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City's First Permanent Main Library
Please click for panoramic view
For a real architectual treat, check out the Chicago Cultural Center [originally Chicago's Main Library]. It was completed in 1897 and was affectionately called the "People's Palace". It has recently been cleaned and restored. It now "links the arts community and the general public since 1991 when it became the nation's first FREE municipal cultural center.
This building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972 and as a Chicago Landmark since 1976.
Its architecture is a mixture of both Greek and Roman styles. The interior is incredible with rooms modeled on the Doge's Palace in Venice, the Acropolis in Athens, and the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence! Most people remember it because of its 2 stained-glass domes, its rare marbles that are inlaid with sparkling mosaics, and its intricate coffered ceilings.
The original Library Reading Room became the fourth floor Exhibit Hall. But I think that my favorite thing about the interior is the Preston Bradley Hall with the 38-foot come [the world's largest Tiffany dome]. We were told that it is worth about thirty-five million dollars!!
At the top of this incredible dome are symbols of the Zodiac. Bradley Hall is a performance hall and a civic reception area today.
My daughter Jill loved the Landmark Chicago Gallery where photography and architectural artifacts are displayed. She also loved the Michigan Avenue Galleries where works of local and emerging artists are showcased.
There is so much more in this building [too much to mention here]. Anyway, you need to see it and experience it for yourself.
- Arts and Culture
Chicago Public Library
This is the largest public library building in the world which was opened in 1991. It is named in honor of Chicagos first Black mayor Harold Washington.
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