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Downtown Charleston includes a historic courthouse and many historic homes listed on both the Coles County Register for Significant Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
Designed by Louis Sullivan with assistance from his junior draftsman, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Charnley-Persky House is recognized as a pivotal work of modern American architecture. Docent-led tours of the exterior and interior of the Charnley-Persky House (1891-1892) are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. The National Historic Landmark building serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians. Photos by David Schalliol.
A collection of Chevrolet automobiles combing various race cars, Indy 50 Pace Cars, and original unrestored vehicles, including Chevrolet memorabilia.
Chicago: You Are Here, a permanent exhibition, is free and open to the public daily in the ArcelorMittal CitySpace Gallery from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Designed to encourage visitors to explore the architecture and infrastructure that make up the environment of Chicago, You Are Here includes a scale model of the Loop, along with bold images, artifacts, and multimedia presentations. Temporary, architecture-themed exhibitions throughout the year. Free and open daily. Check website for details. Full schedule of lectures, workshops, special events and presentations at noon, evenings, and weekends throughout the year. Free or low cost. Check website for listings.
Hands-on exhibits and daily-changing activities make every visit unique for young children and adults, too. Dig deep into the Dinosaur Expedition, try to stay dry in WaterWays, make a masterpiece in the KraftArtabounds Studio, and climb up to the crow's nest on the Kovler Family Climbing Schooner. Toddlers can have fun in Kids Town and Treehouse Trails.
Chicago's architectural showplace for the lively and visual arts. Daily programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affiars. See the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome. It was initially built for dual purposes. It was the city's central library and a monument dedicated to the Civil War's Grand Army of the Republic. Since 1977 the building has housed cultural entities that included galleries, an auditorium, and the city's office of cultural affairs. The building architects are Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.
Experience railroading during its glory days at a former link for the Chicago Great Western Railway from Chicago, Illinois to Oelwein, Iowa by taking a tour through our extensive collection of railway memorabilia. See a full-size caboose, both G-scale and HO-scale operating model railroads and artifacts of northwestern Illinois railroads.
The Chicago History Museum is a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history. From permanent galleries to special exhibitions and exciting programs, people of all ages are able to experience the past and better understand the present. Please call for museum hours, pricing and exhibitions.
Museum Campus is a 57-acre museum park that sits near Lake Michigan 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. It is also known for holding the Soldier Field football stadium and the Lakeside Center of the McCormick Place.
Chicago's own Chinatown features beautiful Chinese-style buildings, as well as exotic dining and shopping experiences that have made the neighborhood a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
Come experience three floors of unique, hands-on, larger-than-life exhibits! This museum is designed to create a sense of wonder that excites the love of learning in children of all ages. Be sure to discover the new Children's Discovery Museum.
Discover a world of fun and learning at the Children's Museum in Oak Lawn! Explore Neuroscience, theater, art and other fun, educational exhibits.
Toddlers to 12-year-olds can enjoy the unique interactive exhibits and seasonal events at this fun children's museum.
Kids can shimmy up Luckey's Climber, make a giant bubble and pretend to be whatever they can imagine, from a pilot to a scientist. The museum's permanent exhibits complement temporary exhibits and projects.
Don't know much about history? Come see what Chillicothe Historical Society and its museums have to offer! Whether your roots are local or you simply enjoy the lifelong learning experience of discovering our common heritage, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you step in!
Featuring historical items pertaining to coal mining in Christian County, this museum includes coal mining equipment, memorabilia and more. Be sure to visit the coal miner monument on the courthouse lawn. Open Thurs-Sat, 10am-2pm.
The Genealogical Society is a research resource where you can find history on your family background, microfilm and microfiche, and books. The Society will also research your family for a donation.
See an 1820s log house, the 1839 Christian County courthouse where Lincoln argued cases, an 1854 farmhouse and an 1856 one-room school. Also view military weapons from five wars, a collection of 1800s antiques and much more.
Located on the main campus of Prairie State College, the Christopher Art Gallery hosts six to eight shows annually, featuring local, regional and national artists, as well as student works. Programming varies by media, theme, and artists represented.
