to house both criminal and political prisoners. During its time as an active jail, it had a few notable inmates; ex-slave Helena Baker was imprisoned here before an appeal led to her being freed in 1890 and Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was held captive until his death here in 1844 by pro-slavery militia.

Caterpillar Visitors Center

The Caterpillar Visitors Center is a fascinating place to explore. At the center, you can learn about the history and current operations of one of the world's most well-known heavy equipment manufacturers. With interactive kiosks and videos, visitors can take a virtual journey through the company's long history of innovative engineering and cutting edge researchers often overlook advances in new technologies made by Caterpillar throughout their hundred plus years of operations.

Map of Iconic Buildings to explore in Illinois