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Agricultural Interpretive Center
Agricultural Interpretive Center photo
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Agricultural Interpretive Center?

A: The Agricultural Interpretive Center (AIC) will be an approximately 5,000 square foot building containing exhibition space and a learning lab at Naper Settlement. It will be constructed near the existing Halfway House, smokehouse and windmill to further expand programming opportunities focusing on the region’s rich farming heritage.   

Q: How will the AIC tell the story of Naperville differently than the existing experiences at Naper Settlement?
A: It will uniquely capture and bring to life the agricultural history that was instrumental in building community and business in Naperville and the surrounding regions. The Center will employ cutting-edge technology to relate the facets of the city's farming past using a trio of themes, each offering a separate aspect of the story. One, spotlighting farming as a way of life, will illustrate how the work drew in all generations and built connections among neighbors and the town.  It will also convey the story of farming in Naperville and northern Illinois communities through the preservation of key artifacts, including a fully restored Wood Bros threshing machine dating to 1912, which was owned and shared among several farm families to harvest crops each Fall for many years.

Other exhibits focused on farming innovation will demonstrate the roles of analytical thinking, mechanical comprehension, a grasp of plant physiology and other intellectual processes that now work under the banner of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — in fortifying the food chain. And displays that relate the business aspects of farming will convey the crucial part the profession played in the development of the local economy.
Q: Why is the Agricultural Interpretive Center being built in Naperville at Naper Settlement?
A: Naper Settlement brings together historically important buildings and their stories, connecting
visitors to Naperville’s heritage and beyond. The AIC will build on that foundation, providing an immersive opportunity to learn about Naperville’s storied agricultural history and how it connects to the farming story
of the region and nation today.  
Q: What will the exhibits look like?
A: The exhibits will feature STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning opportunities that will highlight such themes as food production, planting and harvesting of crops,
mechanics of simple machines, climate, weather, and natural resources, and the economic value of agriculture to communities and others.

Q: How much will the project cost, and where will the funds to build it come from?
A: Projected costs for the building and exhibits are $4 million, and potential funding sources include grants, corporations, foundations and individuals. A significant lead gift has been received from the
Wheatland Plow Match, including the donation of the thresher.
Q: When will the Center be open to visitors?
A: Projected completion of the Center is planned for 2018.

View a PDF of the Agricultural Interpretive Center Executive Summary.

View a PDF of the Naperville Sun article regarding the Agricultural Interpretive Center.

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