On one of my jaunts in Chicago while waiting for a VT Meeting/Dinner to begin, I spent time in the Lincoln Square area checking out the beautiful, huge Conrad Sulzer Regional Branch Library.
This Lincoln Square neighborhood library was once located down the street in the art deco building that now houses the Old Town School of Folk Music. At that time, it was called the Hild Library. Demand grew; thus, the neighborhood outgrew the Hild Library. The architecture firm called Hammond, Beeby & Babka designed the new building which has become a central attraction for Chicago's North Side as a Regional Branch. Incidently, it is one of the largest neighborhood branches in the Chicago Public Library System. It houses more than 250,000 books and takes up almost an entire block!
The architecture is interesting. The architects themselves called it "hybrid Mies van der Rohe and Schinckel"! What I really like about this particular library is all of the light that pours through the multitude of windows. Another unique feature of the Conrad Sulzer Library is the custom-made furniture that has design themes that are based on German mythology!
The architects who built this library went on to build the famed Harold Washington Library in the Loop in 1993.
The Conrad Sulzer Library is located on North Lincoln Avenue just south of the business area and across from the Park.
The Newberry Library is free, open to the public for research. The library has a non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, and manuscripts. If you are looking for something in particular, you can search the online catalog at the website listed below.
We visited one day to view the special Elizabeth I exhibit and returned on February 21 for the wedding of a high school friend. It was a very nice venue for a wedding but I was bummed that we couldn't see more of the building.
Located at 60 W. Walton
Located at 400 South State Street sits Chicago's huge downtown public library. The building was named after the famous African-American mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington, who served in the position between 1983-87. He was not defeated for his second term but rather died from a heart attack while in office.
Like everything else in Chicago, the library is a huge building, occupying one square city block. The 756,640 square foot library opened October 7, 1991, and appeared in The Guinness Book of Records as the largest public library building in the world.
The copper roof of the building is particularly striking, featuring a potpourri of different subjects.
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday and Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
When the new public library was built [see "gargoyles that read"] some wanted to tear down the old library on Michigan Ave and build a skyscraper. Fortunately they lost. The building now is the Chicago Cultural Center. It sponsors exhibits, lectures and concerts, as well as housing an interesting exhibit on broadcasting in Chicago.
It is nicely located between the loop and the Magnificent [shopping] Mile.
Chicago Architechture: Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center, the largest municipal library in the world!!!
Here is a pic of one of the copper sculptures that adorn the outside of the building.
The Harold Washington Public Library on Congress Drive is a post-modern building that "quotes" from many historic buildings in Chicago.
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