The building that houses the Museum of Science+Industry was designed in 1892 by Burnham & Co. to house the Palace of Fine Arts for the Colombian Exposition. I believe it’s one of the only buildings still standing from the Expo. But walk inside, and you’ll find a pretty high-tech environment.
- With 2000 exhibits across 3 floors, this museum is huge and noisy. It’s a great place to bring the kids as there are several interactive rooms here. Grab a map as you enter, and have a plan if you or your kids develop sensory overload.
After seeing one of the original Pullman cars yesterday at the History Museum, I was looking forward to seeing the Zephyr, which was in service from 1934-1960. I would find it on the 2nd level in the Transportation Gallery. I would also find it closed…
I head over to “Yesterday’s Main Street” for a treat in the Ice Cream Parlor. Also closed. There’s always something… I seek solace by ‘shopping’ along this replica of a typical Main Street, the storefronts filled with the latest in ‘turn of the century’ fashions, which you can see at August Phoenix Hats.
A really fun exhibit (for me) was The Great Train Story – a diorama of the country, with 20 trains crossing the country, delivering freight. On the back side of this diorama, I was surprised to find a detailed replica of Seattle!
I told a security guard I was from Seattle, and asked if he would take my photo in front of the model. I pointed to the Alaskan Way Viaduct and told him it was being torn down, and they would need to correct their model…
My other favorite display on this floor was “The Art of the Bicycle”. Here’s a teaser for the complete series, which you will find boarded to Pinterest.
The third floor balcony level is filled with planes.
The Ships Gallery was cool, showing the progression of sail through models. My favorites:
Next to the Ships Gallery is a collection of stellar racing cars.
I lamented in my last blog that I take so many photos, but, once again, there’s no catalog. “The exhibits change too quickly for us to produce one” is what I was told. Usually I can at least pick up topic-specific books, but even that was a stretch here. I would end up adding to my library via Alibris.com after I returned home.
After lunch, I head out to catch a bus to the DuSable Museum of African History.
In direct contrast to the Science+Industry Museum, I am nearly alone at the DuSable. The first gallery is devoted to “Rewriting History – Paper Gowns and Photography” by Fabiola Jean-Louis. She created life-sized paper gowns and staged photography to tell African-American history, in the trappings of the European Renaissance. You can find my photos of this thought provoking exhibit here.
Exhibits in the next series of rooms provided an artifact timeline, from collars, chains and branding irons from the slave trade era, to items used by slaves and post Civil War sharecroppers. Busts and posters of civil rights activists and Black Panthers, and a pair of KKK robes. Campaign buttons for Obama for President, and Harold Washington for mayor. You can find my photos of these exhibits here.
Then it’s back on the bus to head to Comiskey Park, now with the less romantic name of Guarantee Rate Field, to watch a White Sox Game. I join other fans for a pre-game meal at the ChiSox Bar & Grill, and find a pair of official White Sox to wear to the game. I’m not a big fan of baseball, but I’ve always been drawn to the stories of Shoeless Joe and the year the team is said to have thriown the World Series. So here I am, at a baseball game, watching the Sox until the sun goes down, before hopping the Red Line back to town.