333 S. Halsted St., Chicago IL 60661
- (312) 655-1234
The Museum was founded as the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center in 1983. Nine years later, the HMCC opened its first facility on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Then, in July 2004, the Museum moved to a new location at 801 South Adams Street in Chicago’s Greektown. In 2009, the Museum re-branded itself the National Hellenic Museum with a new logo incorporating the Greek key design and a new mission statement: “Connecting generations through Greek history, culture, and art.”
The Museum opened in its current location on Halsted Street on December 10, 2011. It is a four-story, 40,000-square-foot LEED-certification-pending building that is home to extensive collections and archives of more than 17,000 artifacts spanning thousands of years.
The mission of the museum is to share the legacy of Hellenism and to preserve the stories and honor the contributions to the United States of Greek immigrants and Americans of Greek heritage.
At the National Hellenic Museum, you can explore Greek heritage and ideals represented within our exhibits, programs, and collections.
The word “Hellenism” is derived from the Greek word “Ellinismos” (ελληνισμός). In Greek, Ellinismos is used to describe the people of Greek lineage and also to describe a set of values for living that was invented by the ancient Greeks. These values became the basis of Western civilization, as we know it today. First appearing in English as Hellenism in 1609, the word came to represent all things related to Greece, including a body of humanistic and classical ideals associated with ancient Greece that includes reason, the pursuit of knowledge and the arts, moderation, and civic responsibility.