|Under the South Portico of the Musem of Science and Industry
where one usually doesn’t get to hang out.
A reader’s comment on my post about Chicago Art Deco at the Powhatan on how fun it is to peek behind the scenes reminded me that I still have pictures to share from Member Open House at the Museum of Science and Industry in July. We live a few blocks from the museum, in fact our kids consider it part of their back yard, meaning they’d know their way around it blindfolded, so getting to see otherwise unseen parts of the museum is especially enticing to us.
The MSI holds this event every summer. This was the second time we could attend. The evening is short, and so we focused on exploring only one of the many parts of the museum that are usually not open. This year we decided to go see the corporate offices, and find out where they do all the work of planning exhibits, raising funds, marketing their efforts, and just generally keeping that venerable institution running. Where, we wondered, were those offices hidden? There is no obvious office annex or wing. Turns out the offices are aligned along this infinite hallway that winds itself along the outline of the museum, one story up from the official second floor. It was fun to discover the “secret” elevator and stairway that provide access.
In some instances it is also a rather cramped place to work. After all, the building dates back to 1893 and offices were not exactly planned for. And I wonder whether the stone grilles in front of the windows are endearing when you look at them every day, or if they make you feel as if you were in a prison.