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

The Chicago History Museum to Reopen to the Public with Newest Exhibition Installed


The Chicago History Museum today announced it will open its doors to the public on Friday, July 10. Museum admission is free for all guests through July 31. This announcement comes as Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city is officially in Phase 4 of reopening within Illinois’ five-phased COVID-19 response plan. The Museum will have in place strict safety protocols and capacity limits, including:

  • Face coverings will be required inside the Museum for all staff and visitors over the age of two.
  • Advance ticket purchasing. Guests should reserve their tickets online in advance for digital scanning upon arrival to reduce in-person contact. Reserve your ticket here.
  • Capacity will be limited to 275 people. Tickets will be timed, and guests should plan their visit within the window of time which they reserve their ticket.
    • Monday – Saturday: 9:30-12:30 and 12:30-3:30 pm
    • Sunday: 12:00 – 2:30 pm and 2:30-4:00 pm
  • Research Center capacity will be limited to 8 researchers per day, appointments will be required. The Research Center will open July 14th with hours of Tuesday – Friday, 12-3:30.
  • Groups will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Guests will be asked to maintain a 6-foot distance from others
  • We ask anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath or who has been exposed to someone with these symptoms reschedule their visit at or 312.642.4600.

The Museum will be open Monday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Sunday, 12–5 p.m.

“We at the Chicago History Museum are thrilled to reopen our doors to visitors as we continue sharing Chicago stories and connecting with our communities,” said Gary T. Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum. “After months of being home, we know Chicagoans are eager to reconnect with all that our city has to offer. We are grateful to our supporters for their continued commitment to our mission, and we are honored to welcome them back to the Museum to share in experiences that shape our city’s history.”

Increased cleaning measures will also be in place. High touch surfaces such as handrails, benches, and elevator buttons will be cleaned frequently each day. A specialized custodial team wearing PPE will clean the entire museum each night, using electrostatic sprayers, misters, and vacuum equipment with high-efficiency particulate air filters. The disinfectants we use are on the EPA N list of approved disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and are in widespread use by the healthcare industry.

The Museum’s newest exhibition, “Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection,” will also be open to the public. “Millions of Moments” documents monumental events and everyday occurrences of life in Chicago, many of which were never published. The collection features the work of several award-winning photographers and features images that highlight racial relations and strife, Chicago and national politics, sporting events, and built environments in South and West Side neighborhoods. “Millions of Moments” offers guests a lens to reconnect to the city they have missed since March. The exhibition is set up for guests to enjoy at a safe social distance of 6 feet apart from others.

A new installation, “Cityscapes”, will also be on display. The installation takes visitors through a dynamic display of large-scale panoramic images from the Museum’s collection chronicling Chicago’s remarkable growth for 1858 to 2019. Additionally, “Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America” has been extended until January 3, 2021. Featuring nearly 300 objects, photographs and printed materials dating from the 1930s to the 1950s, this exhibition celebrates Chicago’s role in shaping one of the most popular and enduring styles in our history.

Visitors can also enjoy “American Medina: Stories of Muslim Chicago”, which draws from more than 100 interviews with Muslim Chicagoans discussing their faith, identity and personal journeys; “Facing Freedom in America”, which delves into the conflicts that shaped the history of the United States; and “Lincoln’s Chicago”, featuring portraits of President Lincoln  and his contemporaries, and their legacy in Illinois.

To ensure the safety of our visitors, “Sensing Chicago” and “Chicago: Crossroads of America” are temporarily closed to the public. In all other galleries, visitors will enjoy interactive elements with stylus pens on touchable screen interactives, provided by the Museum. Separate entrance and exit points will be in place to allow for a safe flow inside the Museum, and social distancing markers will be placed on the floor.

As we reopen, we will continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations from the city of Chicago and state of Illinois. Current guidelines can be found here:

For more information on the Museum’s reopening protocols and what to know before your next visit, please visit:


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories