The Guild is pleased to announce its newest pledge: “All Aboard” $200,000 over the next two years to restore L Car No. 1. In 1892, the first elevated (“L”) train was put into service and by 1893, riders were being transported from the Loop to Jackson Park to experience the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Today, the original L car, on long-term loan from the CTA, resides at the entrance of the Museum’s Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibition. Since its installation in 2006, tens of thousands of visitors have hopped on board to enjoy this iconic piece of Chicago history.
We’ve heard some inspirational stories of school kids examining the car’s mechanisms, adult tour groups singing aboard the train, and even a case of writer’s block being cured by visiting the L car. This historic artifact is one of the Museum’s most popular features, so it is not surprising that it has suffered wear and tear throughout the years. Currently, access to the car is closed off to prevent further degradation.
With your support, we will be able to remediate damage that has occurred to the car and help restore it to its original beauty. Our goal is to reopen the car to visitors in time for the 130th anniversary of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 2023.
Levels of Support
Up to $250
$1,000–$2,499 | Includes permanent recognition outside the L car
$2,500 | Includes recognition and a special thank-you gift
$5,000+ | Includes recognition, thank-you gift, and lunch with CHM President and CEO Donald Lassere
*Supporters of $1,000 or more will receive recognition and benefits above. This includes one-time gifts of $1,000+ or pledges of $1,000+ paid over two years. Recognition is based on cumulative giving between now and June 30, 2024.
The Chicago Historical Society was established in 1856, nineteen years after Chicago was incorporated, and is Chicago’s oldest cultural institution. Nearly 100 years later, in 1948, the women’s auxiliary group now known as The Guild of the Chicago History Museum was founded to further public interest in the Chicago Historical Society and to encourage and promote the activities of the Society.
Today we are a dynamic group of 200 women providing advocacy for the Museum’s mission to serve as the primary destination for learning, inspiration, and civic engagement, connecting people to Chicago’s history and each other. This advocacy is reflected in The Guild’s mission to support the Museum’s goals and objectives through education, service, and fundraising.
Donating over $2.5 million in the last 40 years, the Guild has supported major initiatives like the Museum modernization project, the Guild Gallery’s Fifth Star Challenge and floor map of the city, and Chicago Metro History Day, a program that empowers students to become historians. Most recently, the Guild supported the Rain Garden of the Richard M. and Shirley H. Jaffee History Trail with a gift of $250,000.
Thank you for supporting our mission through your generosity!