The Bedford Park Heritage Corridor Visitor Center is full of information and literature of exciting things to do and see throughout the Heritage Corridor. The Visitor Center provides National Heritage Corridor promotional literature and I&M Canal related resources to the public. It is operated by the Civic Center Authority in partnership with Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Village of Willow Springs. The Center is staffed by volunteers recruited and managed by the Civic Center Authority. Open Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM.
This monument honors generations of soliders who sacrificed their lives for their country.
The Clark County Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation and education of all things pertaining to the people and places of Clark County, Illinois. Learn about the Lincoln-Douglas debates and unique area country architecture here.
Housed in the old county jail, this museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This building was the former home of Judge Sidney Breese, who came to Illinois from New York. He studied law here and became Assistant Secretary of the State of Illinois.
Local and world histories are combined in these exhibits.
This two-story brick home is a wonderful example of Federal-style architecture from 1820. Col. Stephenson, who was a contemporary of Lewis & Clark, moved there in 1809.
The Colonel Davenport House, located on Arsenal Island, is the oldest residence in the Quad Cities. Guided tours of this furnished home will reveal interesting facts about Quad Cities' history, and the tragic ending for Colonel Davenport. Open May through October on Thursday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
This monument remembers those who died in the infamous Alton prison. A smallpox virus spread rapidly through the Alton Prison in 1863, killing more than 1,435 incarcerated soldiers. The soldiers are laid to rest here and each of their names is commemorated at the Memorial. The Alton Prison and Confederate Cemetery are some of the rare northernmost monuments to the Confederate Soldier.
Check out this pioneer cabin that gives a glimpse of Illinois' earliest settlers' way of life on the frontier. It is located in a majestic park setting along the Kankakee River.
The remodeled ICCR depot features an etched granite memorial wall and various artifacts of military memorabilia.
This Lower Mississippi-style house was built in the early 1800s, and has been completely restored to reflect life during this period.
CITY:Prairie du Rocher
The main source for information about McLean County’s historic and modern attractions in the Bloomington-Normal area is the "Cruisin’ with Lincoln on 66" Visitors Center. Located in Downtown Bloomington, the Visitors Center provides information on all of the wonderful attractions, events, dining and lodging available in McLean County. Their exhibits highlight two types of heritage tourism that is integral to Central Illinois: Historic Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln. The gift shop is filled with local products, memorabilia and more!
Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington on Historic Route 66, the Cruisin with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center exhibits cover stories about dining, lodging and travel, which were experienced by both Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 travelers. These are supplemented by local items, books, cards, maps and more!
The opulent Cuneo Museum and Gardens, located on 75 acres and dotted with formal gardens and statuary was the perfect setting for the wedding scenes in "My Best Friend's Wedding." The gazebo where the best friends were caught kissing was built specifically for the film, but Cuneo's owners liked it so much they decided to keep it permanently. Take a guided tour through the historic Mediterranean-style Cuneo mansion to see Renaissance artworks and lavish European furnishings.
Built in 1870 by Major Elijah P Curtis after the Civil War. The woodwork and other features of the home are unusual.
This renovated 1872 Romanesque-style structure houses historical artifacts from the surrounding area.
DAAHA is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing with people of all ages the storied history of agriculture and its innovators within northern Illinois. Through their exhibits, educational programs, and website they hope to tell the story of DeKalb County and northern Illinois’ contribution to the world’s most important invention: Agriculture. Their organization is new and constantly evolving, so check back often for new exhibits, programs, and virtual access to our collections.
This museum features a complete set of the "War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." The records might aid in your search for a missing link in your family history.
Two historic homes, built in 1872 and 1892, were occupied by four generations of John Deere's descendants. Guided tours showcase the history of the houses, and are available by reservation only. Learn about the design and construction of these magnificent homes and the Deere family members who once lived there. Tours provide wonderful insights into the family and Deere & Company.
1917 Old Finn Hall houses OnStage Gallery & Great Hall Exhibition Space with monthly art shows or historic collections & various programs. Hours: Fridays 7 - 9 p.m. & by appointment.
View the burial site of Abraham Lincoln's tutor in the Old City Cemetery.
This restored railroad depot houses memorabilia from all wars. Outside is a Southern Illinois Miners Memorial dedicated to coal miners of the region.
Abe Lincoln often stayed at Deskin's Tavern when he traveled to Postville. A well where he is said to have quenched his thirst is also located on this site.
Home of the Skokie Art Guild and Devonshire Playhouse, the Cultural Center offers children's and adult theater, as well as visual and performing arts.
The premier on-site archaeological museum, located 45 miles southwest of Peoria, interprets the 12,000 year history of American Indian cultures in Illinois through artifacts, interpretive exhibits, major multi-image productions, hands-on activities and a variety of public events in a rural setting.
Built in 1858, this Italian Renaissance-style home displays the history of the Dillon family and Northwestern Steel, as well as fine antiques which belonged to the Dillons.
Named one of the top 12 children's museums in the nation by Forbes in 2012, here kids can explore more than 250 hands-on art and science exhibits, a planetarium, TV studio and the Tot Spot for toddlers. Discovery Center also boasts the nation's first community-built outdoor science park, the Rock River Discovery Park, featuring a two-story maze, water play area and dinosaur fossil dig.
Discovery Depot Children's Museum is a non-profit institution providing fun and educational programs for children and families. Interactive exhibits, programs, and collections will stimulate curiosity, promote discovery and encourage learning. Creative playground facilities outside for children too. Through these resources, visitors will gain a better understanding of our world.
The Discovery Depot museum provides an engaging atmosphere in which children and families explore, learn, and have fun together. Since 1999, we have sought to fulfill our mission, "Inspiring Wonder and Excitement for Learning" through diverse programs, exhibits, and community partnerships. We promote literacy, science, engineering, technology, mathematics, fine arts, and cultural education by engaging families through hands-on learning! In addition to providing exhibits and programs, we lease classroom space for private events, including children’s parties, business meetings, and other special events. The museum is located across the street from the Galesburg Amtrak Station and the Galesburg Railroad Museum.
Museum that houses over 70 vintage furnished doll houses from the 1920’s- to current. The architectural designs and fashions depict and present the evolution of homes and furnishings from then to now. The Then and Now gift shop is complete with collectable doll house furnishings for sale. Children enjoy playing the scavenger hunt and viewing the 1949 “Disney House” and the 1924 Tootsie Toy house furnished with Tootsie toy pieces. Located inside Taylor’s Furniture Store, along the square in Quincy’s downtown business district.
A resource to encourage education and to promote research, the library acts as a cultural center, housing 18,709 books. It is also home to large print books, audio books, newspapers, magazines, music cassettes, videos, bifocal kits, and art prints. Patrons have access to a fax machine, copy machine, microfilm printer-reader, genealogy materials, and the internet through two computers. The library offers a meeting room, outreach programs, children's programs, and a children's library.
See a Wild West show and museum of Western memorabilia, then dine at Donley's Old West Steakhouse.
Wild west displays and genuine cowboy memorabilia including train rides, horse rides, panning for gold, cowboy shows and more. Extensive antique phonograph and music box collection on display. Seasonally open April - October.
The award-winning museum features short-term exhibits about a wide range of topics pertinent to the history of Douglas County and East Central Illinois. The museum’s collections include clothing and textiles, military and medical equipment, decorative arts, archives and more! Plus, it’s also host to the Rural Life Antique Show held in March and November of each year.
Galena's oldest house, Dowling House, was built in 1826 by John Dowling. Built of limestone, it was once the only trading post in the city. The Dowling House was equipped with primitive living quarters and hosted many fur traders in years past. Tour guides provide a complete history of the development of the City of Galena and Dowling House while you browse through quaint artifacts from the early nineteenth century. Thirty-minute tours. Noreen's Old Tyme Photo & gift shop on site.
