Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago 2020Opened in 1933 for the Chicago Century of Progress, MSI is housed in an original 1893 building from the Columbian Exposition. It became a permanent fixture in 1933 and the building had to be upgraded significantly as it wasn't built to last in 1893.
Covering 14 acres and 400,000 square feet, it's a massive edifice of science and industrial displays and artifacts.
It's the only remaining building from either exposition, located south of downtown in Jackson Park.
The ArrivalI took the Metra commuter line from Millennium station to 53rd street (you're probably better off going to 56th), and walked through the local neighborhoods to reach the grounds.
The GroundsThere is lots of green space around the museum in a very upscale neighborhood. The architecture is so much Greek revival I almost started quoting Socrates.
EntranceThey dug an entrance 3 stories deep to handle the crowds. Since it was glorious pandemic times, there was no crowd. In fact, I don't know if even 60 people were in the museum.
SubmarineEver since I was a little kid visiting here, the German 505 submarine was always a hit with me. About 12 years ago, they spent millions of dollars and created a u-boat pen to house it, along with a great active set of displays detailing the hunt and capture of this killing machine.
Transportation HallAs one would expect, this is an entire hall dedicated to transportation. It features a huge train layout showing movement from Seattle to Chicago, old trains, and planes. Pretty cool stuff for an overgrown kid like myself.
Weather HallAn entire hall dedicated to weather. There are lots of interactive displays, including tornados, avalanches, and lightning. Kids don't want to leave it.
Other AreasThere are a lot of dedicated areas in the museum, but few as dramatic as the previous ones listed.
Colleen Moore's Fairy House. An international movie star in the 20s and 30s, she gave it all up, married a widower and had a series of dollhouses built starting in 1929, including this, her eighth one.
SummaryA combination of old school age of exploration and modern interpretations, in what seems an endless, sometimes warrenlike maze of passages and rooms.
Food is available onsite, but is quite pricey. Entrance fee is not cheap either, but family memberships or reciprocal memberships can take a bite out of that.
Tons of STEM items in the shop, plus museum swag to promote your nerdom.
I have been visiting since 1971, and always look forward to coming here.
Related blog posts
Chicago 2020 - Posted: 2021-01-21
Field Museum Chicago - 2020 - Posted: 2020-12-17