Story of Chicago and the region unfolds at Chicago History Museum

By Jack McCarthy Chronicle Media

Chicago History Museum

Looking for an inexpensive and educational day trip?

The history of Chicago and the region unfolds during a tour of the Chicago History Museum.

And you don’t have to pay a dime to enjoy it if you’re an Illinois resident and plan to visit between 12:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The geographic scope of the Great Chicago Fire is shown on a large map at the Chicago History Museum

Those are designated as monthly free days for state residents and proof of residency — a driver’s license is fine —  is required. Admission will also be free on July 4.

A sign from the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago

Otherwise, general admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and students ages 13-22 with ID and free for children under 12. Persons with an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer card) are admitted for $3 with a maximum of four per card.

The multi-story museum, founded in 1856 and located at 1601 N. Clark St., features photos and film, historic artifacts, the chance to climb aboard a vintage (but stationary) CTA train as well and special displays.

A Chicago transit car and statues of customers in period attire are on display in a transportation exhibit.

And, yes, the famed dioramas of historic city moments remain a museum staple.

A current exhibit looks at Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America, offers a historical perspective on nine major events when the nation felt threatened by those within its borders. It runs through October. A relatively recently opened exhibit features the street photography of Vivian Maier, the late Chicago-based photographer.

A collection of vintage neon and other vintage signs take up a prominent lobby space.

Amenities include a cafe and Chicago-centric bookstore.



— Story of Chicago and the region unfolds at Chicago History Museum —