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James R. Thompson Center

James R Thompson Center Chicago IL

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Seasonal Information:
Open Year-Round

Important Information:
Parking is rather inconvenient, so it is best to use the public transit system when visiting the James R Thompson Center Chicago.

James R. Thompson Center

Quick Facts

  • The James R. Thompson Center is 17 stories tall and takes up an entire block in Chicago's Loop.
  • The building is famous for its unique design, and tourists enjoy visiting the James R Thompson Center for its immense sky-lit atrium.
  • The James Thompson Center houses a tremendous collection of art with over 150 of the state's 600 works collected under the Percent for Art program.
  • The James R. Thompson Center takes its name in honor of the former Illinois Governor, James R. Thompson. 

100 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
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The James R. Thompson Center, Unique in Design, Offers Great Food, Shopping and Beautiful Art

Located in


The Loop

This activity is FREE!


Features: The James R. Thompson Center is a world-wide attraction featuring an art gallery, artisans shop, three floors of restaurants and shops, and 13 floors of balconies that surround the 160 foot rotunda. This postmodern building offers spectacular views from any vantage point. The oustside of the building resembles a shiny UFO, while the inside is hollow with a 4,000 square foot lower Concourse level and a striking marble rosette center. The enormous Concourse level along with the glass walls and ceiling provide an ideal setting for Chicago entertainment, elegant sit-down dinners, and dance receptions. The building is one of Chicago's most popular sites for fundraisers, Chicago concerts, and other special events. A visit to the JRTC is a must, and great for families on a budget.  The restaurants inside are reasonable, and your your kids will be shocked by one of the most uniquely designed buildings in Chicago.

Why We Go: The James R. Thompson Center is not strictly used to house offices for the State of Illinois, but it offers a great collection of art, a great food court good for anyone on a budget, and shops.  The James Thompson Center is also a great place to see a concert or host a special event.

  • Chicago Art Scene: The James R Thompson Center houses a spectacular art gallery and many pieces scattered throughout the building.  It is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy one of the most unique buildings in Chicago.  Your kids will love its flashback futuristic appeal.
  • Chicago Shopping: Three floors of the James R. Thompson Center have restaurants and shops including the Illinois Artisan's Shop where any tourist can get his souvenirs for the trip.  Also, the floors all have a great view of the giant atrium and its lower Concourse level.
  • Great Food: The Chicago restaurants in the James R. Thompson Center offer an immense variety of cuisine for your every craving, and many are reasonable for those on a strict budget.

Inside Knowledge: The James R. Thompson Center can be bitterly cold in the winter; in its early years, ice formed on the interior of some of the wall panels.

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do Come Hungry: The many restaurants in the James R. Thompson Center will satisfy your hunger after you have soaked in its unique glory.
  • Do Bring Your Kids: They wouldn't want to miss a visit to the James R Thompson Center where they can fill their imaginations with the futuristic architecture of this building.
  • Don't Forget Your Camera: You wouldn't want to miss out on this great photo opportunity to capture a memory of such a unique building design as the one at James R. Thompson Center.
  • Don't Drive There: Use public transportation when visiting the James R. Thompson Center.  Parking on the street is tremendously difficult.  The Chicago subway system is the best way to go.