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Worth my time

Stopped by this museum today for a view and learned a bit along with some good history. Glad we... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
SonomaRichard
,
Sonoma, California
Gem of a museum

My sister and I discovered this museum as we were walking along the river. The building is small... read more

Reviewed 15 September 2018
Claudette C
via mobile
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All reviews bridge lift michigan ave inner workings bridge house self guided gear room hidden in plain sight spring and fall unique view open house behind the scenes gears drawbridge history information pollution importance
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Stopped by this museum today for a view and learned a bit along with some good history. Glad we went and recommend a part of your Chicago Riverwalk.

Thank SonomaRichard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2018 via mobile

My sister and I discovered this museum as we were walking along the river. The building is small but tells a great story about the bridges and waterways in Chicago. You can even go to see the inner workings of the draw bridge. We both really enjoyed this museum.

Thank Claudette C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2018

A Chicago landmark how can you not go? History, architecture and nostaligia all in one location. See is believing with this one as we have seen it in tv and movies.

Thank Robert E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2018

When was the last time you waited in traffic for the Michigan Avenue bridge to close? When was the last time it lifted? Did you know that the Michigan Avenue Bridge, renamed the Du Sable Bridge in 2010, is the first double deck, double leaf, fixed trunnion bascule bridge ever built? Did you know the balance of the 4,100-ton bridge and the 12,000-ton counterweight of the bridge is so precise, it only takes a 108-horsepower motor to open and close each leaf? Visitors to the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum at 99 Chicago Riverwalk can learn the history of the Chicago River and the city's moveable bridges and their significance to the city. It is the cultural anchor of the new Chicago Riverwalk, which extends six blocks from State Street west to Lake Street. Beginning at river level and spiraling five stories up, it provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore a historic landmark bridgehouse. At river level, view the massive gears of Chicago's most famous moveable bridge and journey through time to experience the story of the 156-mile Chicago River, which includes three branches that spread through the northern suburbs. On bridge lift days every spring and fall, the museum's gear room truly comes to life, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the many gears as they lift the massive Michigan Avenue bridge leaf, allowing boat traffic to pass through the heart of Chicago. In the 1920s, the bridge would lift more than 3,000 times a year. Today, it lifts about 40 times a year. Conceived by architect Daniel Burnham and designed by Edward Bennett, it was opened in 1920. The south end neighbors the original Fort Dearborn site. The north end abuts the homesite of Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, the first permanent resident of Chicago. Visitors to Chicago should start at the Cultural Center, then walk north to the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum to get a panoramic view of the city's past, present and future.

Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2018

Great little find. We bought tickets in the UK via Groupon, though pick the day the museum is open for free if you can - as other museums are so expensive (poor Americans, come to London they are free).

Very informative, and you turn up, spend 30 minutes then on your way. Great photos chances too.

Thank highams5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2018 via mobile

This museum is inside the control house for a working drawbridge. Dozens of times each year, this bridge is lifted to allow tall sailboats to pass to and from Lake Michigan. In the museum, you can see the actual mechanism of gears and counterweight which allow the bridge to move using just a small electric motor. The museum describes the mechanics and displays information about the history and significance of Chicago's bridges and the river. The tour is self guided through the five story bridge tower. Spaces are small and there are a lot of stairs involved. The tour is available only during the summer and only on certain days.

Thank 646lorit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2018 via mobile

See the inner workings of the bridge. It's free on Sundays, just leave a donation. Some stairs will need to be climbed to go through the museum as you go up the tower. A nice history of the water way is also presented. Check it out while you walk the River Walk.

Thank Mortaric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2018

This unique little museum covers a lot for a small space, including how the bridge works, nature conservation efforts of the river, and newspapers featuring the river throughout the city's history. Can get a little crowded since the space is limited, but definitely worth a visit for such a low admission price. Also a great photo spot if you want pictures of the Michigan Ave bridge. Such a unique micro-history. Definitely worth a visit!

1  Thank jkrukowski14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2018 via mobile

Stopped in while walking the river walk right on Michigan Ave. well worth the $6 admission! Staff is knowledgeable and helpful and the self paced tour of the 5 story bridge house was great and lead to some great views at the top!

Thank samfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2018 via mobile

Just went there today with trip advisor showing it's open....but door is locked!! Sign in door showing it's the museum, but no hours posted. Local guy sed it it's not open til May....update the listing please, Trip Unadvisor!

1  Thank larncec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Josh C, Manager at The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2018

Hi Iarncec - We are sorry that the TripAdvisor hours were not current at the time of your visit. We are a very small museum and have a limited staff to keep an eye on these things. We do assure you that our main entrance along the Riverwalk lists very clearly that we are open seasonally from May to October on Thursdays - Mondays. Perhaps you went to our "back door" on Michigan Avenue which is not used as an entrance.

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