Arts & Culture

Chicago History Museum


Explore the history of Chicago and United States through permanent and temporary exhibitions drawn from more than 20 million items in the Chicago History Museum’s collections. Showcasing photography, documents, artifacts, and interviews.

Our permanent and temporary galleries are full of Chicago stories!

“Chicago: Crossroads of America" explores the city’s development and its influence on US history. Examine a treasure trove of historical artifacts, including a chunk of the original Fort Dearborn and the actual first locomotive to operate in Chicago.

Designed for young visitors, our “Sensing Chicago” exhibition encourages them to use all five senses to discover Chicago’s history and even pretend to be a Chicago-style hot dog.\

In the dynamic film, “The Great Chicago Adventure,” experience the intensity of the Great Chicago Fire and splendor of the World’s Columbian Exposition, explore the sights of bustling Maxwell Street in the 1950s and peer down from an I-beam at the top of the Sears Tower in the 1970s.

Chicago History Museum Highlights:

City on Fire: Chicago 1871 – Designed with younger visitors in mind, this exhibition examines what life was like for Chicagoans before, during, and after the Great Chicago Fire.

Abraham Lincoln – In this installation, you’ll learn all about former president Abraham Lincoln, his leadership during the civil war, and his assassination.

Facing Freedom in America – This exhibition uses artifacts, images, and interactive displays to examine the stories behind eight conflicts over American freedom dating from the 1850s to the 1970s, including women’s suffrage and Japanese internment.

Jaffee History Trail – This outdoor, interpretive path incorporates features such as a native species garden, the Couch Tomb, and a 13,000-pound, metal blob from the 1871 Great Chicago Fire.

Visit or call 312-642-4600 for visitor information and for a full schedule of museum public programs and events.

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