The Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 East Washington Street, a road away from Millennium Park. When I came out of Millennium Park and saw a magnificent building opposite, the words "Chicago Public Library" carved on it were so striking that I decided to go over and look at it. At the entrance, I found that this is now the Chicago Cultural Center, not the library. But it's still free. Tourists can enter it freely. The interior of the building is also magnificent, with red carpet staircases and Roman archways. The whole decoration is very artistic. There are exhibitions, movies, music and theatrical performances. It's really the cultural center of Chicago. Of course, it is also good for tourists to use this place as a place for a short rest.
This building has many uses in the past few years. Library, Gallery Exhibition space... I've been there at least 100 times. There is a free classical concert upstairs at noon on weekdays. You can also listen to WFMT radio broadcasts (they are all recorded) or come here to enjoy a small private space. Modern revolving art exhibitions often show the most advanced methods of operation, especially photography. Before experiencing a special trip, make sure that an art exhibition in the gallery is within the valid exhibition period, as well as the next exhibition time. There's also a gift shop and a big and good tourist information office.
Walking in here reminds me why I love this city so much. All this art and history for free? Yes, please, and thank you! This place has got a constant revolving door of art exhibits and wonderful factoids about the city's history line every corridor (did I mention it's free)? The building itself (which use to be the old public library) is gorgeous and, if art & history is your thing, you could wander around forever in here. Literally, forever because the layout is a little wonky but I think that's because of its original purpose as a public library with study rooms and such. Also, this building houses cultural, creative spaces for working artist in the community-like Project Onward-which is specifically set up to benefit artists in the city with mental and physical disabilities. Seriously, this place is a cultural landmark in and of itself and you will not regret a peek inside for a moment!
Everything from art exhibitions to live musical and theatrical performances to film screenings are held weekly in this Chicago landmark dedicated to providing an accessible arts space. Operated by the city of Chicago, the cultural center is a teaching and display place that is open to the public and often used as an educational resource. It absolutely bears noting that the building is magnificent and decorated with beautiful tile mosaics that pay homage to Western Civilization's greatest writers and thinkers. There is a huge glass dome in the center's main ballroom that is absolutely stunning in its scope and detail, and which makes the ballroom a popular setting for wedding receptions.
With all the tiled mosaic in elaborate patterns, one might mistake the interiors of this building for a former temple rather than a former public library. The names of the great authors on the walls, however, quickly straighten out this misperception. Fun fact: in an attempt to preserve the English language so close to the French border of Canada, England sent tomes of books.... As there was no library at the time, one was built (fancy, like all the expensive books). Today, there are no more bookshelves, but there are many weddings and art showcases.
With frequently changing exhibits, the Center is a place worth revisiting. In addition to the visibly gorgeous infrastructure, the Center houses wonderful artistic displays rich in reflections of Chicago- past, present and future day. There's no entry fee, a fun public work space (pictured) and countless brochures on other Chicago cultural havens.
A great place to start you visit to Chicago, the Cultural Center is in the former Chicago Public Library, an architectural treasure. It now offers free public events: music, exhibitions, dance, lectures and plays. Inside you'll find the visitor information center offering lots of free advice on what to do in town.
Unfortunately, I did it have a lot of time to explore the Chicago Cultural Center-- but what I did see was an architecturally gorgeous building and a series of galleries featuring a variety of artists. And it was FREE! It will definitely be a return stop on my next visit.