Adler Planetarium finally getting a new copper dome

If you’ve noticed the Adler Planetarium is choked in scaffolding, don’t be alarmed – it’s not going to be demolished or converted into condominiums.

The 81-year-old copper dome will be replaced along with the other roof structures of the main building, said Jennifer Howell, spokeswoman for the institution.

As one might expect after such a long time, the eagle roof is leaking.

“There is a lot of sensitive equipment and artifacts under the dome and the surrounding areas, so Adler’s management decided to move the project forward,” Howell said.

Work was supposed to start in March 2020, but then the pandemic came and brought everything to a standstill, Howell said.

“The old copper tiles will be removed and replaced with new 20-ounce copper tiles,” Howell said. “When completed, the dome will be a rich copper color that will last about six months and then begin to turn into color.”

The dome portion of the project is expected to be completed in September, with the rest of the work about a month later. The cost of the roof project was not immediately available.

In the meantime, the eagle will partially reopen on July 3 with dome skyshows on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August. “Imagine the Moon” and “Skywatch” each play twice a day in the Grainger Sky Theater. Tickets are $ 15 per person. The shows are free to Illinois residents [with proof of residency] for the first three weekends.

To learn more and to get tickets, visit

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