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Outstanding in the Field: Lakefront museum has country’s best bathroom

The Field Museum voted Nation's Best Restroom contest sponsored by Cintas Corporation. October 19 2011 I Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

The Field Museum voted the Nation's Best Restroom in a contest sponsored by Cintas Corporation. October 19, 2011 I Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 22, 2011 8:21AM

Among the Field Museum’s many treasures apparently is the throne of all thrones.

The Field’s ground floor restrooms were declared the finest in America Thursday following online voting in a contest sponsored by a restroom supply company.

“Today, I am flushed with excitement to receive this award,” said Jim Croft, the museum’s executive vice president.

The restroom design — on both the men’s and women’s sides — demonstrates that museum officials know their audience. In addition to the normal commodes, the restrooms offer pint-size stalls for young visitors. The ladies’ room also has a secluded area for nursing, and both sides have eco-friendly hand dryers, enough stalls for an entire classroom of schoolchildren and plenty of sinks. A family restroom is accessible to moms and dads, and each side has areas for diaper changes. Both are topped off with a ceiling painting of the sky and display cases of gift store offerings, like shot glasses honoring T-rex Sue.

While voters rewarded the Field for its practical design, other restrooms in the running were splashier. The restrooms at Ninja New York, a restaurant aiming to conjure the look of a 15th century feudal Japanese village, features seat warmers, a built in deodorizer and blow driers. At Castello di Amorosa, a Napa Valley winery, sink spigots are shaped like water-spewing gargoyles. And Don John’s DJ5000LX Presidential Luxury Restroom Trailer, built for President Obama’s inauguration, offers music for guests inside the trailer and a flat-screen television for friends waiting outside.

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