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Chicago Maritime Museum

1200 W 35th St, Ste 0E-5010, Chicago, IL 60609-1305
+1 773-376-1982
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Review Highlights
Spectacular Museum

This museum combines beautiful maps and pictures with very clear explanations and artfully mounted... read more

Reviewed March 14, 2018
Elise B
Unexpected and Interesting Find

My wife and I were on our weekly Friday outting which often includes some day hikes during the... read more

Reviewed January 7, 2018
Ron R
,
Oak Lawn, Illinois, United States
via mobile
Read all 18 reviews
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From its earliest beginnings, Chicago has been defined as a city rising from the lake. From French fur traders paddling canoes to lumber-laden schooners and freighters transporting grain and coal to today's canoes and kayaks plying the Chicago river and streamlined sailboats racing north to Mackinac Island, the city continues to evolve from its strategic post at the foot of the Great Lakes. Since 1982, the Chicago Maritime Museum has collected more than 6,000 items that commemorate Chicago's maritime history, including ship models, articles, books, displays, art, images, and nautical artifacts. As a result, the new Chicago Maritime Museum adeptly tells the story of how Chicago's history and development stem from its axis between the Great Lakes and the waterways that flow into the Mississippi River. Designed by architect and museum vice president Dirk Lohan, the museum offers visitors a chronological walk through local maritime history, including the eras of french fur trading, grand masted schooners, modern commercial freighters, recreational sailing, crew racing on the rivers and the Ralph and Rita Frese canoe collection.
  • Excellent84%
  • Very good11%
  • Average5%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“ship models” (3 reviews)
“open house” (2 reviews)
“great lakes” (2 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
1200 W 35th St, Ste 0E-5010, Chicago, IL 60609-1305
CONTACT
Website
+1 773-376-1982
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Write a ReviewReviews (18)
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"ship models"
in 3 reviews
"open house"
in 2 reviews
"great lakes"
in 2 reviews
"importance"
in 3 reviews
"canoe"
in 2 reviews
"curator"
in 2 reviews
"growth"
in 2 reviews
"objects"
in 2 reviews
"waterway"
in 5 reviews
"bridport"
in 2 reviews
"treasure"
in 2 reviews
"boats"
in 2 reviews
"history"
in 10 reviews
"art"
in 2 reviews
"city"
in 3 reviews
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1 - 10 of 18 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2018

This museum combines beautiful maps and pictures with very clear explanations and artfully mounted objects. You can follow 250 years of Chicago's life on its waterways while surrounded by objects, boats, and ship models that bring it all to life. Check out the bookstore too,...More

Thank Elise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2018

Thank you for your thoughtful review! We are always pleased to have visitors who appreciate our unique view of Chicago's history and development and the museum's presentation.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2018 via mobile

My wife and I were on our weekly Friday outting which often includes some day hikes during the summer or museums during the winter. As we had an errand on the near South side, I searched travel advisor for a nearby museum. While a bit...More

Thank Ron R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2018

Thank you for your review which is very much appreciated. Your comments on the value added by the museum are spot on and a fine addition to the other comments. We hope you will come back to visit as other exhibits open and that you...More

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Reviewed January 5, 2018

Do yourself a favor and visit this local gold mine. It’s very new and the collection still small, but what an incredible place to visit. The history of Chicago is the history of its waterways. The staff is helpful and friendly. Free parking and it’s...More

Thank C P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 16, 2017

the museum is rather small, and can only go down by stairs, so not accessible by strollers and wheelchairs. we went there in open house, so it's free, but it may has admission fee in other days, can double check at their website. there are...More

Thank ELKW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded December 18, 2017

Thank you for your review! I'm sorry you did not see the building elevators that serve every floor, including the river level where the museum is located. Handicapped access is available in the building, so we do get wheelchairs, strollers and buggies.

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Reviewed July 21, 2017

This museum has only been open a year. The current displays are well done and some of the maps are beautiful. The history of the Chicago waterways is interesting and started almost 500 years ago. I really enjoyed the early history as well as the...More

Thank Clownbarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2017

Thank you for your review which we very much appreciated!!

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Reviewed July 10, 2017

Many people are not aware of the importance of the lake and rivers that are part of the Chicago landscape. This small museum takes one on a guided tour of what built the great city. A must for history buffs and maritime enthusiasts.

Thank lkay884
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded July 12, 2017

Thank you for your insightful comment! We were pleased to have you visit the museum and hope you come back again soon.

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Reviewed May 11, 2017

Coming to Chicago the first time and having read about the city's early and incredible development, I was disappointed, that there is not really much to see about the harbor and its history in the city nowadays. Fortunately, there is this little hidden museum to...More

Thank Dietmar L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2017

We signed up to become members after our first visit to this museum and there was no question that we'd renew our membership. It's a great museum with interesting exhibits, and it's the right size space - not such a huge museum that you get...More

Thank Heysea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2017

Thank you for your comprehensive and thoughtful review. I was happy to see you pick up on the importance of the region's waterways in the evolution of Chicago. I also appreciated your comments on the Bridgeport Art Center. With more than 100 resident artists, the...More

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Reviewed April 23, 2017 via mobile

This place is great!!! Great models. Overview of the history of the Port of Chicago. Wonderful docents. Great evening programs.

Thank glennbraun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2017

In a city, Chicago, with a terribly neglected maritime history, the Chicago Maritime Museum is a hidden gem. Nestled in a hard-to-find area of Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, it is a repository of the rich maritime history of this city. It is worth the find.More

Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PCF95, General Manager at Chicago Maritime Museum, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2017

Thank you for your review which we appreciate! The Bridgeport Art Center is our home and can be found on 35th Street where it meets Bubbly Creek - just head west on 35th from White Sox stadium. Bridgeport Art Center has free parking in the...More

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