2 Local Museums included in Governor’s Capital Investment Program

Ellwood House

Governor Quinn Announces Capital Investments in Public Museums across Illinois
Illinois Jobs Now! Capital Program Investing $15 Million to Develop New Exhibits, Improve Museum Facilities and Create Jobs

shabbonaleerolloGovernor Pat Quinn today announced that public museums across Illinois will receive $15 million in state capital investments to improve facilities and develop new exhibits while creating more than 370 jobs. Supported by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, the investments will help give the millions of people who visit Illinois’ public museums each year a better understanding of Illinois’ culture, history and natural heritage.

“Our museums expand educational frontiers by allowing visitors to learn about Illinois’ history and cultural diversity in unique, interactive ways,” Governor Quinn said. “These Illinois Jobs Now! grants will not only help preserve and enhance some of Illinois’ greatest treasures, but also boost the economy by creating jobs and bringing more visitors to our state and its outstanding museums.”

The projects are part of the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, which is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

ellwood houseLocal projects include: ELLWOOD HOUSE MUSEUM (DeKalb County) – $82,000. Ellwood museum grounds water tower restoration project with additional landscaping improvements and installation of an interpretive sign and seating
area. This project funds repairs to the wrought iron gate, support walls, roof and masonry of the tower and SHABBONA-LEE-ROLLO HISTORICAL MUSEUM (DeKalb County) – $125,000. The project funds construction for the Shabbona-Lee-Rollo historical museum that includes a 1,200 square-foot addition to the museum which improves accessibility and adds display space.

“The Museum Capital Grants Program assists local public museums in meeting their educational missions by upgrading or expanding museum facilities,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Museums play a vital role in helping students, families, and visitors to Illinois better understand the culture, history and natural heritage of local communities and the state of Illinois.”

Today’s grant recipients represent a wide range of cultural interests from across Illinois. The National Hellenic Museum and National Public Housing Museum in Chicago are expected to attract visitors from across the nation, as will the Lincoln Park Zoo’s state-of-the-art Japanese Macaque exhibit. Glimpses into Illinois’ past will be experienced at the Galena and U.S. Grant Museum’s “Port of Galena” exhibit, Kankakee County Museum’s celebration of “French Heritage” and the 1940s Music Store at the Joliet Area Historical Museum. Illinois children will enjoy the new “My Great Backyard” exhibit at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal, the Kohl Children’s Museum’s “Books and Crannies” exhibit and the Chicago Children’s Museum “I-Lab.” A complete list of projects is attached.

Today’s announcement marks the second time Governor Quinn has made a significant investment in public museums throughout Illinois. In 2010, nearly $15 million in capital dollars funded exhibit expansion and improvements at more than 50 museums, including new garden exhibits at the Botanic Gardens in both Glencoe and the Quad Cities, an interactive exhibit exploring the history of immigration at the Midway Village Museum in Rockford, and a new conservation and outreach center at the Chicago Zoological Society.

Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is the largest in Illinois history. The program, which began in 2009, is expected to support an estimated 439,000 construction jobs over six years.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN MEMORIAL GARDEN FOUNDATION, INC. (Sangamon County) – $82,433. Renovation of the Ostermeir Farmhouse to add handicap accessible features, waterproof basement, replace carpet, install life safety devices and replace doors.
ADLER PLANETARIUM (Cook County) – $430,000. Renovation of the Doane Observatory that will include creating two new interior rooms under the observing deck.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS HISTORICAL MUSEUM (Cook County) – $43,800. Purchase and installation of message repeater displays, interpretive signs and main museum campus signs.
THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO (Cook County) – $639,933. Facilities renewal project to upgrade the HVAC throughout the museum.
BROOKFIELD ZOO, CHICAGO ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY (Cook County) – $494,117. This ADA compliance project enhances the guest experience by upgrading several high traffic areas at the zoo to meet ADA accessibility requirements.
BURPEE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (Winnebago County) – $347,000. The project enhances several exhibits which cover a 400 million-year geological time period. The upgrades include: new signage, lighting, interactive elements, interactive kiosks and handicap accessible elements.
BYRON MUSEUM OF HISTORY (Ogle County) – $43,350. Enhances the “Old Time Farming” exhibit by transforming an area of the museum into a vintage barn setting. Displays include farming equipment spanning the early 1800s to the early 1900s and will also have interactive kiosks that relate the use of specific pieces.
CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN (Cook County) – $750,000. Construction project for two outdoor plant production nurseries.
CHICAGO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM (Cook County) – $31,000. Construction project for the I-Lab Exhibit featuring real tools and materials visitors can work with to inspire creativity.
CHICAGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Cook County) – $750,000. Rubloff Auditorium renovation project that features the installation of a lectern, projection screen, new lighting components, electrical upgrades, and audiovisual improvements. The construction also includes replacement of seats, a new stage extension, and the reconfiguration of the floor slope, seating and aisles.
CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY MUSEUM, TOWN OF NORMAL (McLean County) – $209,000. The My Great Backyard construction project creates a new exhibit that provides opportunities for exploration and discovery through tactile visual and auditory stimuli, and will also include a fort and clubhouse with observation towers connected by a wooden bridge and a meandering stream.
DISCOVERY CENTER MUSEUM (Winnebago County) – $262,000. Capital Expansion and Improvement Project – Phase II that helps address a number of Illinois state learning goals. The project includes: additions and improvements to our outdoor science park; replacement of outdated exhibits in the Power House Gallery with new exhibits that demonstrate new trends in modern energy production and conservation; the replacement of outdated exhibits in the Body Shop Gallery with new exhibits that utilize current technology and convey vital information about the body, health and well-being; exhibit upgrades in the Color and Light Gallery; and the addition of a new permanent exhibition gallery named „The Science of Sound.‟
DUSABLE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY (Cook County) – $748,000. Energy efficiency and collections upgrade with improvements that include the renovation of the collections storage area and energy efficient enhancement upgrades to the HVAC and lighting/electrical systems.
ELLWOOD HOUSE MUSEUM (DeKalb County) – $82,000. Ellwood museum grounds water tower
restoration project with additional landscaping improvements and installation of an interpretive sign and seating
area. This project funds repairs to the wrought iron gate, support walls, roof and masonry of the tower.
ELMHURST ART MUSEUM (DuPage County) – $270,000. The Elmhurt Art Museum infrastructure
improvement project replaces the roof and sprinkler system while upgrading the gallery lighting.
ELMHURST HISTORICAL MUSEUM (DuPage County) – $283,000. The project consists of the design
and installation of a new air conditioning system and ventilation system for the museum and HVAC
FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (Cook County) – $750,000. The Field Museum fire
suppression improvement project will install a modern fire protection system in seven public exhibition galleries
and three adjoining hallways.
GALENA & U.S. GRANT MUSEUM (Jo Daviess County) – $86,000. The Port of Galena 1856 project is
a permanent interactive exhibit that explores the history and evolution of the Galena River and the Port of
Galena from 1856 to today.
GRAYSLAKE HERITAGE CENTER & MUSEUM (Lake County) – $154,059. The Advancing the Annex
project will include installation of: a first-rate heating and cooling system, museum grade track lighting,
structure insulation and U/V filters to the windows.
THE GROVE (Cook County) – $58,300. Funding for the visionary life of John A Kennicott exhibit –
pioneer doctor, educator and horticulturalist. The exhibit will consist of 15 printed panels, display cases for
original documents and artifacts, and a traveling panel.
HERITAGE IN FLIGHT MUSEUM, INC. (Logan County) – $112,518. Improvements to the artifact
display/hangar building will include upgraded electrical and HVAC systems, public safety improvements, and
ADA accessibility enhancements.
new home for history: from firehouse to history museum project includes the installation of a new HVAC
system and a fire protection system.
phase IV renovation and build-out project includes restoration of a permanent exhibit, completion of the 2nd
floor gallery, and creation of a conference center, restrooms, archival collection storage area, staff offices and
ITASCA HISTORICAL DEPOT MUSEUM (DuPage County) – $110,000. The committed to our future,
inspired by our past – “Getting Back On Track” – phases III & IV project includes the relocation and restoration
