Fall Chicago River Bridgelift Schedule Set: See How They Work From Inside Our Museum

Inside the gear room of the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum.

The schedule is set for fall bridge lift viewings from inside the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum's gear room and we are now accepting reservations! 

The available dates and times are as follows:

Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 5th, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, October 12th, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 26th, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Saturday, November 2nd, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Reservations are required. Please call the museum front desk at (312) 977-0227 with the date and the number of people in your party or email jcoles@chicagoriver.org. Our capacity for each event is 35 people. The Bridge Lift Viewing is $15 per person and includes access to the Bridgehouse Museum and an interpretation of the bridge lift by our staff as it is happening.

These viewings at the museum, located inside the southwest bridge tower on the DuSable Bridge at Michigan Avenue, provide you the unique opportunity to watch the lift from inside the bridge with the gears and counterweight on display. The view from the gear room offers an unusual perspective of this uniquely Chicago event.

With a Beaux Arts design by Thomas Pihlfeldt, Hugh Young, and Edward Bennett, the bridge was created to resemble the Alexander III Bridge over the Seine in Paris. It was dedicated in 1920 and cost $14 million. A Trunnion bascule bridge, it features counterweights that balance the bridge’s leaves. This engineering feat allows small motors no bigger than Volkswagen engines to open and close the bridge.

The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum was launched by Friends of the Chicago River in 2006 to provide new access and understanding of the dynamic relationship between Chicago and its river. With five floors of displays detailing the renaissance of the river, the museum recently welcomed its 250,000th visitor.

BTW, museum director Josh Coles recently showed the crew around from S.E.E. Chicago, which airs on WGN-TV and CLTV. "I like how the story of the river unfolds as we go through every floor," said host Dawn Jackson Blatner. 

Take a look at the report here.