Museum of Science & Industry
Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is housed in the Palace of FIne Arts, built for the Columbian Exhibition. In the 1920s, after the Field Museum moved out, it was decided to convert the magnificent Neoclassical building into a museum dedicated to science and industry. The museum was bankrolled by Julius Rosenwald of retailer Sears Roebuck. It has evolved into one of the world's premier science museums and is the third most popular cultural attraction in Chicago by attendance.
The museum is divided into six main sections: transportation, space exploration, farm technology, computer technology, the human body, and energy and the environment. There are several main highlights. The Heart is a 5m tall, walk-through model of a human heart. The Coal Mine takes visitors on a twenty minute tour of a recreation of a 1933 Illinois coal mine. It highlights the dangers and claustrophobia that miners face. There's a 335 square meter model train set, one of the largest in the world, that showcases America's rail history.
In all there are thousands of different exhibits and interactive displays. You can easily spend an entire afternoon or more here. Most science museums are great for children, but can leave adults a little bored. Not so here. There's something for everyone. It's definitely worth a visit. There is an outstanding gift shop here too. If nothing else, the Palace of Fine Arts is the only building remaining from the Columbian Exhibition.
Address: 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Telephone: (773) 684 1414
Train: 55th-56th-57th Street/59th Street-University of Chicago (Metra)
Hours: Open daily 09:30-16:00.
$14.00 Senior (65+)
$10.00 Children (3-11)