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American Writers Museum To Open Downtown This Spring

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 26, 2017 7:43PM

Chicago's long-in-the-works American Writers Museum has at last issued an opening date: the downtown literary institution will open its doors on May 16, museum officials announced this week.

The museum, to be located at 180 N. Michigan Ave., just north of Millennium Park, casts a large scope, celebrating literary lions from children’s lit up beyond the modern heyday of novel.

The layout features at least seven distinct, frequently high-tech and interactive galleries. Themed halls will incorporate edge-lit book boxes, an animated so-called Word Waterfall, a large-scale “book sculpture” and more to explore the range of American authorship, from the earliest Native American written traditions through the 20th century.

“This museum will make America’s mark on the literary legacy of the world," Carey Cranston, President of the museum, said in a news release. "The American Writers Museum will become a beloved attraction for Chicago residents and visitors from all over the world. It will provide an exciting and unprecedented opportunity to showcase our great writers and their works in one of the nation’s most culturally rich cities.”

The museum has been germinating for a couple of years, and has long since received the city’s blessing. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in 2014: “Such a museum will complement the rich offerings of the city's theaters, museums, libraries and musical activities, and add significantly to Chicago's vitality.”

The museum expects to draw up to 120,000 annual visitors. Fifty-five writers’ homes and museums around the country are on board as partners.

Introducing the American Writers Museum from American Writers Museum on Vimeo.