Friends of the Chicago River, DBA McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

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In a Nutshell

Wander between the riverwalk and witness the gears move and bridge rise to the sky from inside the historic five-story landmark bridgehouse

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Oct 31, 2015. Amount paid never expires. Reservation required. Limit 2 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. Valid on select Wednesdays and Saturdays through October 31. Check schedule in advance. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Choose from Six Options

  • $6 for a fall bridge lift admission for one ($10 value)
  • $10 for a fall bridge lift admission for two ($20 value)
  • $19 for a fall bridge lift admission for four ($40 value)
  • $13 for a bridge lift breakfast admission for one ($25 value)
  • $25 for a bridge lift breakfast admission for two ($50 value)
  • $49 for a bridge lift breakfast admission for four ($100 value)

Breakfasts include bagels and pastries, fruit, coffee, and juice from Corner Bakery. See the upcoming dates.

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

Around 100 times during the spring and fall each year, the Michigan Avenue Bridge—or DuSable Bridge—rises to meet the sky. Since 1920, the Beaux-Arts style behemoth has spanned the Chicago River, completing Daniel Burnham’s vision of a connection between the north and south sides. Its inner workings, massive gears, and five-story bridgehouse remained empty for more than 40 years after the 1960s, until leased by Friends of the Chicago River. Now, the top of the tower down to the river teems with tour groups and exhibits exploring the history of the Chicago watershed and the 156-mile river’s branches and channels.

On bridgehouse tours, guides showcase workings of the bridge’s gears, hinges, and lower levels, and lead participants up the five-story stone tower to take in panoramic views of downtown. At river level, visitors peruse exhibits detailing the bridge’s workings, from how its double-leafed drawbridge balances with counterweights and motors to how it knows when an incoming ship is actually 10,000 seagulls in disguise. Exhibits also explore the river’s transformations over the centuries, showing how a waterway once used by Native Americans and French explorers still gives refuge to great blue herons, beavers, and fish as well as tourist boats and kayaks.

Customer Reviews

Awesome tour re:the history of Chicago bridge, how it works, and the present day river and bridge
Donna P. · September 30, 2015
Great tour!
Steve P. · November 26, 2016
There's plenty you can take advantage of on the tour, depending on your interests and talents: information about engineering, ecology, history, plenty of nice views for photography. My guide was passionate and dedicated to connecting with the visitors. It was great for me to get a longer-than-anticipated tour, as I was in no rush to leave and we agreed to fit in quite a bit of walking and listening.
Jared K. · September 4, 2016

By purchasing this deal you'll unlock points which can be spent on discounts and rewards. Every 5,000 points can be redeemed for $5 Off your next purchase.