About The Museum

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The landmark five-story bridgehouse is alive with stories of the past, details of the bridge and vivid stories about the many people inspired by the potential of the Chicago River.

Friends of the Chicago River opened the seasonal McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum in 2006 to provide new access and understanding of the dynamic relationship between Chicago and its river. Today, the Bridgehouse Museum stands as the cultural anchor of the new Chicago Riverwalk and welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every summer.

Exhibits celebrate Chicago's river and world-famous movable bridges, and visitors learn why it is important to protect the river and how to participate in its renaissance. 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 moving gears as they lift the massive Michigan Avenue bridge leaf, allowing boat traffic to pass through the heart of Chicago – a spectacular, deeply authentic Chicago event.