Museum Campus

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Museum Campus and the Aquarium at dawn.

Museum Campus is a 57-acre (23 ha) museum park that sits near Lake Michigan in Chicago and surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; and the Field Museum of Natural History. The park is also the site of Soldier Field football stadium, the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place, as well as Northerly Island, formerly home to Meigs Field airport. The campus comprises the southeast corner of Grant Park.[citation needed] There are currently proposals to expand the Museum Campus southward as the home of both Lucas Narrative Arts Museum as well as the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum.[1]

History[edit]

The Museum Campus was created to transform the vicinity of three of the city's most notable museums which are among the city's top cultural draws into a scenic pedestrian-friendly area- the Adler Planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; and the Field Museum of Natural History. The area is landscaped with greenery and flora as well as jogging paths and walkways. A picturesque promenade along Solidarity Drive, a narrow isthmus links Northerly Island to the mainland. The drive itself is lined with a number of grand bronze monuments commemorating Kościuszko, Havliček, and Nicholas Copernicus, the last of which is a replica of a famous 19th-century work in Warsaw by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.[citation needed]

The Museum Campus opened on June 4, 1998, when the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive were moved west of Soldier Field following the route of the expressway's southbound lanes. By removing the roadway which bisected the area, the Museum Campus was transformed into a green space for the enjoyment of both visiting tourists and residents strolling through this corner of Chicago's lakefront.[citation needed]

Campus Museums[edit]

Museum Campus sign in Grant Park 

Proposed expansion[edit]

Two new cultural institutions have been proposed in 2014 for the Museum Campus that would extend the park southward: the Lucas Narrative Arts Museum, as well as the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum.[2] On June 24, 2014, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Chicago was selected as the location of the Lucas Narrative Arts Museum, pending approval of the Chicago Plan Commission.[3] While the foundation for the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum was formally incorporated on January 29, 2014,[4] a site has not yet been chosen; several cities, most notably Chicago (Barack Obama's long-time home, where the future President taught as a professor at the University of Chicago) and Honolulu (his birthplace) have been lobbying for the honor of hosting the institution. The Museum Campus site is but one of several locations proposed in Chicago.

See also[edit]

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Coordinates: 41°51′59″N 87°36′51″W / 41.8665°N 87.6141°W / 41.8665; -87.6141