Griffin Entrance at Pearson Street is closed; use main entrance or accessible, plaza-level entrance (through MCA Store)

Entering the Museum During Construction

There are currently two ways to enter the museum. One: Climb the staircase to the main entrance located on Mies van der Rohe Way. Two: Use the accessible, plaza-level entrance at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Mies van der Rohe Way (through the MCA Store). There is an elevator through the store that leads to the the main admissions desk on the second floor. During construction the Griffin Entrance at East Pearson Street and Mies van der Rohe Way is closed.

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Griffin Entrance on Pearson Street is closed
Accessible entrance through MCA Store


Construction underway in theater/education lobby
The MCA Café is closed
Alternate food options are available on second floor
Pop-up food service is on site every Tuesday, 11:30 am–1:30 pm


New restaurant opens

About Our Redesign

We are in the midst of transforming our building into a livelier, more creative space that will be activated by living artists and engage audiences. Our exhibitions will remain open during construction. The redesign will convert 12,000 square feet within our building into public gathering spaces. Because the redesign affects our interior spaces only, the museum’s footprint will remain unchanged.

Our director, Madeleine Grynsztejn, has announced the names of the creative team behind the redesign. The project is led by Los Angeles architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee. Renowned Turner Prize–winning British painter Chris Ofili will create the restaurant environment; Mexican design duo Pedro y Juana will design the Commons, a new social engagement space; and Chicago chef Jason Hammel will be the new chef for the restaurant. Grynsztejn says: “We are thrilled to bring together this world-class artistic team for a new concept that interweaves art, food, design, and learning throughout the MCA’s public spaces. These creative artists represent both local and global perspectives—their collaboration and mutual inspiration will produce unparalleled encounters for our visitors."

When construction is completed in summer 2017, our building will feature 45,000 square feet of gallery space, a state-of-the-art education wing with expansive views of Lake Michigan, and a street-level restaurant helmed by one of Chicago’s brightest culinary stars. The reimagined space will provide visitors with more opportunities to experience contemporary art and think about the most important issues of our time.

We are grateful to the many donors who have so generously supported our redesign. Without them, the project would not have been possible.

Featured images

New Restaurant

1 New Restaurant

We’ve reimagined our space to create an eating area that invites visitors to gather, converse, and enjoy a meal. The restaurant will be open from morning to evening and will feature a full-service bar.

New Social Engagement Space

2 New Social Engagement Space

We’re more than the art on our walls. We are currently creating an art-filled space where visitors can read books, watch videos, and gain a deeper understanding of the art that breathes life into the MCA.

New Education Floor

3 New Education Floor

Our new education wing features several spaces where visitors can learn and share ideas. Among them are state-of-the-art classrooms with expansive views of Lake Michigan.


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Completed to Date

MAR 2017

Museum announced that the new restaurant will be named Marisol, in honor of the first work of art to enter the MCA's permanent collection

DEC 2016

Griffin Entrance on Pearson Street closed

NOV 2016

Artist collaboration for new restaurant announced

Chef for new restaurant announced

Designers for new social engagement space announced

Construction began in theater/education lobby

MCA Café closed

AUG 2016

Takashi Murakami exhibition announced to open in June 2017, when construction ends

OCT 2015

Johnston Marklee installation opened in MCA Café

FEB 2015

Museum announced Vision Campaign

Architectural firm Johnston Marklee hired to complete redesign

About the Vision

We owe the success of this project to our Vision Campaign, which supports innovative programs, learning opportunities, and community outreach.