Visit the world of gemstones, art, architecture, and history – at DuPage’s very own museum campus. With 3 museums located in close proximity to one another in the City of Elmhurst, a new discovery is as easy as a walk in the park.
Your day’s journey starts amidst Wilder Park’s beautiful 17 acres. As the cultural hub for the city, visitors are welcome to enjoy a walk through its gardens or partake in one of many events hosted in the park. Anchoring the park on the west side, you’ll find Wilder Mansion – an estate that once was home to prominent Elmhurst families, now serving the needs of those looking for an elegant space to entertain, host a wedding, family event, corporate meeting or other private function. Wilder Mansion is impressive upon approach, adorned by gardens, a fountain, picturesque brick walkway, and the mansion’s stately colonial columned portico. The Elmhurst Park District ensured the preservation of the mansion and its historic architectural features, carefully restoring it to its original 1860s character.
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
Your walk takes you to the southern end of the park where you’ll find Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art. Lizzadro is the only museum in the nation that specializes entirely in stone and lapidary art – surely a unique experience, and only to be had in DuPage. Lapidary is the art of cutting and polishing stone. The museum features more than 200 pieces of jade and other hardstone carvings from around the world. View a screen and altar set from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) originally housed in the imperial palaces of China. Have you ever touched a meteorite? You can at Lizzadro!
Lizzadro Museum is a member of the Smithsonian Affiliate program, which extends the reach of the Smithsonian Institute’s collections in Washington D.C. by bringing exhibits to local communities for enjoyment. This past spring, visitors to Lizzadro were able to view pieces from American jewelry designers and other spectacular pieces from the gem vault of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Be sure to check Lizzadro’s calendar for special exhibits. On display through September 16, 2018 is Cameos & Chakras, which explores meditation through 2 exhibits: Italian shell cameos of Christian themes depict the Stations of the Cross and Saints; and Chakra Stones developed from ancient Indian influences and correspond to one’s positive awareness.
Elmhurst Art Museum
Continue your stroll to the northern end of the park to explore the Elmhurst Art Museum (EAM), founded with the belief that people from all walks of life and professions can learn how to see and think differently through the study of art, architecture and design of our time. Considered an international destination for scholars and fans of Mies van der Rohe, one of the great architects of the 20th Century, EAM features Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House. McCormick House is one of only three residences designed and built by Mies in the United States – and one of only two open to the public.
Summer of 2018, EAM will unveil the highly anticipated restoration of the original facade of the McCormick House. The iconic carport entrance of this historically significant building will be visible for the first time in more than 20 years. This unveiling marks a major transformation of the house, and one part of a multi-phase restoration plan. To serve as an introduction for a broad audience, the museum will stage Mies’s McCormick House Revealed: New Views, a complementary three-part exhibition curated by renowned Columbia University Professor of Art History and Archeology Barry Bergdoll.
In addition to being an architectural landmark, EAM offers exhibitions, year-round courses, workshops, public programs and special events.
Elmhurst History Museum
While that concludes your walk through Wilder Park, your journey is not yet at its end, a mere few blocks away is the Elmhurst History Museum. Built in 1893 for Elmhurst’s first village president and his wife, Glos Mansion is now home to this award-winning regional museum. With a mission to engage people with history through thoughtful collection, enlightening exhibits, and diverse educational experiences, there is something for everyone throughout the year.
Elmhurst History Museum is a source of pride for residents and beyond – noted in the Chicago Tribune as having one of the 40 finds you won’t want to miss at Chicago’s local museums for its interactive, ongoing exhibit, By All Accounts: The Story of Elmhurst. The museum is also known for its engaging, eclectic exhibits. Past exhibits have run the gamut from Beer Chicago: The Refreshing History; to Snoopy and the Red Baron, a traveling exhibition from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California; to On the Road to Glory, the story of NASCAR legend and Elmhurst native Fred Lorenzen.
EXPLORE ELMHURST TROLLEY
Hop on the free Explore Elmhurst Express Trolley, running Fridays and Saturdays from June 1st through September 15th. Click here for route details and to track the trolley’s location.
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