Museum of Science and Industry being renamed for billionaire Ken Griffin after historic donation

The museum will offer free admission on Sunday to celebrate the new name.

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Cate Cauguiran WLS logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Museum of Science and Industry being renamed after billionaire
The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry will be renamed after Kenneth C. Griffin, the founder of Citadel hedge fund, after a historic donation.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry says it will be taking on new logo and name in honor of a "historic" and monumental donation to the institutions already rich and long-standing history.

The new name comes five years after the $125 million donation and is expected to come with new exhibits and a fresh new look for the museum.

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"It was a building constructed for the Columbia World's Exposition of 1893. It was the Palace of Fine Arts. It was mostly made of plaster, and so Julius Rosenwald spent millions of dollars to preserve that building so that we could still have remnants of that great World's Fair. And since then, it's been a very opening and inviting place," said Chicago historian Shermann "Dilla" Thomas.

Starting Sunday, it will become the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry.

Griffin is the founder of Citadel hedge fund and one of the richest men in the world. He recently left Chicago and took his company with him to Miami.

The announcement of the museum's rebranding has garnered mixed opinions on social media. Thomas said for him, the name does not match museum founder's original mission.

"I think that we should try to honor the original mission of the folks who established the museum, and Julius Rosenwald didn't want the museum to be named after anything. And so for me, I think that it's kind of a sting and a blow to Chicago and Chicago history," Thomas said.

The museum said Griffin's donation helps secure the future of the institution and has made several new exhibits possible, including the renovated Henry Crown Space Center and a new home to the SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft.

This Sunday, to celebrate the inaugural day as Griffin MSI, the museum will be offering free admission for all.