Skip to main content

Museum of Science and Industry

Address

5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Neighborhood

Hyde Park / Kenwood

Website

msichicago.org

Description

Originally built to serve as the Palace of Fine Art for the World’s Fair of 1893, The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is organized in the form of a cross with a large dome rising above its center. True to the Beaux Arts style, it is perfectly symmetrical and adorned in classical ornamentation including Ionic columns, garlands and caryatids, the draped, female figures that serve as columns. The museum serves as an example of Daniel Burnham’s vision of a classically inspired White City. As with many of its White City neighbors, the building's exterior walls were originally composed of a material called “staff,” a combination of plaster of Paris, glue and hemp fiber that was painted white. In the late 1920s—due entirely to the initiative and philanthropy of Julius Rosenwald—an exterior restoration took place in order to create a building more suitable for a permanent museum. Today, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago is one of the largest science museums in the world. The museum of home to over 400,000 square feet of hands-on-exhibits that encourage questions and spark scientific creativity.