(70 ILCS 1290/1) (from Ch. 105, par. 326)
    Sec. 1. Erect, operate, and maintain aquariums and museums. The corporate authorities of cities and park districts having control or supervision over any public park or parks, including parks located on formerly submerged land, are hereby authorized to purchase, erect, and maintain within any such public park or parks edifices to be used as aquariums or as museums of art, industry, science, or natural or other history, including presidential libraries, centers, and museums, such aquariums and museums consisting of all facilities for their collections, exhibitions, programming, and associated initiatives, or to permit the directors or trustees of any corporation or society organized for the construction or maintenance and operation of an aquarium or museum as hereinabove described to erect, enlarge, ornament, build, rebuild, rehabilitate, improve, maintain, and operate its aquarium or museum within any public park now or hereafter under the control or supervision of any city or park district, and to contract with any such directors or trustees of any such aquarium or museum relative to the erection, enlargement, ornamentation, building, rebuilding, rehabilitation, improvement, maintenance, ownership, and operation of such aquarium or museum. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, a city or park district may enter into a lease for an initial term not to exceed 99 years, subject to renewal, allowing a corporation or society as hereinabove described to erect, enlarge, ornament, build, rebuild, rehabilitate, improve, maintain, and operate its aquarium or museum, together with grounds immediately adjacent to such aquarium or museum, and to use, possess, and occupy grounds surrounding such aquarium or museum as hereinabove described for the purpose of beautifying and maintaining such grounds in a manner consistent with the aquarium or museum's purpose, and on the conditions that (1) the public is allowed access to such grounds in a manner consistent with its access to other public parks, and (2) the city or park district retains a reversionary interest in any improvements made by the corporation or society on the grounds, including the aquarium or museum itself, that matures upon the expiration or lawful termination of the lease. It is hereby reaffirmed and found that the aquariums and museums as described in this Section, and their collections, exhibitions, programming, and associated initiatives, serve valuable public purposes, including, but not limited to, furthering human knowledge and understanding, educating and inspiring the public, and expanding recreational and cultural resources and opportunities. Any city or park district may charge, or permit such an aquarium or museum to charge, an admission fee. Any such aquarium or museum, however, shall be open without charge, when accompanied by a teacher, to the children in actual attendance upon grades kindergarten through twelve in any of the schools in this State at all times. In addition, any such aquarium or museum must be open to persons who reside in this State without charge for a period equivalent to 52 days, at least 6 of which must be during the period from June through August, each year. Notwithstanding said provisions, charges may be made at any time for special services and for admission to special facilities within any aquarium or museum for the education, entertainment, or convenience of visitors. The proceeds of such admission fees and charges for special services and special facilities shall be devoted exclusively to the purposes for which the tax authorized by Section 2 hereof may be used. If any owner or owners of any lands or lots abutting or fronting on any such public park, or adjacent thereto, have any private right, easement, interest or property in such public park appurtenant to their lands or lots or otherwise, which would be interfered with by the erection and maintenance of any aquarium or museum as hereinbefore provided, or any right to have such public park remain open or vacant and free from buildings, the corporate authorities of the city or park district having control of such park, may condemn the same in the manner prescribed for the exercise of the right of eminent domain under the Eminent Domain Act. The changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly are declaratory of existing law and shall not be construed as a new enactment.
(Source: P.A. 99-3, eff. 1-1-16.)