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DCASE Homepage > Chicago Cultural Center Drawn by its beauty and the fabulous free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Chicago Cultural Center every year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events.
Read More Rediscover The People’s Palace Events Calendar The Chicago Cultural Center offers FREE events, performances and exhibitions year-round. Exhibitions A wide range of diverse and engaging exhibitions devoted to the visual arts and contemporary culture are presented. Theater & Dance Ongoing performing arts series that showcases emerging and established music, theater, dance and multi-disciplinary artists.
Plan Your Visit Helpful information to plan your visit to the Chicago Cultural Center. Private Events & Weddings Host your next event at the Chicago Cultural Center. The stunning landmark offers a variety of options for large and small gatherings. Architecture and History Constructed over 100 years ago as the Chicago Public Library and a Civil War memorial, the Chicago Cultural Center reflects the best of Chicago.
Diverse Essential Art Concepts have progressed extensive different eras, along with the changing artists' perceptions of processing, analyzing, and responding to numerous art varieties. Their creative expressions are actually explored by their generation, general performance, and participation in arts. Every single historic era has provided novel contribution of historic and cultural contexts for producing the crucial element Arts Fundamentals of the related interval. Visual Arts aid artists assimilate the important thing Arts Concepts of Symmetry, Color, Pattern, Distinction along with the distinctions in between one or even more things in the composition. The true secret Artwork Principles of Visible Arts enable comprehend and distinguish in between the scale for instance, Symmetry & Asymmetry, Positive & Negative Space, Light & Dark, Solid & Transparent, and Large & Small.See Also: Paradise City Arts Festival
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338 78 E Washington StChicago, IL 60602 (312) 744-3316 Mirror, mirror on the wall... Which is the most overdue review of them all?! When I first began a Chicago blog a million years ago (and abandoned about 800 thousand ago ;-) - the Cultural Center was my very first entry. It's a MUST-SEE! https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/rzWulqWwBqVOFVEa8sdaiQ?select=SNuckYUne_T6qAvQHA0gQA&utm_source=ishare&utm_content=photo No, it's not the library anymore though that is the inscription upon the facade and it is a bit misleading to the unfamiliar.
..I overhead a touristy couple last summer on the street saying, "we don't need to check out the library." But you do! (For that matter, go check out the Harold Washington Library over on State and Van Buren.) https://www.yelp.com/biz/chicago-public-library-harold-washington-library-center-chicago-2?hrid=HUA7pgURZSo644EwUOTwNQ&utm_source=ishare&utm_content=review The fact that this was Chicago's first public library makes it that much more interesting.
I used to wander around in here, look at the art, the domes, but I can tell you: definitely do the tour here. On the tour, I learned how the gorgeous glazed mosaic tiles came to be installed in the room that houses the incredible Tiffany Dome (world's largest.) Back in the day...the train-yard was directly across the street (where Wrigley Square https://www.yelp.com/biz/wrigley-square-chicago?hrid=hua7kvrsqXMNYpFGcJbaBw&utm_source=ishare&utm_content=review now stands.
) The awful soot would come up into this library and it was yes, rough on the books, but even more so on the interior. The tiles allowed for easy cleaning! They are still gorgeous today. The quotes of famous wordsmiths will inspire you as if this building doesn't already! Besides the amazing history and gorgeous architecture, there are free concerts at noon during the week, (I have a whole wonderful tale about DoRite donuts and classical music but it'll keep!), art exhibits (rotating) upstairs on the third floor as well as in the first floor hallways and galleries.
There is ALWAYS something new here (there used to be a visitor's center off the Randolph entrance - gone now.) You may find something you're looking for or they may have removed something you came back to see! (There was a cool photo gallery - Kodak slides from the '70s that was here and then gone!) Things move fast at this wonderful old building. PS- sometimes I even just cut through to warm up, refill the Nalgene bottle, and to use the loo! There's also outlets and tables at the Randolph entrance.
Food/drink permitted there but not under the domes or in the galleries.) Found this gem when I was looking up "Free Things To Do In Chicago." Super glad that I made time for this place. First, it is free! And if you are visiting Chicago during the cold season like I did, it's definitely a nice way to get away from the frosty winds. Go talk to the lady at the desk to get your map. All the employees there are very helpful and friendly.
