The Chicago History Museum is one of the oldest institutions in Chicago, founded in 1856. The original building and collection was destroyed in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. The current building was built as a public service during the Great Depression in 1932. The original facade is a magnificent Neo-Georgian structure. The newer addition is a modern glass and steel structure.
The city of Chicago has a rich history, from its founding as a fur trading post, to the Great Chicago Fire, to the Columbian Exposition, to the skyscraper boom, to the craziness of the 1968 Democratic Convention. The collection, which contains more than 22 million objects, explores each of these events in depth and more. One highlight is the diorama collection on the first floor, which depicts scenes from throughout Chicago's history. There are also original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
The Chicago History Museum is a great place to start your visit to the city. The exhibits give context to the rest of the city's attractions. There are a lot of really interesting displays too. No city has in America has quite so much history. There is also a cafe and gift shop, which are both good if overpriced.
Location: 1601 North Clark Street
Telephone: (312) 642 4600
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday 09:30-16:30; Sunday 12:00-17:00
Admission (includes audio tour):
$12.00 Seniors (65+)/Students (13-22)
Free for children (<12)