|Location||5700 South Lake Shore Drive|
(at East 57th Street),
Chicago, Illinois, U.S., 60637
|Type||Science and technology museum|
|Visitors||1.5 million (2016)|
|Public transit access|| CTA Bus routes :|
Routes 6 and 28
(to 56th Street and Hyde Park Boulevard)
(to Museum of Science and Industry)
(to Museum of Science and Industry)
55th–56th-57th Street Station
(between Stony Island and Lake Park Avenues)
|Designated||November 1, 1995|
The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is a science museum located in Chicago, Illinois, in Jackson Park, in the Hyde Park neighborhood between Lake Michigan and The University of Chicago. It is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Initially endowed by Julius Rosenwald, the Sears, Roebuck and Company president and philanthropist, it was supported by the Commercial Club of Chicago and opened in 1933 during the Century of Progress Exposition.
Among the museum's exhibits are a full-size replica coal mine, German submarine U-505 captured during World War II, a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) model railroad, the command module of Apollo 8, and the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train ( Pioneer Zephyr ).
Chevy Humphrey became president and CEO of the private, non-profitmuseum in January 2021.
The Palace of Fine Arts (also known as the Fine Arts Building) at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition was designed by Charles B. Atwood for D. H. Burnham & Co. The Palace of Fine Arts displayed paintings, prints, drawing, sculpture, and metal work from around the world.
Unlike the other "White City" buildings, it was constructed with a brick substructure under its plaster facade.
After the World's Fair, it initially housed the Columbian Museum, which evolved into the Field Museum of Natural History. When the Field Museum moved to a new building near downtown Chicago in 1920, the former site was left vacant.
Art Institute of Chicago professor Lorado Taft led a public campaign to restore the building and turn it into another art museum, one devoted to sculpture. The South Park Commissioners (now part of the Chicago Park District) won approval in a referendum to sell $5 million in bonds to pay for restoration costs, hoping to turn the building into a sculpture museum, a technical trade school, and other things. However, after a few years, the building was selected as the site for a new science museum.
At this time, the Commercial Club of Chicago was interested in establishing a science museum in Chicago. Julius Rosenwald, the Sears, Roebuck and Company president and philanthropist, energized his fellow club members by pledging to pay $3 million towards the cost of converting the Palace of Fine Arts (Rosenwald eventually contributed more than $5 million to the project). During its conversion into the MSI, the building's exterior was re-cast in limestone to retain its 1893 Beaux Arts look. The interior was replaced with a new one in Art Moderne style designed by Alfred P. Shaw.
Rosenwald established the museum organization in 1926 but declined to have his name on the building. For the first few years, the museum was often called the Rosenwald Industrial Museum. In 1928, the name of the museum was officially changed to the Museum of Science and Industry. Rosenwald's vision was to create a museum in the style of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, which he had visited in 1911 while in Germany with his family.
Sewell Avery, another businessman, had supported the museum within the Commercial Club and was selected as its first president of the board of directors. The museum conducted a nationwide search for the first director. MSI's Board of Directors selected Waldemar Kaempffert, then the science editor of The New York Times , because he shared Rosenwald's vision.
He assembled the museum's curatorial staff and directed the organization and construction of the exhibits. In order to prepare the museum, Kaempffert and his staff visited the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Science Museum in Kensington, and the Technical Museum in Vienna, all of which served as models. Kaempffert was instrumental in developing close ties with the science departments of the University of Chicago, which supplied much of the scholarship for the exhibits. Kaempffert resigned in early 1931 amid growing disputes with the second president of the board of directors; they disagreed over the objectivity and neutrality of the exhibits and Kaempffert's management of the staff.
The new Museum of Science and Industry opened to the public in three stages between 1933 and 1940. The first opening ceremony took place during the Century of Progress Exposition. Two of the museum's presidents, a number of curators and other staff members, and exhibits came to MSI from the Century of Progress event.
For years, visitors entered the museum through its original main entrance, but that entrance became no longer large enough to handle an increasing volume of visitors. The newer main entrance is a structure detached from the main museum building, through which visitors descend into an underground area and re-ascend into the main building, similar to the Louvre Pyramid.
In 1983, due to increased attendance, the museum started construction of its underground parking lot, located in three underground levels below the front lawn. Construction of the underground parking lot was finished in the 1990s.
For over 55 years, admission to the MSI was free, although some exhibits such as the Coal Mine and U-505 required small fees. General entrance fees were first charged in the early 1990s, with general admission rates increasing from $13 in 2008 to $18 in 2015.Many "free days"—for Illinois residents only—are offered throughout the year.
