Status Update: National Hellenic Museum

National Hellenic Museum

As Greektown slowly turns from interesting cultural enclave into boring semi-suburbia, much that is Greek has been lost.  But there is a major effort underway to preserve both the area’s flavor, and heritage.

It’s the National Hellenic Museum, now under construction at 333 South Halsted Street.  As the organization’s web site puts it:

“The new National hellenic Museum will bring the story of the contributions of Greece and Greek America to life ensuring that visitors who come to experience the journey will leave with an understanding of the civilization that has so profoundly shaped who we are, how we live, and where we are going.”

So far, the museum looks less Ionian than it does Ikea.  But there’s still a couple of months of construction to go, and hopefully it will become more uniquely Greek in time.  The museum’s opening is scheduled for November 4, 2011.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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1 Comment

  1. I stumbled across this under-publicized museum while changing buses a couple of months ago, and was struck by the fact that they had (wisely or not) resisted any overt allusions to classical architecture (though the exhibits do include a model Greek temple). Photo of the completed building here:

    (That little peristyle in the foreground, at the southeast corner of Harrison and Halsted, is not part of the museum. Whatever its purpose–probably a monument–it serves quite nicely as Chicago’s most elegant bus shelter.)

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