Governor Pat Quinn announced yesterday, Saturday, June 14, 2014, that forty-seven Illinois museums that attract 16,500,000 visitors annually will receive $20,000,000 in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits. The investments are through Governor Quinn’s “Illinois Jobs Now!” construction program. According to his office, these “are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.”
“Museums play a vital role in telling us about our world and who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going,” Governor Quinn said. “These investments will help museums attract even more visitors, boost tourism, create hundreds of jobs and help preserve our history for generations to come.”
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (D.N.R.) administers the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program. The program was open to any museum operated by local governments or located on municipally owned land.
The maximum grant award was $750,000 and matching funds were required in many cases based on the museum attendance levels from the previous year. Two years ago, the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program awarded $15,000,000 to forty-nine museums for projects ranging from expanded facilities to exhibits and infrastructure improvements.
“Museums, like other natural and cultural facilities, improve local economies throughout the state,” D.N.R. Director Marc Miller said. “These places can become the backbone of a strong social structure within our communities and I applaud Governor Quinn for recognizing the importance of investing in museums so they can be enjoyed and educate current and future generations.”
The Governor’s Office stated, “The museum grants are part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.”
2014 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants
• Museum of the Grand Prairie, $238,200 to demolish an existing structure and create a new climate controlled addition. Total project cost $289,100.
• Virginia Theatre, $750,000 to design, engineer and install house stage lighting, catwalk, light boxes and sound equipment. Total project cost $750,000.
• Adler Planetarium, $750,000 to help develop a new observation deck including a walkway access point, LED lighting, guard rails and indoor improvements. Total project cost $1.5 million.
• The Art Institute of Chicago, $750,000 to replace climate control systems, tuckpointing, waterproofing and a new security system. Total project cost $2,250,000.
• Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, $750,000 to develop, design and construct a new exhibit and resource center about sustainable living practices and green technology. Total project cost $750,000.
• Chicago Botanic Garden, $750,000 for architectural and engineering design work on a new Education Center. Total project cost $16,300,000.
• Chicago Children’s Museum, $22,500 to convert gallery space from a permanent exhibit space to a short run exhibit and educational programming space. Total project cost $45,000.
• Chicago History Museum, $750,000 for gallery renovations including new lighting, acoustics, restrooms, vestibules, climate control and a lighted floor map. Total project cost $1,250,000.
• Brookfield Zoo, $750,000 for four restroom upgrades. Total project cost $2,250,000.
• DuSable Museum of African American History, $750,000 to enhance the lobby including new doors, roof repairs, downspouts, flashing, gutters and insulation. Total project cost $750,000.
• Field Museum of Natural History, $750,000 to purchase and install a new air handling unit and ductwork to service the southwest quadrant of the museum. Total project cost $2,250,000.
• Garfield Park Conservatory, $750,000 to create a multi-tiered structure with tropical plantings, interactive seating, an exhibit observation area, nature sorting station, pathways and “secret spaces.” Total project cost $3,300,000.
• The Grove, Glenview, $80,500 to expand archival storage space including a work space and teaching area. Total project cost $130,000.
• Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, $70,100 for exterior restoration and rehabilitation of Cicero Firehouse Number 2 that will become the new museum and history center. Total project cost $291,300.
• Lincoln Park Zoo, $750,000 to help construct an exhibit. Total project cost $3,100,000.
• Museum of Science & Industry, $750,000 to reconstruct the upper and lower portions of the North Wall of the Central Pavilion. Total project cost $2,250,000.
• Oak Park Observatory, $146,000 to develop an interactive outdoor display garden with programmed educational experiences. Total project cost $196,000.
• Wildwood Nature Center, Park Ridge, $225,000 for new exhibits and interpretive signs, a new kiosk and map, ADA accessible trails, and an open air shelter. Total project cost $253,000.
• Shedd Aquarium, $750,000 to protect and stabilize the building exterior. Total project cost $2,250,000.
• Ellwood House Museum, $126,400 to replace the roof and large terrace tile, including foundation pier rebuilding, tile beds and ADA platform lift. Total project cost $126,400.
• Fischer Farm, Bensenville Park District, $108,200 to restore a pre-Civil War storage barn and hen house. Total project cost $108,200.
• Downers Grove Park District Museum, $135,000 to restore an Underground Railroad stopover including interior work and exhibit creation. Total project cost $226,000.
• DuPage Children’s Museum, $240,200 to develop an active wet area in the Dynamic Tables exhibit showing the weight and power of moving water to harness energy. Total project cost $1.29 million.
• Mayslake Peabody Estate, DuPage County Forest Preserve District, $215,000 to restore the outside back courtyard elevation of Mayslake Hall. Total project cost $525,500.
• Springbrook Nature Center Museum, Itasca, $335,000 to replace three climate control units, water heater, siding, roofing, insulation, upgrade ADA accessibility and outdoor signs. Total project cost $487,500.
• Naper Settlement, Naperville, $629,200 to replace the electrical grid on the 12-acre museum campus. Total project cost $670,700.
• DuPage County Historical Museum, Wheaton, $600,800 to replace roof with accurate red slate roofing, tuckpointing and copper gutter replacement. Total project cost $625,800.
• City of Grafton Museum. $640,000 to add a 1550-square-foot addition to the existing Visitor Center. Total project cost $650,000.
• Grand Army of the Republic Memorial, Aurora, $750,000 for cabinetry restoration, woodwork and floor finishing, partition walls, lighting, climate control and emergency systems. Total project cost $1.07 million.
• Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, St. Charles, $130,400 to create an indoor/outdoor glacial-themed exhibit including interpretive kiosks and learning stations. Total project cost $180,400.
• The Raupp Museum, Buffalo Grove, $51,000 to remove an existing mural and create a store front exhibit including interactive detailing transportation innovations. Total project cost $68,300.
• Lake County Discovery Museum, $750,000 to renovate the lower level of an office building to create permanent storage space for the museum’s historic collections. Total project cost $1.24 million.
• Scovill Zoo, Decatur, $413,700 for a walk-through aviary and crowned crane exhibit, pavilion, ADA walkway and a generator. Total project cost $463,700.
• Lost Valley Visitor Center, $400,000 to create exhibits for the Visitor Center in the Glacial Park Conservation Area. Total project cost $400,000.
• Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington, $700,000 for a new DeBrazza’s Monkey exhibit, renovations to the zoo’s Entrance Building and an additional parking lot. Total project cost $720,000.
• McLean County Museum of History, $254,800 to rehabilitate historic lighting systems and relocate and build new restrooms. Total project cost $254,800.
• Children’s Discovery Museum, Normal, $116,800 for new floor to ceiling Air Mazes, Bernoulli Table and Wind Energy Station. Total project cost $124,800.
• Byron Museum of History, $351,400 to remodel the Quonset hut attached to the museum to provide more exhibit space. Total project cost $401,400.
• Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria, $250,000 for seven interactive exhibits – native animals, topographical dioramas, bird watching, watershed and hill prairies. Total project cost $500,000.
Rock Island County
• Quad City Botanical Center, Rock Island, $520,000 to construct the Headwaters component needed to complete the Mini-Mississippi River exhibit. Total project cost $616,000.
• Stephenson County Historical Society, Freeport, $399,000 to remove and replace existing artifact storage and display area to include water and sewer service and make it ADA accessible. The entry drive will also be widened. Total project cost $499,000.
• Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook, $104,500 to construct a wood pavilion with fireplace, tables and seating. Total project cost $104,500.
• Bird Haven Greenhouse, Joliet, $741,000 to install a glass ceiling, shad cloth and new growing houses. Total project cost $741,000.
• Isle a la Cache Museum, Forest Preserve District of Will County, $270,000 to renovate and reconstruct a Native American longhouse, ADA upgrades, garden, campfire circle and landscaping. Total project cost $270,000.
• Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, $294,000 to replace and refurbish exhibits for ADA accessibility, and to expand the early childhood gallery. Total project cost $294,000.
• Rockford Art Museum, $369,000 to upgrade storage, handling and prep work. Total project cost $369,000.
• Veterans Memorial Hall, Rockford, $251,900 to create and install exhibit cabinetry, repair a Civil War statue and prepare the site for outdoor monument placement. Total project cost $293,400.