Chicago is renowned for its beautiful lakefront, vibrant Loop, stunning architecture, legendary sports teams, fabulous shopping and fine dining. Even more important, however, is its rich history, ethnic diversity and cultural heritage.
Chicago’s museums are a great manifestation of this legacy. The city has dozens of museums, and they contribute greatly to its quality of life by opening the horizons of residents and visitors alike. Some of these museums are devoted to art, technology or animals. Others pay tribute to the various ethnic groups that have built this great City — from the initial immigrant groups (such as the Irish, Swedes, Poles and African Americans) to the relatively newer groups (including Mexicans and Koreans).
Many of these great museums are supported by a long list of generous philanthropists who embody the City’s spirit of “I Will” by giving back to the community. Such is the case with The Field Museum whose namesake is Marshall Field, a 19th-century retailing giant.
The Field Museum is dedicated to exploring the Earth and its people. It offers world-class exhibitions such as recent ones highlighting Pompeii and Machu Pichu. Of course, The Field Museum is also the home of Sue, the largest, best preserved, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.
In addition, The Field Museum houses a huge collection of natural and manmade treasures — 23 million anthropological, botanical, geological, and zoological objects and specimens from around the world. Scientists from all over the world, including more than 200 who work at the Museum, use these artifacts to study everything from the history of the Solar System to the intricate workings of an insect’s jaw to the DNA of extinct animals.
The Field Museum is located on the Museum Campus, a vast open space near the loop along the lakefront that includes The Adler Planetarium and The Shedd Aquarium. All of Chicago’s museums contribute to the city’s cosmopolitan nature.
But Chicago is an affordable, comfortable, approachable “city of neighborhoods,” too. With a gridlike street layout, the city has an unpretentious democratic feel. Its varied educational options attract families. And its unique elevated rail lines provide the backbone of an extensive public transportation system that serves most corners of the city 24/7.
Currently, Chicago is experiencing a renaissance that is the envy of every formerly industrial city in the country. In place of factory and trans-shipment jobs, the city has increased the number of professional and service-sector jobs it offers. In the past few years, the city and its wealth of parks has been enhanced with flowers, trees, banners, statues and signage designating neighborhood and ethnic districts. Meanwhile, housing continues to appreciate at a remarkable rate as more people want to live in the city.
Downtown living has sparked a residential construction boom in the city center. That’s no wonder given the strong interest in historic and architectural preservation, rebirth of the Theatre District, and creation of Millennium Park.
Chicago is a global city — an inviting tourist destination, an energetic business community and an engaging educational and cultural center. It is truly an exciting place to visit, a dynamic place to work and an attractive place to live.
John W. McCarter, Jr. President and CEO The Field Museum