600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago Illinois 60611United States
This museum can get lost in the mix of all there is to do at Navy Pier, but it's worth checking out -- especially if you're looking for a reprieve from the crowds.
We love this part of Navy Pier, which most people don't bother to check out and may not even know exists. It's located about three-quarters of the way down the pier (just east of Riva restaurant), past the touristy stores, restaurants and sites. There's no charge, and just a simple sign over a doorway bearing the museum's name. Beyond that you'll find many examples of stained glass produced in Chicago. Once upon a time, stained-glass windows were a mainstay of Chicago residential architecture -- every bungalow in the city had at least one. These days, it's a less popular art form, at least as far as houses and businesses go, which makes the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows all the more interesting. This collection offers a unique mix of styles of colored glass, with 150 windows in all shapes and sizes and themes, ranging from the pastoral to the religious to the commercial. You'll also find 13 windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany, one of the preeminent stained-glass artists of his day, and several examples of beveled glass, which is equally beautiful. It's definitely worth checking out, especially if you need a break from the crowds and a quiet spot to cool down on a hot day.