After ten years of planning, Skokie's Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center opens its doors this week. Get a glimpse of what's inside.
When a group of neo-Nazis planned to march in heavily Jewish Skokie in the 1970s, neighborhood residents realized the Holocaust was not a distant memory. A group of Holocaust survivors banded together to create an educational group, the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois. After ten years of planning, the foundation opens a 65,000-square-foot museum and education center Sunday 19. Celebrated local architect Stanley Tigerman designed the building. We breakdown the symbolism.
The museum’s most dominant display space is a 10,000-square-foot permanent exhibit starting before the war—at the dark side—and ending on the light side. But, the museum warns, it’s very loose symbolism—recent accounts of genocide exist inside the light structure.
The edifice is divided into two buildings, darker and lighter. Outside, dark gray aluminum and white aluminum differentiate the two buildings.
Tigerman studied biblical architecture and applied that symbolism throughout the building, often sizing architectural details with the cubit, an ancient Jewish measurement equaling about 45 centimeters.
Two large columns outside the entryway resemble those that might’ve stood in front of Solomon’s temple, as outlined in the Old Testament.
A partial split in the middle of the building symbolizes that the Holocaust ruptured the international Jewish community but did not sever it.
Three additional viewing spaces include a kid-oriented exhibit, the Legacy of Absence Art Gallery and a special-exhibit space that will rotate three to five times per year.
9603 Woods Dr, Skokie (847-967-4800, ilholocaustmuseum.org). After Mon 19, Tue–Wed, Fri, 10am–5pm; Thu 10am–8pm; Sat, Sun 11am–4pm. $8, seniors and students $6, kids ages 5–11 $5.