5 Iconic Landmarks to Celebrate Illinois’ Bicentennial

Jun 6, 2018

Illinois is celebrating its 200th birthday this year.

Chicago has long been a prime travel destination and the city has played an important role in state history. Consider these five iconic Windy City landmarks for your student groups to visit while celebrating Illinois’ bicentennial.

The Rookery

The famous 19th-century skyscraper was designed by architects John Wellborn Root and Daniel Burnham. Constructed in 1888, the building features 11 stories, soaring columns, a library, a gym and baths. Frank Lloyd Wright updated the library in 1905, adding bronze chandeliers and geometric designs to the staircase.

Route 66

Historic Route 66 begins in Chicago—right at the intersection of Jackson and Jefferson. Lou Mitchells has welcomed travelers since 1923, including presidents, mayors and celebrities. The legendary diner is famous for offering kids mini boxes of Milk Duds, which used to be made in Chicago.

Buckingham Fountain

Formerly the Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain, the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park was constructed in 1927. It represents Lake Michigan, with the four pairs of seahorses that adorn it symbolizing the four states that border Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Operating from April to mid-October, the fountain’s jets shoot water 150 feet into the air and dazzle students with water displays and light shows. Then, head to Lake Michigan’s shoreline for a day at the beach.

The Field Museum

The Field Museum is a tribute to Illinois history. Originally housed in the Palace of the Fine Arts Building, the natural history museum was relocated to its current building on Chicago’s Museum Campus. The Field Museum includes many exhibits that were featured during the World’s Fair—including Tiffany gems, pre-Colombian gold ornaments, and 600 ethnological artifacts from Africa, the South Sea Islands and British Colombia. Yet the museum is certain to captivate student groups with dinosaurs, fossils, mummies and so much more. Educational opportunities for groups abound.

Museum of Science and Industry

After The Field Museum’s relocation, the Palace of the Fine Arts Building became home to the Museum of Science and Industry. Science, technology, medicine and engineering come to life through interactive exhibits, daily live science experiences and tours, special events and 3-D screenings. Opened in 1933, the Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.

Information courtesy of Choose Chicago.

Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago.