Chicago Cultural Center

Type: Architecture, Art Museums, Cultural Venues, Museums

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10Best Says

Historic Sites: 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.

Things to Do in December: We already know that people from all over the planet come to Chicago to steep in the incredible architecture - primarily in summer. Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB), the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America, opens our wintry eyes to the continuous creativity and innovation in architecture. More than 141 practitioners from 20 countries have been addressing the 2017 theme "Make New History" and you have a few more weeks to get in on the discussion with architects and artists making impact today. The main exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center is free and runs through through Jan. 7, 2018. Anchor sites include the DePaul Art Museum; the National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and Culture; and the Hyde Park Art Center.


78 E Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602

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Expert Tips by Jacky Runice

Chicago Local Expert

Historic Sites: "Free building tours take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1:15 p.m."

Things to Do in December: "Check the web site,, for a calendar of gallery talks, tours and more."

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.

Best for Things to Do in December Because: Reveling in Chicago's architecture is not something just for summering tourists.

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