Type: Architecture, Art Museums, Cultural Venues, Museums
From 1897 to 1991, the magnificent building served as Chicago's first central public library dazzling visitors with access to knowledge but also two stunning stained-glass domes, intricate mosaics of Favrile glass, mother-of-pearl and colored stone, rich hardwoods and lovely staircases. Bookshelves have been replaced with free wonderful art exhibits, music, dance, theater, panel discussions, films, lectures and family events. It is, however, still home to the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome (restored to its original splendor in 2008) so you can get a taste of Chicago history, design (the Beaux Arts style was influenced by the buildings of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and its interior rooms were modeled on the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and the Acropolis in Athens) as well as catch a noon-time jazz concert, see a Keith Haring exhibit or listen to a lecture about Nietzsche and human nature.
78 E Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602
Map / Directions
Free Things to Do, Historic Sites: "Free building tours take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1:15 p.m."
Best for Free Things to Do Because: Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents more than 700 free music, dance and theater events, plus films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events.
Best for Historic Sites Because: History, beauty and impressive free public events thrill locals and tourists making CCC one of the most visited attractions in town.