The Chicago Cultural Center: Architectural Showplace for the Lively and Visual Arts

One-half block from the building I work in is the Chicago Cultural Center. This beautiful structure is a fine example of adaptive reuse. It started out life in 1897 as the first permanent home for the Chicago Public Library but is now how to exhibits and performances day and night.

The architectural style of the Cultural Center is Beaux Arts, so called because of the extensive use of beautiful decorative materials such as carved stone, marble, glass and hand painting. No expense was spared in decoration as we shall see.
Exterior portions of the building were adorned by carved stone decorations.
This is the Grand Army of the Republic Dome, a stained glass paean of praise to the heroes who fought in the Civil War and who, after the war, became a major political force all across the North.
This is a second glass dome on the other side of the building. Even without all the color, it grabs the eye.
Here is small bit of the detail work that covers portions of the interior. Expensive materials assembled with the labor of craftsmen. This is a building that is well worth visiting.

Chicago's Cultural Center
© 2002 Joe Kelley