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The Chicago Traveler

Chicago Cultural Center

by Matt B on March 24th, 2008

chicago cultural center

Completed in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center was the first permanent home of the Chicago Public Library and now serves as an arts and culture center.

chicago cultural center plaqueConstructed at a cost of nearly $2 million, the building is a beautiful example of Chicago's turn-of-the-century architecture. The north wing (Randolph St entrance) features Doric columns, mahogany doors, and green marble walls. The rotunda here features a yellow-toned, stained-glass dome in intricate Renaissance pattern. The south wing (Washington St entrance) is designed with Romanesque revival elements: arched doors and white marble walls. The majestic staircase is also made of marble, set with elaborate mosaics of glass, stone, and mother-of-pearl. The 38-foot (12 m) dome here is claimed to be the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome and is valued at an estimated $35 million.

In 1991, the Library was relocated to the new Harold Washington Library Center. The Chicago Cultural Center is now the home of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and is one of the city's Visitor Information Centers. It is one of the city's most popular attractions and features more than 1,000 programs and exhibitions of performing, visual, and literary arts.

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chicago cultural centerchicago cultural center past and present

Photo credit (via Flickr): La Sequencia, zol87, fusionpanda, lauromaia, crowbert, uBookworm, Kim Scarborough

Chicago Cultural Center: 78 E Washington St; 312-744-6630
Mon ' Thurs: 8:00 a.m. ' 7:00 p.m.
Fri: 8:00 a.m. ' 6:00 p.m.
Sat: 9:00 a.m. ' 6:00 p.m.
Sun: 10:00 a.m. ' 6:00 p.m.
Closed holidays.
Street parking difficult; pay lots available
Public trans: Bus # 3, 4, X4, 14, 26, 60, 127, 143, 145, 147, 148, 151
Orange/Pink/Green/Purple/Brown Line train (Randolph, Madison)
Red/Blue Line train (Washington)

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POSTED IN: Architecture & Attractions, Art, Collectibles and Hobbies, Museums

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