Art Institute to hike admission

March 11, 2009 (CHICAGO) A proposal to increase the admission fee was approved on Wednesday morning by a Park District committee.

The plan raises the fee from $12 to $18 for adults, students and seniors who currently pay $7 dollars, would now have to pay $12.

"I love the Art Institute, but if they had any honorableness about it, they would have raised this issue in the public eye a lot sooner for further discussion versus a last minute situation," said Terry Leja, museum visitor.

Terry Leja spoke out against the proposed admission fee hike at the meeting and said the issue should have gotten more publicity.

"I know that we did what we were supposed to do and we have the proper amount of notice as anything else on the park district agenda," said Erin Hogan, Art Institute spokesperson.

Hogan says the Art Institute has considered raising the admission fee for the past couple of years to help offset the museum's rising operational costs but didn't want to increase it while so much of the museum is under construction.

Work is being done on the Institute's new modern wing, set to open in May. At that point, the museum will be the second largest in the country. That's also when the fee hike will take effect. And Hogan says patrons will get more for their money.

"More works on display, more public access to areas of the museum. I think we have a lot to offer," said Hogan.

News of the fee increase was a hot topic at the museum.

"It's disappointing. It's one of the nice things about coming here…making it so expensive, people will probably be turned away," said Adam Brown, museum visitor.

"It does stink that prices are going up, but I would still come here anyway for the fabulous art they have here," said Kaitlin Grimes.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.