Stroll downtown Springfield and check out shops that carry everything from Lincoln souvenirs to one-of-a-kind jewelry and fresh-made fudge. Downtown is also host to many events and festivals throughout the year.
The lights dim as you explore the rituals of ancient Egyptian culture, guided by the light of your flashlight. Next, you prowl an African savannah with giraffes, hippos, and man-eating lions. Take a break by playing games from around the world or touching giant bugs from right in your backyard. Cap your night of exploration and adventure with cozy bedtime stories, before drifting off to dreamland in one of the amazing exhibits. Bring your family and friends for a night at the museum you’ll never forget!
Built in 1889 by Dr. C.M. Wright, this stately Renaissance Revival home holds three generations of Wright family furnishings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Built in 1888, this home was occupied by Dr. Robert Poos, a local practitioner and druggist. Dr. Poos was also the staff physician at the Springs Hotel and Bath House, later known as the Okawville Original Springs Hotel.
DuPage Children’s Museum is more than a Museum. We’re a force for early learning! Experience a unique hands-on museum where children and adults learn and play together in neighborhoods of hands-on exhibits designed to promote skill development in math, science and art. DuPage Children's Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking and problem solving in young children. Check out our new S.M.A.R.T. Café, where food becomes an opportunity to learn about science, math, art, reading and technology.
Enjoy DuPage County's rich history from the 1830s to the present. The Museum exhibits feature hundreds of historic artifacts and photos along with many fun hands-on activities. You'll find something for toddlers to seniors, and everyone in between. Housed in an 1891 Richardsonian Romanesque building, the museum highlights 150 years of DuPage County history with participatory activities, changing exhibits and extensive model railroad display.
This authentically restored and furnished 1843 prairie farm house features costumed interpreters who involve visitors in mid-19th century farm life.
The DuSable Museum of African American History is located on University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus. Experience a unique cultural environment as you travel through African American history. DuSable Museum shares African American history through a variety of impactful traveling and insightful permanent exhibits, educational programs and special seasonal celebrations. Visit, learn, and enjoy! Ongoing: Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services; A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story.
The Early American Museum has an extensive collection interpreting 19th and early 20th century life in east-central Illinois. Two floors of exhibits present architecture, trades and occupations, decorative arts, and childhood and domestic life of the time.
Compare pioneer and Victorian lifestyles when you visit the log cabin and brick Italianate home. An exhibition gallery in an adjacent building features rotating exhibits of the historical society's collection.
This museum honors American poet Edgar Lee Masters, author of "The Spoon River Anthology." Memorabilia of his life and works are displayed in the house where he lived as a young boy.
The museum focuses on expanding young minds through a variety of educational programs. It is available for birthday parties and field trips.
The courthouse was built in 1871 after Effingham was named the county seat. The courhouse retains a pristine exterior and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It also features a museum inside. The museum displays two rooms devoted to the military, which gets changed throughout the year. It also has a room dedicated to the railroads in Effingham County. The Effingham County Courthouse is open Tuesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Housed in an 1856 landmark building, permanent exhibits include artifacts from the Elgin National Watch Co. and Elgin Road Race memorabilia.
Get caught up in the history and spirit of firefighting. View the 1929 American Lafrance Fire Engine and 1869 Horse Drawn Silsby Steamer.
In beautiful Lord's Park, this museum features over 15,000 specimens of natural history with newly expanded family focused hands-on exhibits.
Experience the historic Greek Revial-style house once owned by a founder of Springfield: Elijah Iles. It houses a permanent exhibit, Springfield as Urban Frontier 1818-1836.
Tour the Elizabeth History Museum and view more than four thousand local history artifacts on lead mining; the Apple River Fort; Elizabeth businesses, schools and veterans.
The oldest farmhouse in Elk Grove Village. Restored to reflect life during the civil war. The home of Heinrich and Maria Schuette. School and scout programs available. Open year-round.
