Chicago Maritime Museum 2020-Present

Several years after  the Chicago Maritime Museum relocated  to the Bridgeport Arts Center, LvH was retained to develop a master plan for the expansion of the museum with new and reimagined exhibits. The master plan became a roadmap for development and offered materials to use in fundraising. After several successful fundraising campaigns, LVH was retained to begin curation, design, and fabrication of several new exhibits. 

“From Muddy Marsh to Metropolis”
Chicago Maritime Museum

This exhibit, that features monologues from four key characters from Chicago’s maritime history,  begins in the space outside the museum to draw visitors in, and establishes how water played a significant role in the growth of the city. The exhibit does double duty as a reception and greeting space for visitors as well as a work station for staff. 


“Chicago’s Deadliest Day”
Chicago Maritime Museum

CMM has a rich collection of artifacts related to the capsizing of the steamship Eastland in the Chicago River. LvH enhanced an existing exhibit with new features at the same time it updated several other existing images with video content.  

Donor Display
Chicago Maritime Museum

This custom designed unit, located just outside the museum entrance, honors the donors, board, and volunteers, who together are instrumental in bringing quality exhibits and programing to the museum. A touch screen monitor allows anyone passing by to explore the many opportunities to engage with the water in Chicago. 


Chicago Maritime Museum -1989-1990

Long before the Chicago Maritime Museum opened in its current facility, and long before the establishment of Lafferty van Heest, Valerie van Heest, a volunteer with the museum and trustee of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago curated and designed a temporary exhibit at the museum’s original location. The project also involved conservation of artifacts recovered from the shipwreck Wells Burt.

CHicago maritime society