Museum Campus

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An aerial view of the Museum Campus

Museum Campus is a 57-acre (23 ha) park in Chicago that sits alongside Lake Michigan in Grant Park and encompasses five of the city's most notable attractions: the Adler Planetarium, America's first planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; the Field Museum of Natural History; Soldier Field, home of the NFL Chicago Bears football team; and the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place. Museum Campus sits adjacent to Northerly Island along the waterfront.


Pedestrian tunnel in the Museum Campus running underneath Lake Shore Drive

The Museum Campus was created to transform the vicinity of three of the city's most notable museums – the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History – along with Soldier Field stadium, into a scenic pedestrian-friendly area. The area is landscaped with greenery and flora as well as jogging paths and walkways. A picturesque promenade along Solidarity Drive, an 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, Museum Campus was created into a green space for the enjoyment of both residents and tourists. In 2014, a consortium of museums in or near the University of Chicago, formed Museum Campus South.[1][2] Also in 2014, filmmaker George Lucas selected Museum Campus as the location of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which would have cost an estimated $700 million,[3] and expanded Museum Campus south along the city's waterfront. However, these plans were cancelled in June 2016 due to opposition from the Friends of the Parks advocacy group.

In August 2016, in a partnership with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Parks District and Everywhere Wireless, Museum Campus joined many Chicago Beaches and Buckingham Fountain in providing free Wi-Fi to visitors.

In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the Museum Campus was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places [4] by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois).

Campus Museums[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Museum Campus South". Museum Campus South. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. ^ "South Side Museums Form "Museum Campus South"". 24 July 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  3. ^ Sneed, Michael (June 24, 2014). "Sneed Exclusive: Chicago to Get George Lucas Museum". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  4. ^ Waldinger, Mike (January 30, 2018). "The proud history of architecture in Illinois". Springfield Business Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

External links[edit]

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