CITY:Elk Grove Village
The Elk Grove Historical Museum provides a look at pioneer living from the mid 19th to early 20th century. The Museum specializes in the history of the Elk Grove and its development over time. Open year round, the Museum offers tours, educational programs, exhibits, and assistance with research on Elk Grove Village and the surrounding area.
CITY:Elk Grove Village
The cemetery is the final resting place of several notable figures, including Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby and John D. Gillette (Cattle King of the World). The Memorial Arch replaced the wooden bridge over which Robert Todd Lincoln walked during the Oglesby funeral procession in 1915.
The story of the Ellwood House reflects the central role of Isaac Ellwood in the development of the barbed wire industry in America. The magnificent estate is also a testimony to three generations of the Ellwood family whose tastes shaped the evolution of the house and grounds. As you visit Ellwood House you will be aware of the comfort and quality of workmanship. At the same time, you also sense the warmth and hospitality of a family home that was lived in for almost one hundred years. The Ellwood House provides historical tours of the grand Victorian and are approximately one hour tour times. Tours are available for teachers, students, groups, and families. Capacity: 80-100
Exhibiting late 20th Century American Art, Elmhurst Art Museum offers exhibitions ranging from national touring works to local emerging and mid-career Chicago and Illinois artists. The Museum offers public tours, programs, guest lectures and art classes. It's award-winning structure contains a dramatic glass entrance gallery, three museum galleries, an educational pavilion, and the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed McCormick house.
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - This prize-winning museum features changing interpretive exhibits on Elmhurst history as well as national touring exhibits. Programs for children, families and adults throughout the year. The Elmhurst Historical Museum is located in a historically significant structure known as the Glos Mansion, which is the former home of Elmhurst's first village president, Henry L. Glos, and his wife, Lucy.
Visitors are invited to walk through this home, considered to be the oldest Greek Revival-style home in Illinois.
Visit the Victorian home where Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899 and learn about his early family life.
Explore displays featuring rare photos of Hemingway, his childhood diary, letters, early writings and other memorabilia. Enjoy videos documenting the author's life and work. Museum store on site.
The museum displays rare photos of Hemingway, his childhood diary, letters, early writings and other memorabilia. The Birthplace Home features some original furniture and belongings of the Hemingway family.
This historical site features a one-room schoolhouse and historical artifacts contained in an adjacent brick building. Learn about area strip mines that date back to the 1900's. This Kankakee museum is open by appointment and during special events.
Six nationalities that helped shape the cultural region are represented in this home museum, built in 1850. Located in the heart of the old water power district, the house features a room for each ethnic group it represents: African American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Hispanic. Call to confirm hours and admission fees. Visit the website for information about current exhibits.
This cultural center is a restored train station in the heart of Evanston. Home of the Piccolo Theatre and Custer’s Last Stand Festival which takes place each June.
Housed in the gracious historic mansion of former U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes, this stunning chateau overlooks Lake Michigan. Visitors and history buffs explore this National Historic Landmark appreciating its original furnishings and artwork. The home features exhibits focusing on the history of Evanston.
Located on the wooded Sunset Hill estate of the late Hazle Buck Ewing, the Ewing Cultural Center encompasses the open-air Theatre at Ewing (summer home of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival), the elegant Ewing Manor (which is open for tours) and the beautiful Genevieve Green Gardens.
A hands-on exploration and discovery museum for children and their families. Tuesday & Thursday are donation afternoons, where after 2 p.m. a suggested donation of $1.00 per person is requested.
Created by Colonel and Mrs. George Fabyan, who lived on the 600-acre estate from 1905 to the 1930s, the estate includes a restored villa with diverse collections, a Japanese garden and a Dutch windmill.
This local museum features a Fairbury Room and exhibits that change periodically. Open Wednesday and Fridays, or by appointment.
Dolphins soar, belugas dance and penguins parade in Fantasea, the aquatic show at Shedd Aquarium. The marine mammal presentations showcase the natural talents and learned skills of the animals—and their trainers.
Located behind the Statehouse in a century-old church, this museum is full of Lincoln-era memorabilia, including his letter cabinet and an axe carved with his initials.