The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is the largest and most sophisticated center in the Midwest dedicated to teaching the universal lessons of the Holocaust. Architect Stanley Tigerman created a 65,000 square-foot three-part building, dedicated to Holocaust survivors. Visitors enter the dark side, where dark walls and sharp angles represent “the descent into darkness.” The permanent exhibition begins in the dark side.
The “hinge” of the building is an awe-inspiring Book of Remembrance, and is the memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust. The “cleave” formed by the hinge between dark and light, houses an authentic early 20th century German rail car that serves as the museum’s anchor artifact.
The third part of the building “ascends into the light.” The soft rounded edges and rooflines filled with natural light emphasize exhibits that represent the rescue and renewal of survivors of the Holocaust.
Other building highlights include:
- Inspiring Pritzker Hall of Reflection for contemplation and reflection
- 200-seat Goodman Auditorium for multiple uses
- Brill Resource Center, including Miller Interactive Library and Lachman Library Collection
- Classrooms with movable walls to accommodate large and small groups
- Advanced climate control and archiving system for preserving and cataloging artifacts
- Café and lunchroom space for individuals and groups
- Museum Hall for meetings and programs
- Special exhibition space for temporary and traveling exhibits