Peoria Riverfront Museum

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Peoria Riverfront Museum
EstablishedOctober 20, 2012
Location222 SW Washington Street
Peoria, Illinois
Coordinates40°41′22″N 89°35′24″W / 40.6894°N 89.5899°W / 40.6894; -89.5899
TypeArt, history, natural history

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a public museum of art, science, history, and achievement located on the riverfront in downtown Peoria, Illinois. Containing a planetarium, a giant screen theater, exhibits, a 15,000-object collection, educational classes, and public outreach, it opened in October 2012 as a successor to Peoria's Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences, established in 1965.


The museum building is adjacent to the historic Rock Island Depot and Freight House.

A specialty resource of the Peoria Riverfront Museum is the "Illinois River Encounter", a family-oriented gallery that attempts to be the definitive aquarium of the Illinois River, which flows adjacent to the museum. Adjacent displays describe the ecology, social history, and engineering of the working river.[1]

The museum's collections include fine art (paintings, sculptures, works on paper), decorative art (furniture, ceramics, metal, glass, textiles), folk art (paintings, sculptures, graphics, decorative arts, etc.), ethnographic art (Native American, African, Oceanic, Asian), natural science artifacts (rocks and minerals, insects, shells), and historic artifacts including a Duryea Motor Wagon Company car, theater and opera posters, and square dancing items.[2] The museum also owns a significant collection of folk art wildfowl decoy carvings.


The Peoria Riverfront Museum opened on October 20, 2012[3] as a successor to the Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, which was founded by private citizens in 1965 as the Lakeview Center and whose building was then given to and maintained by the Peoria Park District while its operations remained entirely private. Lakeview Museum was located in the north central suburban Lakeview Park in Peoria. It was also home to more than 50 member clubs, hobby groups, and organizations who formed an independent arts and sciences council whose members had helped start the museum.

Lakeview Museum officials led the campaign for the new museum, and its collections, trustees and staff formed the foundation of the Peoria Riverfront Museum operation when it opened.[4]

The Peoria Riverfront Museum was funded by private contributions with support from donated land by the city of Peoria and support for the building by a tax referendum approved by voters of Peoria County. The operations are supported by donations and earned revenue while the building and grounds are owned by Peoria County and leased to the museum by public-private partnership agreement. Key to the agreement was the enactment by local voters of a supplemental sales tax.[5] An admission fee is charged to museum nonmembers. The museum has had more than 1.1 million visitors since its opening.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Illinois River Encounter". Peoria Riverfront Museum. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Permanent Collections". Peoria Riverfront Museum. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Peoria Riverfront Museum". Peoria Riverfront Museum. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "Lakeview Museum closes its doors". Granite Broadcasting. Sep 3, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  5. ^ "Peoria County: Downtown Peoria Riverfront Museum". Peoria County. Retrieved January 15, 2015.