Adler Planetarium Addition and Renovations

Chicago, Illinois

Originally built in the 1930s, the Adler Planetarium was the Western Hemisphere’s first planetarium, and was in need of a facility upgrade and expansion to maintain its reputation of providing fun and educational programming to its visitors. The planetarium also needed a contractor who could complete the job while keeping the planetarium open to the 500,000 patrons that visit each year. Pepper constructed a 68,340-square-foot exhibition addition which wraps around the original building and features a massive skylight system, providing observation activities year round, day or night. Improvements like the Star Rider, a state-of-the-art planetarium theater offering guests an interactive, virtual-reality experience, made learning more accessible and engaging. Pepper also renovated 52,365 square feet of office and support areas, as well as renovating the north and south terraces and adding a café to improve the overall guest experience.