National Hellenic Museum

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In Dec. 2011, the museum opened this new facility after moving from Adams and Halsted Streets. Housing more than 17,000 artifacts that span thousands of years, the museum bills itself as the only major institution of its type in the U.S. dedicated to Greek history, culture and art. The story of Greeks in America, and particularly in Chicago, is told through crafts, photos, musical instruments and artifacts--some from the old country, some even from the confectioneries and restaurants that were so important to the immigrant experience. The Hellenic Museum typifies many ethnic museums in that it is built on the personal memories of families from the Greek community in Chicago. Past exhibits have focused on the importation of Greek folk music to the United States--in old cafes, in early 20th century recordings and through a few latter-day recording stars. These are aspects of Chicago and American history that might be lost except for a museum like this one.