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Smart Home – Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)

My parents came out for a short visit and we took them to the Museum of Science & Industry to see the Smart Home Exhibit. The tour is not included with general admission and requires a timed ticket. We enjoyed the tour very much. Our tour guide was friendly and outgoing. The house is beautiful inside and out. Unfortunately, interior photography is not allowed. You can view the designer’s blog (Michelle Kaufmann) to see more interior photos.

Smart Home - Front

The tour takes you through all three levels of the house. You exit the tour by coming down the staircase on the side of the home.

Smart Home - Side

This is a view of the house towards the back, where you can see the patio leading to the two-car garage. They had some vegetable plants growing in Earth Boxes, which I haven’t had a chance to see in person before. For the DIYers, here’s a link to making your own self-watering containers. The pavers on the ground were interesting as they allow for drainage. I believe the pavers are the Eco-Optiloc by Unilock. There were also several different styles of rain barrels on the property. On one of the decks upstairs, they had a sun oven on display too. The booklet they give you before you tour the home has instructions for creating your own solar oven.

Smart Home - Back/Garage

In addition to a rain garden surrounding the immediate area outside of the home, there was also a vegetable and flower garden on the grounds. We had a chance to speak to a Master Gardener (part of the University of Illinois Extension program) about the gardens. I asked what they are doing with the vegetables grown and he said they are donating them to a food bank in Hyde Park. How nice! I even found a blog for the Smart Home Vegetable Garden. Here’s a pic of the Swiss Chard in their garden:

Smart Home - Garden

If you are interested in modern architecture or eco-friendly living, then I highly recommend this tour. The museum itself was ok. There was plenty of parking in the underground garage (it costs $14 to park). I don’t think we would go back again unless there was another special exhibit we wanted to see. I’ll have other pictures from the museum in a future post.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Randi August 3, 2008, 7:45 pm

    Parking seems so expensive in Chicago. I’m coming next weekend and I’m glad I’m not driving( I’m taking the train from Port Huron). It cost 50.00 a day to park at the Hyatt.

  • Judy August 8, 2008, 6:09 am

    What a cool house. I have seen a few buildings in my area that look similar to this, and I’ve often wondered what the deal was. I’d love to see the inside, I bet it’s such an interesting space.

  • selina August 27, 2008, 8:57 pm

    hey!! we are going there on saturday! i really want to see that house plus were gonna see the glass blowing exhibit & the dinosaurs in the imax thing (call me a nerd but dinosaurs intrigue me).

    were taking the south shore over from south bend IN & i think were gonna hop on the bus & subway & go on over to chicagoo diner.

    thanks for the post!