of a train caboose and an interactive train display.
JOLIET AREA HISTORICAL MUSEUM (Will County) – $61,400. The 1940s music store permanent
exhibit and oral history/audio visual kiosk project features the redesign of the metropolitan city gallery focusing
on a Joliet music store circa 1940 including artifacts, a touch screen, oral history kiosk and hands on activities.
KANKAKEE COUNTY MUSEUM (Kankakee County) – $26,300. Funds an infrastructure improvement
project for the French heritage museum at the Stone Barn.
KOHL CHILDREN’S MUSEUM of Greater Chicago (Cook County) – $37,100. The Books & Crannies
children’s museum exhibit project is for a new permanent exhibit modeled after a bookstore café to promote
early interest in reading.
LINCOLN PARK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY (Cook County) – $750,000. Funds a construction project that will create a state-of-the-art outdoor exhibit for housing Japanese macaques.
LOMBARD HISTORICAL SOCIETY (DuPage County) – $45,000. The carriage house expansion: phase II exhibit project includes the installation of new exhibits in the carriage house and outdoor signage at the Victorian Cottage Museum site.
MIDWAY VILLAGE MUSEUM (Winnebago County) – $327,000. The many faces, one community project will complete the immigrant home and also the seventh and south main streetscapes.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CHICAGO (Cook County) – $750,000. The M.C.A. enhancement project includes lighting upgrades to sustainable, energy-efficient systems and participatory “Engagement Zones” installed in key locations in the museum.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY (Cook County) – $740,800. Funding for the west pavilion critical exterior restoration project will assist in the repair of the limestone façade of the MSI building exterior, which is necessary due to the deterioration from years of extreme weather in the Chicago area.
MUSEUM OF THE GRAND PRAIRIE (Champaign County) – $57,571. The project includes redevelopment of the Grand Prairie Story main gallery exhibit including: the audio/visual displays, large and small scale interpretive panels, maps and images and interactive exhibits featuring updated technology.
NATIONAL HELLENIC MUSEUM (Cook County) – $750,000. The new National Hellenic museum project includes permanent exhibition design and construction, interior furnishings and exterior signage.
THE NATIONAL PUBLIC HOUSING MUSEUM (Cook County) – $750,000. The National Public Housing Museum project includes construction of a courtyard, parking lot, fencing, landscaping and a demolition.
PECK FARM (Kane County) – $95,000.The Peck Farm project renovates the interpretive areas and exhibits to enhance the historic Peck house and orientation barn.
PEORIA ZOO (Peoria County) – $180,000. The Adventure Grove project features habitats and environments of local animals with winding paths of permeable concrete and interpretive nodes of recycled glass pavement that invite guests to become the living animals.
PLEASANT HOME (Cook County) – $80,455. This project funds the much needed restoration of the Pleasant Home Summer Dining Porch. The Summer Dining Porch will be restored as part of the comprehensive plan for the home in Mills Park.
QUINCY ART CENTER (Adams County) – $99,800. Rehabilitative construction at the Quincy Art Center includes interior and exterior improvements to the historic Sinnock Gallery improving visitor safety and experience while providing a better environment for the permanent collection display. Rotating exhibits will be included that expand audience capacity.
THE RAUPP MUSEUM (Cook County) – $149,250. Three new exhibits will be created at the Raupp Museum‟s Buffalo Grove crossroads exhibit: The Prairie View Train Station, The Weidner General Store and the Geimer Greenhouse.
ROCKFORD ART MUSEUM (Winnebago County) – $281,700. The gallery lighting renovation project upgrades existing lighting systems in the Rockford Art Museum galleries that will enhance exhibits and feature education programs in the lower level gallery of the museum.
SHABBONA-LEE-ROLLO HISTORICAL MUSEUM (DeKalb County) – $125,000. The project funds construction for the Shabbona-Lee-Rollo historical museum that includes a 1,200 square-foot addition to the museum which improves accessibility and adds display space.
JOHN G. SHEDD AQUARIUM (Cook County) – $750,000. This project renovates the Rotunda with replacement of the existing domed skylight with an insulated glazing system to ensure the protection of the Shedd‟s interior and façade while increasing energy efficiency.
SPRING VALLEY NATURE CENTER & HERITAGE FARM (Cook County) – $115,000. The Vera Meineke Nature Center Exhibit Gallery Renovation includes construction of three new natural history exhibits at the Nature Center: The Local Ecosystem Diorama, the Living Habitat Display and Changes in Nature.
SPRINGFIELD PARK DISTRICT’S WASHINGTON PARK BOTANICAL GARDEN (Sangamon County) – $318,620. This Washington Park botanical garden project includes installation of new heating and cooling units and a new LED lighting system increasing energy efficiency. Also, an outdoor gathering plaza will be created.
STEPHENSON COUNTY MUSEUM (Stephenson County) – $122,500. The Oscar Taylor home preservation and energy efficiency project includes replacement of the roofing systems, gutters, downspouts, fascia woodwork repair, upgrades to the HVAC system and increased attic insulation.
TEKAKWITHA WOODS AT CREEK BEND NATURE CENTER (Kane County) – $150,000. This Learning Tree project will design and fabricate an interactive exhibit at the new nature center.
TINKER SWISS COTTAGE MUSEUM, INC. (Winnebago County) – $300,000. The Tinker Swiss cottage museum project includes HVAC upgrades and building repairs/renovation, including replacement of much of the exterior trim work to maintain the structural integrity of the building and extend the life of the structure.
VETERANS MEMORIAL HALL (Winnebago County) – $189,069. Funding is for sustainable improvements to the environment project through temperature control, overall lighting experience and life safety.
WAGNER FARM (Cook County) – $39,800. This Wagner Farm – from field to table project is for the restoration of The Dunbar Wagon back to a fully-functioning steam powered popcorn wagon that will be used as an educational tool assisting in the learning strategy of “Field to Table.”


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