A Comprehensive Guide To Chicago History Museum

••• Photo courtesy of Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum In Brief

Originally the Chicago Historical Society until renamed the Chicago History Museum in February 2006, the museum was founded in 1856 by Chicago's leading entrepreneurs. After losing its collection and facility to fire twice--once in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and another three years later--it rebuilt its collection. In 1932, the museum moved into its current location, a red brick Georgian-style facility in Lincoln Park.

The Chicago History Museum now houses a collection of more than 22 million artifacts, grouped into eight main collection holdings: architecture, manuscripts, books, costumes, decorative and industrial arts, oral history, film, and video, paintings and sculpture and prints and photographs. Starting in 2005, the Museum underwent a major renovation which it unveiled to the public Sept. 30, 2006. The renovation included an updated lobby with new artifacts and installations, new galleries, a new museum-focused store and The History Café, which is operated by famous chef Wolfgang Puck. A Chicago History Museum walking tour is included with the purchase of a Go Chicago Card. (Buy Direct)

Pertinent Details

Address/Phone: 1601 N. Clark St., 312-642-4600

Museum Hours:

9:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

Research Center hours: 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday

Museum Admission Prices:

Adults, $16; Seniors, Students (13-22 with ID), $14; military, children 12 and under free.

The museum offers free admission to Illinois residents on various dates throughout the year.

Official Site for Chicago History Museum

Traveling To Chicago History Museum

Getting There by Public Transportation:

CTA Buses #22, #36, #72, #73, #151 and #156 stop nearby. The Brown Line Sedgwick station and Red Line Clark/Division station are also located approximately one-half mile from the museum.

Driving to the Museum:

Easiest Route from Downtown:

Lake Shore Drive (US 41) north to North Avenue. Turn left approximately two blocks to Clark Street. Turn left to the museum.

From the North

Take the Kennedy (I-90/94) to the North Avenue exit. Travel east on North Avenue two miles to Clark Street.

From the West

Take the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) to the Kennedy (I-90/94). Take the Kennedy to the North Avenue exit. Travel east on North Avenue two miles to Clark Street.

From the South

Take the Dan Ryan (I-90/94). Continue on the Kennedy (I-90/94). Take the Kennedy to the North Avenue exit. Travel east on North Avenue two miles to Clark Street. or, take the Dan Ryan (I-90/94) to the Stevenson (I-55). Take the Stevenson to Lake Shore Drive. Travel north on Lake Shore Drive to the North Avenue exit. Travel west on North Avenue/LaSalle Street two blocks to Clark Street.

Parking at the Chicago History Museum:

Public parking is located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets; enter on Stockton Drive.

It's $9.

In Store For Kids

The Chicago History Museum has something for all ages with a new children's gallery. Sensing Chicago is a unique experience that teaches kids about Chicago history by using their five senses. They can do things like hear the Great Chicago Fire, catch a fly ball at old Comiskey Park or become a Chicago hot dog. There are also monthly events targeting families.

Nearby Hotels

Hotel Lincoln. The boutique-style property underwent a complete overhaul in 2012, and while most elements changed dramatically, the spectacular view of Lincoln Park remained the same. The views may be seen from guest rooms as well as from rooftop lounge J. Parker and the outdoor patio on the first level of Perennial Virant.

Thompson Chicago Hotel. The nearby Gold Coast hotel boasts 247 guest rooms offering luxe, residential appeal for business and leisure travelers to Chicago.

The hotel also features Nico Osteria, an Italian-focused, seafood-driven eatery from award-winning chef Paul Kahan and his One Off Hospitality team.

--edited by Audarshia Townsend