Soon Chicagoans and tourists will be able to visit six museums, all in the same day, and without having to worry about parking.
A free shuttle, sponsored by Chicago Choose, a non-profit that encourages tourism, will take patrons to some of the South Side’s top museums. The DuSable Museum of African American History, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Oriental Institute Museum, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and the Smart Museum of Art have joined together and want to be called Museum Campus South. The seventh museum is the Renaissance Society, but it will be closed for installation during August. The pilot program received a $30,000 grant. The shutles will run every weekend in August. On Fridays and Saturdays the shuttle will take people to each location between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Sundays the time is from noon until 4 p.m. Riders have the option of getting off at any stop and they will never wait more than half an hour. They can get on the shuttle outside of any of the above museums.
“I think Museum Campus South is going to expose a much larger public to the cultural treasures that exist on the South Side of Chicago,” Carol L. Adams, president of the DuSable Museum said.
By connecting these institutions, which are spread through Hyde Park, Washington Park and Woodlawn, Museum Campus South is supporting the city’s Cultural Plan. Its goals are to unite neighborhoods and help people participate in culture.
The DuSable’s director of development, Jackie Williams, said that even though it’s a pilot, they have other ideas to make it permanent. Some possibilities are only offering the shuttle during the summer months or on holidays, Williams said.
“There are plenty of options for us to think about, but we’re going to go forth thinking this is a way to grow our audiences and bring in a diverse audience for all of these museums,” she said.
Go Airport Express will also take visitors to Museum Campus South from their downtown hotels, making sightseeing even more convenient.
“This shuttle will provide a fun, convenient and innovative new way for visitors to spend a day discovering the attractions located in and near the beautiful and historic Hyde Park neighborhood,” Adams said.
Choose Chicago is the sponsor. Partners include South East Chicago Commission, the Arts Incubator and the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement.