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Historic Adventures: A Day at the Pier

Beautiful stained glass!

Beautiful stained glass!

Visit the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows on Navy Pier!

Come join the Des Plaines History Center’s Historic Adventures outing to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows on Chicago’s Navy Pier Saturday, June 7. Participants will meet at the History Center, 781 Pearson Street, Des Plaines, at 8:15 a.m. and walk to the Des Plaines Metra Station. Once downtown, the group will ride the water taxi to Navy Pier.

The museum houses 150 stunning stained glass windows that provide unique insight into Chicago’s cultural, ethnic, and artistic history. The time period they represent, 1870 to the present, was an era of intense urban revision that featured the development, decline, and revitalization of neighborhoods, the development of commercial and cultural institutions, and the evolution of artistic styles.

The religious windows reveal the national and ethnic styles of Chicago’s European immigrants, while the residential windows exhibit the history of architecture and decorative art styles. Well-known artists’ windows on display include Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge as well as Chicago artists Ed Paschke and Roger Brown. The museum also presents unique contemporary pieces that include stained glass portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Michael Jordan.

Fees for this Historic Adventure are $10 for Des Plaines History Center members and non-members. Youth, ages 16 and younger, are free. This fee is a donation toward the History Center administration expenses. Participants will pay for their own transportation, meals, and any additional activities.

Historic Adventures volunteer coordinators Janet Thompson and William Grice, III, will lead this excursion. After viewing the stained glass windows, participants will be free to explore Navy Pier or other Chicago attractions on their own. Some may want to go on a Classic Lake Tour that highlights Chicago’s breathtaking skyline and famous landmarks on a 40-minute Lake Michigan cruise. Those with children might want to visit some of the many family attractions, while others might want to visit the shops or ride the Ferris wheel. Participants will return home on their own or are welcome to join Thompson and Grice on the Metra train.

Pre-registration and advanced payment are required. To register or for additional information, please call the History Center at 847-391-5399.

The History Center gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Des Plaines, the Des Plaines Park District, its members, and other contributors.