$19.7 million in grants funds construction projects at 36 Illinois public museums

Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo will receive $750,000 for capital improvements. (Alanscottwalker, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Thirty-six Illinois museums will receive a total of $19.7 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits, Gov. JB Pritzker said earlier in March.

The investments are made possible through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded by the governor’s bipartisant Rebuild Illinois capital program, the first in nearly a decade.

“I am pleased to see the array of improvements and exhibits that will happen as a result of our 2022 Public Museum Capital Grants, made possible through the Rebuild Illinois capital program,” Pritzker said in a statement.

The Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally owned land. The maximum grant award for projects is $750,000, and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels.

Here are the museums awarded grants through the program:

Champaign County

  • Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Museum of the Grand Prairie, Discovery Garden – $726,900

Cook County

  • Arlington Heights Park District, 1908 Banta House Porch Restoration – $30,000
  • Chicago Academy of Science, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – $750,000
  • Chicago Children’s Museum, Cleaner Air / Health and Safety Project – $572,500
  • Chicago History Museum, exterior building improvements – $750,000
  • Chicago Zoological Society, Seven Seas roof replacement – $666,600
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Michigan Avenue lobby, window removal and replacement – $750,000
  • Garfield Park Conservatory, Child Wild Nature Exploration Garden – $749,500
  • Glenview Park District, The Grove Interpretive Center Phase 2 exhibits – $375,000
  • Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, genocide exhibition – $750,000
  • Lincoln Park Zoo, capital improvements – $750,000
  • Museum of Science and Industry, parking garage exhaust fan system replacement – $200,000
  • National Museum for Mexican Art, Project Green Room: Setting the Stage for World Class Performing Arts – $750,000
  • Park Ridge PD, Wildwood Nature Center, Forestview renovation – $750,000
  • Schaumburg PD, Spring Valley Nature Center-Heritage Farm – $700,000

DuPage County

  • DuPage Children’s Museum, “Questioners: Think. Question. Read. Play!” exhibit – $302,700
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Mayslake Peabody Estate – $750,000
  • Elmhurst Art Museum, roofing and HVAC renewal – $750,000
  • City of Elmhurst, community performance venue – $698,500
  • Itasca Park District, Springbrook Nature Center improvements – $375,000
  • Naperville Heritage Society, Naper Settlement Digital Experience Welcome Zone – $749,700
  • Wheaton Park District, DuPage County Historical Museum – $750,000

Kane County

  • Dundee Township Park District, Randall Oaks Zoo Small Animal Building – $750,000
  • Elgin Area Historical Society, Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House project – $64,200
  • St. Charles Park District, Primrose Farm Agricultural Lab – $750,000

Lake County

  • Lake County Forest Preserve District, Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County, HVAC system modifications – $161,100

Lake/Cook counties

  • Buffalo Grove Park District, The Raupp Museum, educational gardens – $226,500

McHenry County

  • Crystal Lake Park District, Nature Center – $363,000
  • McLean County City of Bloomington, Katthoefer Animal Building small exhibits, basement renovation – $750,000

Rock Island County

  • Rock Island County Forest Preserve District, Niabi Zoo Prairie Dog Exhibit – $436,100
  • City of Rock Island, Quad City Botanical Center Children’s Garden Phase III – $750,000

Sangamon County

  • Springfield and Central Illinois African History Museum (City of Springfield), African American History Museum expansion – $662,545
  • City of Springfield, Kidzeum STEAM Center – $355,400

Winnebago County

  • Rockford Art Museum, D/E Riverfront Museum Park HVAC replacement project – $301,000
  • Rockford Park District, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum – $104,000
  • Discovery Center Museum of Rockford, capital improvement project – $433,200


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