A Historical Site And Museum Guide For Chicago

Chicago is the land of plenty when it comes to historical sites and museums. Here's a listing of the various sites and their offerings.

Chicago keeps visitors hopping with its vast array of historical sites and museums. You'll find both the well-known and the unusual in the Windy City.

Adler Planetarium

Opened in 1930 as the first Planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum fuels the imagination of its visitors with all new exhibits, state-of-the-art computer technology in the world's first StarRider Theater, while showcasing Adler's renowned collection of historical astronomy artifacts.

(1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., (312) 922-STAR)

American Indian Center of Chicago

The American Indian Center provides cultural programs throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy arts & crafts exhibits, beading workshops, Pow Wows and other special activities.

(1630 W. Wilson Ave., 773-275-5871)

Art Institute of Chicago

One of the world's finest art collections dating from 3,000 B.C. through the 1990s. Famous French Impressionist paintings and drawings, plus fine and decorative arts from America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America; photography, textiles and architectural works.

(111 S. Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600)

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

Kids can see what life was like in a Lithuanian rural countryside, visit the library, see textiles and jewelry, art, maps and more.

(6500 S. Pulaski Rd., 773-582-6500)

Buckingham Fountain

This Chicago landmark spouts 14,000 gallons of water every minute through its 133 jets throughout the summer and early fall. At night enjoy a light show.

(In Grant Park. Bordered by Lake Shore, Balbo and Columbus drives and Jackson Boulevard)

Chicago Children's Museum

With 14 interactive exhibits and new activities daily, the Chicago Children's Museum is a special place of education, exploration, stimulation and delight for children and adults. Exhibits include: BIG Backyard, The Allstate Foundation Presents "Play It Safe," Dinosaur Expedition, WaterWays, Kovler Family Climbing Schooner, Inventing Lab, Face to Face: Dealing with Prejudice and Discrimination, Under Construction, Playmaze, Treehouse Trails, and Kraft Artabounds Studio and Gallery.

(Navy Pier - 700 E. Grand Ave. , 312-527-1000)

Chicago Historical Society

The CHS is the city's oldest cultural institution and keeper of its memories. Visit the museum to trace Chicago's growth from wilderness outpost to the architectural, cultural and social mecca of our times.

(Clark St. at North Ave., 312-642-4600)

Chicago Cultural Center

An architectural showplace for the visual and performing arts. This building once housed the main Chicago Public library. Now, it hosts more than 600 free art programs annually.

(77 E. Randolph St., 312-744-6630)

Chicago Main Post Office

This is the place to find out what happens to the cards and letters you send. The 90- to 120-minutes tour includes a look at the mail sorting process, the latest automated equipment and an enormous stamp collection.

(433 W. Harrison St., 312-983-7550)

Chicago Water Tower

The Chicago Water Tower is a notable Chicago landmark that was built in 1869 and survived the great 1871 Chicago Fire. The building looks more like a palace than a water tower and features several small towers and lovely limestone brickwork. The tower is 154 feet in height and stands quite small against the area's skyscrapers. The tower no longer functions, but it was chosen by the American Water Works Association as the first American Water Landmark in the United States.

(800 N. Michigan Ave.)

David and Alfred Smart Museum

The permanent collection of this museum ranges from Neolithic pots to contemporary art. In the museum's outdoor sculpture garden, children can play and families can picnic on the lawn.

(5550 S. Greenwood, Univ. of Chicago, 773-702-0200)

DuSable Museum of African American History

DuSable Museum is dedicated to the collection, reservation, study and dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent.

(740 E. 56th Pl., 773-947-0600)

Field Museum of Natural History

Chicago's Field Museum is one of the world's great museums of science, environment and culture, a focus of public learning and scholarly research. It's a treasury of more than 20 million objects, from ancient mummies, to endangered plants and animals, to Sue, the largest and most complete T. rex ever found. Above all, The Field Museum is an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

(1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., 312-922-9410)

The Glessner House

The Glessner House was built in 1887 and is the home of Henry Hobson Richardson Glessner, an architect whose work inspired Frank Lloyd Wright. The house has been painstakingly restored and preserved and includes an outstanding collection of 19th and 20th century furniture and decorative art. This home holds a vast assortment of pieces from the Aesthetic and English Arts and Crafts movements. The collection includes ceramic vases and tiles, silver, engravings, and Art Nouveau glass.

(1800 S Prairie Ave., 312-326-1480)

Graceland Cemetery

One of the oldest cemeteries in Chicago, Graceland has been around for more than 150 years. Many famous Chicagoans are buried here including Marshall Field and Allan Pinkerton.

(4001 N. Clark St., 773-525-1105)

John G. Shedd Aquarium

Every day's an adventure at Shedd Aquarium - the world's largest indoor aquarium! Discover more than 19,000 aquatic animals representing hundreds of species from all parts of the world. Explore the Aquarium's newest exhibit, Wild Reef-Sharks at Shedd. Coral polyps, sharks, rays, beautifully colored reef fishes and more call this exhibit's 750,000 gallons of water home.

(1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.,312-939-2438)

Museum of Science and Industry

Hands-on science fun awaits you. Touch, create and explore more than 800 interactive exhibits. Visit the Henry Crown Space Center and Omnimax Theatre.

(57th St. and Lake Shore Dr.,773-684-1414)

The Robie House

This is one of the last and best examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie-style architecture. Horizontal lines, stained glass windows, and balconies define the structure. Wright designed the rooms to be energy efficient, keeping out direct sunlight but allowing enough light in to keep the room from growing too dark - an ingenious concept in 1909, or any year for that matter.

(5757 S Woodlawn Ave., 773-834-1847)

Union Station

A historic American landmark., the Great Hall of Chicago's Union Station has been photographed time and again by those seeking to capture the essence of America's past and the architectural beauty of a by-gone era. In its heyday, the station saw approximately 300 trains and 10,000 passengers each day. Long wooden benches stand against the muted backdrop of pink Tennessee marble walls, Corinthian columns, and lovely bronze accents.

(210 S Canal St.)

Wrigley Building

The Wrigley building is one of the city's (and the nation's) most notable corporate landmarks. It's located on Michigan Avenue and is comprised of two towers connected by an open walkway. The building's shape was based on the Seville Cathedral's Giralda Tower in Spain, and the building's design is an Americanized version of the French Renaissance style. The building features 250,000 individual glazed terra cotta tiles, a large clock on the exterior, and lovely brass accents inside.

(400-410 N Michigan Ave.)

Wrigley Field

This cozy stadium's friendly atmosphere asserts a strong appeal for Chicago Cubs fans. First opened in 1914, the facility boasts ivy-covered brick walls in the outfield and a manual scoreboard that helps maintain a good-old-days ambience.

(1060 W Addison St., 773-404-2827)

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