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Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

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Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

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Basic Information

Location 9603 Woods Drive Skokie, IL 60077
Phone number 847.967.4800
Country United States
City Skokie

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.ilholocaustmuseum.org/
Geographical Coordinates 42.05643,-87.76119



Summary

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, located in Skokie, Illinois, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. The Museum fulfills its mission through the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of its collections and through education programs and initiatives that foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide.


History and time period

The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, which runs the museum, began as small storefront operation along Main Street in 1981. The foundation and small museum were established as a response to a Neo-Nazi group's attempt to march through Skokie, in which many Holocaust survivors live. The new museum building opened to the public on April 19, 2009, in the attendance of keynote speaker Bill Clinton and special guest Elie Wiesel. President Barack Obama spoke through a recorded video message, as did Shimon Peres, president of Israel. Security arrangements at the museum were tightened after the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting on June 10, 2009.


Architecture

The building was designed by Stanley Tigerman. The Interior and Exhibition was co-designed by Yitzchak Mais, a former director of Yad Vashem. The Holocaust expedition occupies the first floor, beside the auditorium, the main entrance hall, the information and membership desks, the coatroom, the gift shop, and library. The upper floor contains the remembrance areas, the art gallery, the upper part of the auditorium, and offices. The basement contains classrooms, exhibition for children, an exhibition on the building’s history, and a conference area. The building’s main front is divided into two halves. The black half includes the entrance doors and the white half includes the exit doors. Between the two halves of the main front, there are objects that resemble torches. The main front is located in a narrow alley with a small parking lot on its northeast side. A wooded slope separates the museum from the highway I-94. As a result, one cannot view the entire front from any place.

Location and Access

The museum is located in the northwest corner of Skokie, west of the Edens Expressway (I-94). The nearest exit is Old Orchard Road. To the east of the museum is also an abandoned railroad right of way. This right of way is considered for a new CTA Yellow Line extension, with a new terminal station in the proximity of the museum. The museum is already accessible through several bus lines nearby: CTA lines 205 and 54A, and Pace lines 208 and 422.

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