Relocated Lake County Discovery Museum planned to allow for more items to be displayed

It will be about a year before the relocated and revamped Lake County Discovery Museum opens in an office building in Libertyville, but a concept to engage and educate visitors is taking shape.

Renderings positioned next to routes outlined with tape on a vacant space on the first floor of Lake County Forest Preserve District headquarters provide an early look at the type and position of exhibits.

"We want every visitor to feel comfortable and connected to the exhibits," said Andrew Osborne, superintendent of educational facilities.

The Discovery Museum, which had operated for 40 years in old dairy farm buildings at the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda, closed Sept. 1 in advance of a move designed to make more of the museum items accessible to more people.

In a presentation Monday, Osbourne said there will be a new front entrance to the building at 1899 W. Winchester Road. The familiar welcome desk will be removed and the space opened to incorporate three decorative trees representing common forest preserve themes and surrounded by applicable exhibits. Trees will be a recurring theme throughout the new museum space, he added.

A large screen to accommodate two projectors will hang from the second floor for messaging and other uses, such as highlighting a visiting group.

Inside, the first eye-catcher will be a scale replica of a Dryptosauraus.

"Immediately, the visitor will get the sense there's something really cool to come," Osborne said.

Exhibits will be displayed chronologically. Displays will be in cases larger than those previously used to allow more flexibility for changes and show more materials. The familiar lotus boat will return as a permanent display, and there will be gallery to allow for more detailed discussion of subjects, he said. Osborn explained that because of space and other factors at Lakewood, the museum was able to display only 3 percent to 5 percent of its materials.

At some point, the public will be allowed to see stored collections.

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Lake County forest district considers how to leverage history

Preservationist questions Discovery Museum relocation

Bittersweet last call for Lake County Discovery Museum's home at Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda

  Tape on the floors and some renderings on an easel are early indicators of what will to come when the Lake County Discovery Museum relocates to the forest district's general offices. Mick Zawislak/
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