Museum Campus Chicago
Incorporating three of Chicago's most noteworthy museums in a scenic, lake-front area open to pedestrians only, the Museum Campus Chicago is one of the city's top attractions. The Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History are all dedicated to the natural sciences, offering visitors a wealth of information presented in a manner that is both educational and entertaining.
Built in 1930 as a joint project by philanthropist Max Adler and astronomer Philip Fox, the Adler Planetarium was the first to be built in the Western Hemisphere and remains the oldest of its kind today. When opening the planetarium to the public, Max Adler noted that the planets and stars are too far removed from general knowledge and we failed to see that everything is interrelated. With the planetarium, he sought to bring the increasing knowledge of the universe to the public. In 1987, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Also opened in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium is home to 1,500 species including fish, marine mammals, snakes, amphibians, birds and insects. More than two million visitors view its displays every year, and in recognition of its efforts in education, conservation, science and recreation, it has received awards from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 1999, 2001 and 2004. The five permanent exhibits at the aquarium are: Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, the Wild Reef, the Oceanarium and Waters of the World. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Shedd Aquarium features various animals in temporary exhibitions that change from time to time, offering regular visitors the opportunity to view some of the more unusual creatures that share our planet.
With more than twenty-one million specimens in its collection, the Field Museum of Natural History rotates its displays frequently, only featuring a limited number of artifacts as space allows. One of the museum’s prized possessions, and on permanent display, is a superbly preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex. Named Sue, in honor of the paleontologist Sue Hendrickson, who found the bony remains, the Tyrannosaurus Rex was discovered in the summer of 1990 at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation near the city of Faith in western South Dakota. The taxidermy collection at the Field Museum of Natural History offers a diverse array of animals including the notorious Lions of Tsavo on which the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness was based. Other permanent exhibits include cultural anthropology exhibits focusing on ancient Egypt, the Pacific Islands, the Pacific Northwest and Tibet, as well as an extensive collection of Native American artifacts and a collection of dinosaurs.
With beautifully landscaped gardens and a network of paths and walkways, Museum Campus is a haven of tranquility for both visitors to the city and local residents. And with a wealth of interesting information all in one venue, a visit to Museum Campus Chicago offers a great day's outing for the whole family.