It was December of 1923 when Chicago learned that it would be getting an aquarium. A rumor leaked that John G. Shedd was going to donate two million dollars for that purpose, and John was known as a pretty generous guy. He’d contributed six figures to the Young Men’s Christian Association, gave $50,000 to the Smith college development fund, and was an early and consistent supporter of the arts, not to mention his work helping to bring the Plan of Chicago to life. The papers called the aquarium an early Christmas gift, and in January the Chicago Tribune published a preliminary drawing of the new museum. It would sit just east of the Field Museum of Natural History. It was a perfect location, not only because it was right on Lake Michigan, but because it would continue the combined legacies of Marshall Field and the man who succeeded him.
Read more about this landmark in Living Landmarks of Chicago.
Architects: Graham, Anderson, Probst & White
Address: 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Discover more of Chicago’s living landmarks
Sources for John G. Shedd Aquarium
This is a selection of specific sources used to provide details while researching this landmark. Additional sources, including books and websites, can be found on the Resources page.
- Chute, Walter Harris, 1891-. Guide to the John G. Shedd Aquarium. [Chicago: John G. Shedd aquarium, 1933.
- Commercial Club of Chicago. The Merchants Club of Chicago, 1896-1907. [Chicago]: Priv. print. by direction of the Commercial club of Chicago, 1922.
- Ditchett, Samuel Herbert, 1857-. Marshall Field And Company: the Life Story of a Great Concern. New York: Dry goods economist, 1922.
- Forbes, B. C. (Bertie Charles), 1880-1954. Men Who Are Making America. [5th ed.] New York: B. C. Forbes Publishing Co, 1921.
- “Merchant Dies of Appendicitis; Ill Only Week.” Chicago Tribune, 22 Oct 1926.
- Wight, P. B. (Peter Bonnett), 1838-1925, A. N Rebori, and William E Parsons. Daniel Hudson Burnham And His Associates. [New York: S.n.], 1915.
- Young Men’s Christian Associations. Chicago. Fifty-five Years: the Young Men’s Christian Association of Chicago, 1858-1913. Chicago: Board of Managers, 1913.