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Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Fast Facts

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Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Fast Facts

The Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum entrance is located on the river walk.

© Jennifer Roche

Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Overview:

This unique museum, tucked in a working bridgehouse on the Chicago River, opened in 2006 thanks to a collaborative vision between the city and the Friends of the Chicago River.

It's a great spot for witnessing the gears of one of Chicago's most notable bridges in action, for getting unequaled views of the river and Michigan Avenue, and for learning a bit more about the city's bridge history.

According to the museum, the Michigan Avenue bridge is the first double-deck, double-leaf trunnion bascule bridge ever built.

Take a Photo Tour of the Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Location and Address:

The Bridgehouse Museum is located at Michigan and Wacker, in the southwest bridge tower. You need to go down the stairs located at the southwest corner of Michigan and Wacker to the river walk level in order to enter the museum.

The McCormick-Tribune Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
375 N. Michigan
Chicago, IL
(312)977-0227
E-mail: info@bridgehousemuseum.org
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Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Hours:

The Bridgehouse Museum only operates during warmer weather months. It next opens on May 15, 2009 and its season runs through October 31, 2009.

Bridgehouse Hours: Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The museum is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Admission:

The admission price is $3. It is free for children under the age of 5.

Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - A Note About Accessibility:

PLEASE NOTE: If you have physical disabilities or require a stroller for your kids, be sure you consider the accessibility before you visit. The museum spreads across five small stories and it's loaded with stairs. In fact, I'd say its the least accessible place I've ever seen in Chicago. The senior citizen I went with could not see the entire museum due to the challenge of the stairs.


That said, the first floor and the gear room are wheelchair accessible. They also offer computer stations on the first floor to view some of the exhibits. The museum notes that the ramp from Wacker Drive to the river walk below is particularly steep. They encourage you to call (312) 977-0227 if you need further information or wish to discuss the accessibility issues in greater depth.

Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum - Additional Info:

  • You can arrange to watch a Michigan Avenue bridge lift from the museum by calling (312) 939-0490, ext. 23. The fee is $10. The bridge lifts occur about 100 times a season in order to let tall sail boats and other vessels through. Please note: The timing of the bridge lifts is far from clockwork. They often run late or not at all. On the day we bought tickets for a bridge lift, it never materialized. This is out of the hands of the museum.
  • The Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum is run by the Friends of the Chicago River.
  • Visit the Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum official website.
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