On October 3, 2019, the museum announced that it intends to change its name to the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry after a donation of $125 million from Chicago billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin. It is the largest single gift in the museum's history,effectively doubling its endowment. However, president and chief executive officer David Mosena said the formal name change could take some time, due to the complexity of the process. He also said part of the gift will go into funding "a state-of-the-art digital gallery and performance space that will be the only experience of its kind in North America."
The museum has over 2,000 exhibits, displayed in 75 major halls. The museum has several major permanent exhibits. Access to several of the exhibits (including the Coal Mine and U-505) requires the payment of an additional fee.
The first diesel-powered, streamlined stainless-steel train, the Pioneer Zephyr , is on permanent display in the Great Hall, renamed the Entry Hall in 2008. The train was once displayed outdoors, but it was restored and placed in the former Great Hall during the construction of the museum's underground parking lot.
German submarine U-505 is one of just six German submarines captured by the Allies during World War II, and, since its arrival in 1954, the only one on display in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the only one in the United States. The U-boat was newly restored beginning in 2004 after 50 years of being displayed outdoors, and was then moved indoors as "The New U-505 Experience" on June 5, 2005. Displayed in an underground shed, it remains as a popular exhibit for visitors, as well as a memorial to all the casualties of the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. Normally, guided tours of the submarine are offered for an additional fee. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these tours are currently temporarily unavailable. However, virtual tours are offered for an additional fee.
MSI's Henry Crown Space Center includes the Apollo 8 spacecraft, which flew the first mission beyond low earth orbit to the Moon, enabling its crew, Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders, to become the first human beings to see the Earth as a whole, as well as becoming the first to view the Moon up close (as well as the first to view its far side). Other exhibits include Scott Carpenter's Mercury-Atlas 7 spacecraft and a lunar module trainer.
Located in the Henry Crown Space Center is a domed theater, considered to be the only domed theater in Chicago. The screen of the theater is made of perforated aluminum, allowing the speakers mounted behind the screen to be heard throughout the theater.
The "FarmTech" exhibit showcases modern agricultural techniques and how farmers use modern technology like GPS systems to improve work on the farm, and includes a tractor and a combine harvester from John Deere. The exhibit also showcases a greenhouse, a mock up of a kitchen showcasing much the foods we eat is soybean, and how we use cows, from energy to what we drink.
A transportation gallery is located on the museum's west wing, containing models of "Ships Through the Ages" and several historic racing cars.
"Future Energy Chicago" shows alternative resources, housing developments, and the future of Chicago. The exhibit requires an additional fee.
Some areas in the museum aim for younger children, including the "Swiss Jollyball", the world's largest pinball machine built by a British man from Switzerland using nothing but salvaged junk; the "Idea Factory", a toddler water table play area; and the "Circus", featuring animated dioramas of a miniature circus as well as containing a shadow garden and several funhouse mirrors.
Silent-film star and stock-market investor Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle "dolls house" is on display.
Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze contains an interactive theater and stations to learn about patterns in nature, including the Golden Ratio, spirals, fractal branching, and Voronoi patterns.
It also contains a mirror maze to help emphasize the geometric patterns that can be utilized.
The Transportation Zone contains several permanent exhibits.
The Great Train Story is a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) HO-scale model railroad and recounts the story of transportation from Chicago to Seattle.
The museum includes a replica of Stephenson's Rocket, which was the first steam locomotive to exceed 25 miles per hour.
The 999 Empire State Express steam locomotive was alleged to be the first vehicle to exceed 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in 1893, although no reliable measurement ever took place (and such a speed was likely impossible). Designed to win the battle of express trains to the World's Columbian Exhibition, it was donated to the museum by the New York Central in 1962. The locomotive was located outside the museum until 1993, when extensive restoration took place and it was moved indoors as an exhibit in the Transportation Zone.
A replica of the Wright Brothers first airplane, the Wright Flyer, is on display.
Two World War II warplanes are also exhibited. Both were donated by the British government: a German Ju 87 R-2/Trop. Stuka divebomber—one of only two intact Stukas left in the world—and a British Supermarine Spitfire. Also on display is the museum's Travel Air Type R Mystery Ship, nicknamed "Texaco 13", which set many world records in flying.
"Take Flight" features the first Boeing 727 jet plane in commercial service, donated by United Airlines, with one wing removed and holes cut on the fuselage to facilitate visitor access.
In March 2010, the museum opened "Science Storms" in the Allstate Court, as a permanent exhibit. 40-foot (12 m) water vapor tornado, tsunami tank, Tesla coil, heliostat system, and a Wimshurst machine built by James Wimshurst in the late 19th century. Also housed are Newton's Cradle, the color spectrum, and Foucault pendulum. All artifacts allow guests to explore the physics and chemistry of the natural world.This multilevel exhibit features a
In keeping with Rosenwald's vision, many of the exhibits are interactive. "Genetics: Decoding Life", looks at how genetics affect human and animal development as well as containing a chick hatchery composed of an incubator where baby chickens hatch from their eggs and a chick pen for those that have already hatched, as well as housing genetically modified frogs, mice, and drought resistant plants.
"ToyMaker 3000", is a working assembly line which lets visitors order a toy top and watch as it is made. The interactive "Fab Lab MSI" is intended as an interactive lab where members can "build anything".
The "Coal Mine" re-creates a working deep-shaft, bituminous coal mine inside the museum's Central Pavilion, using original equipment from Old Ben #17, circa 1933. It is one of the oldest exhibits at the museum. In this unique exhibit, visitors go underground and ride a mine train to different parts of the mine and learn the basics of its operation. The experience takes around 30 minutes and requires an additional fee.
"Yesterday's Main Street" is a mock-up of a Chicago street from the early 20th century, complete with a cobblestone roadway, old-fashioned light fixtures, fire hydrants, and several shops, including the precursors to several Chicago-based businesses. Included are:
Unlike the other shops, Finnigan's Ice Cream Parlor and The Nickelodeon Cinema can be entered and are functional. Finnigan's serves an assortment of ice cream and The Cinema plays short silent films throughout the day.
In spring 2013, the "Art of the Bicycle" exhibit opened, showcasing the history of the bicycle and how modern bikes continue to evolve.
"Reusable City" focuses on recycling and other methods that could cut down harmful pollution and especially climate change and the Regenstein Hall of Science, containing a giant periodic table of the elements. Other main level exhibits include: "Fast Forward", which features some aspects of how technology will change in the future; "Earth Revealed", featuring a "Science on a Sphere" holographic globe; and a "Whispering Gallery".
The museum is also known for unique and quirky permanent exhibits, such as a walk-through model of the human heart, which was removed in 2009 13-foot-tall (4.0 m), interactive, 3D heart. Also well known are the "Body Slices" (two cadavers exhibited in 1⁄2-inch-thick (13 mm) slices) in the exhibit.for the construction of "YOU! the Experience", which replaced it with a
Several US Navy warship models are also on display in the museum, and flight simulators including of the new F-35 Lightning II are featured.
An F-104 Starfighter on loan to MSI from the US Air Force since 1978 was sent to the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas in 1993. In March 1995, Santa Fe Steam Locomotive 2903 was moved from outside the museum to the Illinois Railway Museum. "Telefun Town", a hall dedicated to the wonders of telephone communication, sponsored by the company then known as "The Bell Telephone Company", no longer exists.
In addition to its three floors of standing exhibits, the museum hosts temporary and traveling exhibitions. Exhibitions last for five months or less and usually require a separate paid admission fee.Exhibitions at MSI have included Titanic: The Exhibition, which was the largest display of relics from the wreck of RMS Titanic; Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds , a view into the human body through use of plastinated human specimens; Game On , which featured the history and culture of video games; Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius; CSI: The Experience ; Robots Like Us; City of the Future; Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination ; The Glass Experience; Harry Potter: The Exhibition ; Robot Revolution, which was sponsored by Google and featured numerous hands-on demonstrations and advice from experts for prospective future robot scientists and engineers; and four installments of Smart Home: Green + Wired, featuring the work of green architect Michelle Kaufmann. The Science Behind Pixar exhibit opened May 24, 2018. The Wired to Wear exhibit opened on March 21, 2019. The touring exhibit Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes officially opened to the public on March 7, 2021.
Yearly, from late November to early January, the museum hosts its Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit, featuring Christmas trees from different cultures from around the world. Started in 1942 with just one tree to honor soldiers fighting in World War Two, the tradition spawned into more than 50 trees.
The World's Columbian Exposition was a world's fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492. The centerpiece of the Fair, held in Jackson Park, was a large water pool representing the voyage Columbus took to the New World. Chicago had won the right to host the fair over several other cities, including New York City, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis. The exposition was an influential social and cultural event and had a profound effect on architecture, sanitation, the arts, Chicago's self-image, and American industrial optimism.
A Century of Progress International Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, was a World's Fair held in the city of Chicago, Illinois, United States, from 1933 to 1934. The fair, registered under the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), celebrated the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation, and its motto was "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts", giving out a message that science and American life were wedded. Its architectural symbol was the Sky Ride, a transporter bridge perpendicular to the shore on which one could ride from one side of the fair to the other.
A science museum is a museum devoted primarily to science. Older science museums tended to concentrate on static displays of objects related to natural history, paleontology, geology, industry and industrial machinery, etc. Modern trends in museology have broadened the range of subject matter and introduced many interactive exhibits. Modern science museums, increasingly referred to as 'science centres' or 'discovery centres', also feature technology.
The Science Museum is a major museum on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London. It was founded in 1857 and to date is one of the city's major tourist attractions, attracting 3.3 million visitors annually.
