Musings of a Museum Fanatic: National Hellenic Museum

2.12.2014

National Hellenic Museum

Way back when in November Stephanie and I braved the wacky Chicago weather to celebrate her birthday/Christmas.  I decided being the awesome friend that I am that I was not going to give her something that would clutter up her apartment and that it was going to be something that she can cross off her 101 list.  Two birds with one stone right?  I know I'm an awesome friend.
I surprised her with lunch in Greektown and then a visit to the National Hellenic Museum.  Little known fact I was actually an intern at the National Hellenic Museum back when it was at it's original location (Adams & Halsted) before they built the very very nice new building and moved a couple blocks south (333 South Halsted Street, Chicago IL). Let me tell you it is really nice! 

Their current exhibits include two permanent American Moments: The Legacy of Greek Immigration and The Story of Greek Independence. These both give great looks at Greece the country and how Greeks have affected life in America (specifically Chicago and the Midwest) during the late part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. In addition to those staple exhibitions there are temporary ones that appear several times a year, the most recent and one that was up when we visited was The Holocaust in Greece. It's always sobering to see how something as big as the Holocaust affected so many more countries and peoples than just those immediately in Germany. Along with that was the Spirit of the Marathon, it made both of us feel very lazy but was really interesting to learn the really really long history of the race.


The National Hellenic Museum is so much more than just what's going on in the exhibit space too. Throughout the year they have multiple events that showcase Greek culture and food, language classes, and so much more! One aspect of the museum that not many people know about is their Frank S. Kamberos Oral History Center. There are probably hundreds of Persons of Greek descent, the spouses, or relatives of Greek persons who have given oral histories, photographs, other documents and objects as part of this on-going project. 





Visiting:

The National Hellenic Museum is super easy to get to. Being just west of the Loop in Greektown you could walk from both major train stations or take a bus a couple of blocks. 

The price is great too. $10 for adults and like most Chicago museums there are ways to get a discount too. 

In addition to the price and the transportation being perfect the location is right by the most amazing Greek restaurants! You can't go wrong with the Greek Islands or the Parthenon.  We enjoyed the Parthenon for our lunch that day.  

Don't forget to check out the amazing view from the rooftop terrace!!

  
  

3 comments

  1. I didn't even know this existed! I can't wait to visit Chicago. Thanks! :)

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  2. I definitely need to take advantage and visit! Hopefully I can make it sometime this summer :)

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  3. That was a fun one, we had the whole place to ourselves! Like it was rented out just for my birthday!

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