Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE

Built Environment

Posted under Family Resources


The places we live, work, learn, and have fun as well as the roads and transportation systems that connect them are all designed and constructed by people. This is called the built environment, and it is all around you. This week, we’ll explore the built environment through activities that look at our own homes, Chicago’s world famous skyline and L (elevated) trains, and the importance of city planning. Your creativity and ingenuity will be put to use as you imagine, design, and build each day!

Details Make the Difference | Close looking, Writing, Crafting

Look around your home for interesting architectural details, such as woodwork, door knobs, and metalwork. Then, use them as inspiration to design a shoebox diorama!

Design and Build | Close Looking, Drawing, Building

Find inspiration in images of famous Chicago skyscrapers. Then design your own to add to the city’s skyline. Use your design to make a model of your new building.

A City within a City | Close Looking, Game Playing, Drawing

Discover how a skyscraper can be a “city within a city.” Play charades to explore the amazing places and activities within a skyscraper and create your own “city within a city.”

L Stands for Elevated | Close Looking, Game Playing, Crafting

Explore Chicago’s famous train system through photographs of L Car No.1 and a fun trivia game. Then build your own L car.

Plan It! | Close Looking and Drawing

Learn how the 1909 Plan of Chicago proposed ideas to make Chicago a better place to live and changed the city for years to come. Then make your own plan for an ideal community.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories