Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

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Illinois Holocaust Museum
and Education Center
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center A June 27 2009 003.jpg
View of the Museum and Education Center
from the Northeast
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is located in Illinois
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center Map c.JPG
Location near Chicago
Established 1981 (Original Site)
2009 (Current Site)
Location 9603 Woods Drive
Skokie, Illinois
Coordinates 42°03′25″N 87°45′46″W / 42.056893°N 87.762802°W / 42.056893; -87.762802
Type Holocaust memorials
Visitors over 300,000
Director Richard Hirschhaut
President Fritzie Fritzshall
Curator Arielle Weininger
Public transit access CTA and Pace buses
Website ilholocaustmuseum.org

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, located in Skokie, Illinois, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide.

History[edit]

The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, which runs the museum, began as small storefront operation along Main Street in 1981. The foundation and small museum were established as a response to a Neo-Nazi group's attempt to march through Skokie,[1] in which many Holocaust survivors live.

The new museum building opened to the public on April 19, 2009, in the attendance of keynote speaker Bill Clinton and special guest Elie Wiesel. President Barack Obama spoke through a recorded video message, as did Shimon Peres, president of Israel.[2]

Security arrangements at the museum were tightened after the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting on June 10, 2009.[3]

Architecture[edit]

View of museum from the West
Room of Remembrance
View of museum from the East

The building was designed by Stanley Tigerman. The Interior and Exhibition was co-designed by Yitzchak Mais, a former director of Yad Vashem. The Holocaust expedition occupies the first floor, beside the auditorium, the main entrance hall, the information and membership desks, the coatroom, the gift shop, and library.

The upper floor contains the remembrance areas, the art gallery, the upper part of the auditorium, and offices. The basement contains classrooms, exhibition for children, an exhibition on the building’s history, and a conference area.

The building’s main front is divided into two halves. The black half includes the entrance doors and the white half includes the exit doors. Between the two halves of the main front, there are objects that resemble torches. The main front is located in a narrow alley with a small parking lot on its northeast side. A wooded slope separates the museum from the highway I-94. As a result, one cannot view the entire front from any place.

Location and access[edit]

The museum is located in the northwest corner of Skokie, west of the Edens Expressway (I-94). The nearest exit is Old Orchard Road. To the east of the museum is also an abandoned railroad right of way. This right of way is considered for a new CTA Yellow Line extension, with a new terminal station in the proximity of the museum. The museum is already accessible through several bus lines nearby: CTA lines 205 and 54A, and Pace lines 208 and 422.

References[edit]

Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, "Skokie Builds to Remember,” The Forward, April 24, 2009.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]