The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, England, traces the development of science, technology and industry with emphasis on the city's achievements in these fields. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, having merged with the National Science Museum in 2012.
The Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH), also known as The Field Museum, is a natural history museum in Chicago, Illinois, and is one of the largest such museums in the world. The museum is a popular natural-history museum for the size and quality of its educational and scientific programs, as well as due to its extensive scientific-specimen and artifact collections. The permanent exhibitions, which attract up to two million visitors annually, include fossils, current cultures from around the world, and interactive programming demonstrating today's urgent conservation needs. The museum is named in honor of its first major benefactor, the department-store magnate Marshall Field. The museum and its collections originated from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the artifacts displayed at the fair.
Urbis was an exhibition and museum in Manchester, England, designed by Ian Simpson. The building opened in June 2002 as part of the redevelopment of Exchange Square known as the Millennium Quarter. Urbis was commissioned as a 'Museum of the City' but visitor numbers were lower than expected and a switch was made in 2005-6 to presenting changing exhibitions on popular-culture alongside talks, gigs and special events. Urbis was closed in 2010, after the opportunity arose for Manchester to host the National Football Museum. In 2012, the building re-opened after a complete re-fit as the permanent National Football Museum.
John Bull is a historic British-built railroad steam locomotive that operated in the United States. It was operated for the first time on September 15, 1831, and became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution ran it under its own steam in 1981. Built by Robert Stephenson and Company, it was initially purchased by and operated for the Camden and Amboy Railroad, the first railroad in New Jersey, which gave it the number 1 and its first name, "Stevens". The C&A used it heavily from 1833 until 1866, when it was removed from active service and placed in storage.
Chicago History Museum is the museum of the Chicago Historical Society (CHS). The CHS was founded in 1856 to study and interpret Chicago's history. The museum has been located in Lincoln Park since the 1930s at 1601 North Clark Street at the intersection of North Avenue in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood. The CHS adopted the name, Chicago History Museum, in September 2006 for its public presence.
Locomotion, previously known as Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon or Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group.
Rufus Cutler Dawes was an American businessman in oil and banking from a prominent Ohio family. He and his three brothers all became nationally known. In the 1920s he served as an expert on the commissions to prepare the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan to manage German reparations to the Allies after World War I.
Waldemar Kaempffert was an American science writer and museum director.
Viking is a Viking ship replica. It is an exact replica of the Gokstad ship recovered from Gokstadhaugen, a Viking Era burial mound in Sandefjord, Norway in 1880. Viking was featured at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893.
The Great Train Story is a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) HO scale model railroad display located in the Transportation Zone of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. It explains the story of modern-day rail transportation in a 2,206-mile (3,550 km) journey from Seattle, Washington, through several plains states en route to Chicago, Illinois. The layout features 192 custom models of buildings and landmarks including the Willis Tower, Chicago Board of Trade Building, and Union Station in Chicago; and Seattle’s Space Needle, Experience Music Project and King Street Station. The landscape between the two cities includes several natural features such as the Cascade range, Rocky Mountains, waterfalls and forests. Man-made highlights include small towns, tunnels, truss arch and truss bridges, a lumber mill, farms, grain silos, a fruit packing house, a coal mine, and a steel mill.
Senjski Rudnik is a village located in the municipality of Despotovac, eastern Serbia. According to the 2011 census, it had a population of 438 inhabitants. It is the site of the oldest preserved coal mine in Serbia, established in 1853. The mine marks the beginnings of the industrial revolution in Serbia.
The Kentucky Coal Museum is heritage center located in Benham, Kentucky. Its focus is the history of the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky, featuring specific exhibits on the company towns of Benham and neighboring Lynch. It is housed in a former company store that was built by International Harvester in 1923. In June 1990, the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce purchased the building for the future site of the museum. After receiving additional grants from the state of Kentucky, the museum opened in May 1994.
Michelle Kaufmann is an American architect and designer. In 2002, Kaufmann founded Michelle Kaufmann Designs, which designed and built single-family and multi-family green homes using prefabricated modular technology. The firm was closed in May 2009 and Kaufmann started a new design firm, Michelle Kaufmann Studio. Kaufmann is also a co-founder of Flux.io, a company developing collaborative design software for the building design and construction industry.
George M. Bretz (1842–1895) was an American photographer who is best known for his photographs of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Coal Region and its coal miners.
Enella Benedict was an American realism and landscape painter. She taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a founder and director for nearly 50 years for the Art School at the Hull House.
The Woman's Building was designed and built for the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. It had exhibition space as well as an assembly room, a library, and a Hall of Honor. The History of the World's Fair states, "It will be a long time before such an aggregation of woman's work, as may now be seen in the Woman's Building, can be gathered from all parts of the world again."
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