International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago
Since 1954, the International Museum of Surgical Science has provided education on the history and progress of surgery and related medical sciences to hundreds of thousands of visitors. As a not-for-profit division of the International College of Surgeons, the Museum depicts contributions from around the world to the history, development and advances of surgery and related subjects in health and medicine.To visit International Museum of Surgical Science on your trip to Chicago, use our Chicago itinerary tool .
Housed in a historic mansion, the Museum building is a City of Chicago Landmark and is listed in the National Register and Illinois Register of Historic Places. The elegant structure, known as the Eleanor Robinson Countiss House, is patterned after Le Petit Trianon, a French chateau built on the grounds of Versailles for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Designed by noted Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, the building was completed in 1917. Original interior finishes of marble and cut stone; decorative plaster work, metal fixtures and hardware; eight fireplaces; and a gilded metal grand staircase are among the features, which have been preserved. The building truly embodies the Gold Coast splendor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Museum is closed on the following holidays: Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. IMSS is also closed during the Chicago Air and Water Show weekend.
Tuesdays are free for Illinois residents with a valid ID.
Adults - $15.00
Senior Citizens (ages 65+) - $12.00
Students & Members of the Military (with ID) - $12.00
Children ages 4–13 (Free for ages 3 & under) - $8.00
Children ages 3 and under - FREE
IMSS Members - FREE
No Refunds • No Exchanges • No Re-Entry
The Museum is easily accessible by bus or train.
* The CTA bus #151 stops at North Avenue, half a block north of the Museum.
* From the Clark/Division stop of the Red Line elevated train walk east on Division until you reach Lake Shore Drive. Turn north and walk a few blocks to the Museum.
* From the Sedgwick stop of the Brown Line and Purple Line Express elevated train, walk east on North Avenue until you reach Lake Shore Drive. Turn south and walk a block to the Museum.
For train and bus schedules call the RTA/CTA at 312-836-7000.
Ample discounted parking is available in 3 locations within a few minutes’ walk of the Museum.
Retrieve a discounted validation voucher/stamp at the Museum box office to present to the parking attendant upon exiting the lot/ramp.
Standard Parking Lot - Behind the Chicago History Museum located on Clark and LaSalle Streets, Chicago, IL 60614; entrance on Stockton Drive
Standard Parking Lot - in condominium building at 1445 N. State Parkway, Chicago, IL 60610; entrance on Burton Place.
Standard Parking Lot - in condominium building at 1350 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610; entrance on E. Banks Street
International Museum of Surgical Science Reviews
From its very title, this museum announces that it may not be for everyone. And it wasn't for 2 of the 4 of us. But as others have mentioned, it is much more than one would think. The two who apprecia... more »
This museum is just north of the N Michigan shopping district, in a beautiful old home. There are lots of displays about the history of medicine. Someone asked, and no, there aren't "a lot of body par... more »
I really enjoyed the exhibits at this museum. They had great paintings, and artifacts, and paired them well with written text to help really bring to life the history of the museum. The staff was slightly aloof, however, and the building gives off a little bit of a creepy vibe. If you have any interest in surgical history or just want to kill an hour learning something new - this place is the place to be!
If you're looking for something different to do in the city look no further. After having visited the other main museums dozens of times when visiting the city this was a very unique change of pace. They have a wide array of medical tools and artifacts and I learned quite a bit. It's crazy to see how much progress we have made in just the last 100 years in medicine. They also had a really cool modern art exhibit on the top floor of the museum which was very unique.
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