Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center

The Little Red Schoolhouse is a south Chicago historic landmark with thousands of visitors over the past 50 years of its history. The center offers an engaging way for children to learn about the animals and native plants of Chicago’s southwest suburbs. With the growth of environmental education, a new building was created to complement the main structure and EDE was proud to be chosen as the exhibit builder for the project.

The new nature center showcased an array of animals with cases for snakes, insects, birds and fish incorporated into freestanding learning stations. A comprehensive timeline ramp wall instructed children about history from the big bang to the modern age. The ramp wall was designed with inlaid explanatory graphic panels; ancient fossils, including a 500-pound piece of limestone with an embedded fossil; and life-sized cutouts illustrating the natural history of life from dinosaurs to humans. The schoolhouse overlooks a lake and upon reaching the base level, visitors were introduced to the natural environment surrounding the schoolhouse with fish tanks housing specimens of the lake’s aquatic life.

Design: Bluestone + Associates