It may seem like a small place when you first enter but with each floor there are different exhibits taking place. So give yourself plenty of time to immerse yourself in the culture and arts. Like everyone else is writing about, definitely go check out the dome! Unfortunately, there was an event about to happen there so I only had the chance to view the beautiful dome from outside of the dome's entrance.
I was still in awe at the beauty and detail of everything. All ages will definitely have a fun time here. There is definitely an exhibit in here that will spark an interest in everyone. Free, clean, friendly, and fun! Make sure to add this to your itinerary! The Chicago Cultural Center is a place of absolutely exquisite beauty. Every detail was impeccably chosen and designed, and it shows itself in each and every nook and cranny of the space.
The staircases, the floor to ceiling windows, the structural pieces... EVERYTHING. Pro-Tip: it's FREE! To all of my future brides (and grooms!), if you're looking for a place to begin your engagement shoot, CCC is the place to do so! There are places to do formal shots with their domed ceilings, and (surprisingly) places to do informal shots with this hidden staircase that I shared in my pictures.
In the late afternoon/evening, it is next to empty inside, which gives you the perfect opportunity to move around freely and get a ton of pictures. As soon as I get my photos, I'll gladly share them :) I highly, HIGHLY recommend a visit, and make sure to stop and see the bronze cow on the way out! The Windy City is absolutely stunning. The buildings are beautiful and the history is so rich! If you stop by The Chicago Cultural Center you can go on a free, guided tour.
The Chicago Cultural Center features the artwork of so many talented artists and you will be in awe of everything this place truly has to offer. I enjoyed viewing the work of Nina Chanel on my visit! Dope! This architectural stunner is a must see in the Loop. Built in 1897 as Chicago's central library, it is a fantastic, FREE, thrilling sight to behold. No longer a library, there are various art exhibits which didn't really appeal to me.
The place could be empty and would still be worth a visit. The photos say it better than I. Polite and informative staff. Walk freely through each of 4 stories and enjoy. Tourist or not, The Chicago Cultural Center (CCC) is a Chicago landmark I'd highly recommend when visiting downtown Chicago. The pluses are that it's: A.) Free B.) Easily accessible via public transport C.) Open to the public D.
) Absolutely beautiful inside E.) Has the largest Tiffany Dome in the world Spend some time taking in all the beauty that surrounds this space. The intricate mosaic tiles lining entire staircases and walls, in addition to the Tiffany dome, are amazing. As a Yelp friend of mine stated to me, "They just don't make buildings like this anymore" simply due to the amount of labor and expense necessary to take on a project of this scale.
Many weddings and special events are held throughout the year at the CCC. I first discovered the CCC many years ago when I was on an intern orientation event with the City of Chicago. I was taken aback by its beauty then and after one visit here, I'm sure you will agree too. This place is an awesome hidden gem! Not knowing a lot about the Chicago Cultural Center, I brought my brother that was visiting from out of town here.
It's conveniently located downtown & we wandered in after exploring Millennium Park. They give free-guided tours, but we had just missed one, so we explored for about 45 minutes on our own. It's really fun to just walk around and find different exhibits, explore through different rooms and levels of this unique building. The architecture is beautiful and it's a quick, easy & FREE sight that shouldn't be overlooked! There's a lot to be seen and we did not see everything, but that just means I'll have an excuse to come back again! Great winter sight to hit up (when you want to spend as much time inside).
Saw the Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibit which is on multiple floors of this space. The actual pieces themselves are beautiful and provide the ultimate opportunity for selfies and photo shoots. My friends and I took advantage of this on a Friday afternoon and were occupied for at least 2 hours. The best part about it is that it's free so it's the perfect experience for tourists and residents alike.
We really enjoyed the vertical and horizontal city scapes and those provide some of the best chances for photos. It was also recommended for us to view the rotunda on the 2nd floor and it is definitely a sight worth seeing. I'm not sure what takes place in this space normally but if you get a chance to go while this exhibition is up I recommend going on a weekday where there will be less people and more space for you to see the work.
A real gem in Chicago, this beautiful old building hosts special rotating exhibits, but the building itself is really most of the draw. (I enjoyed the current Architecture Biennial, but as someone who's more a fan than an expert on architecture, I found most of the exhibits a little confusing and uninvolving, although parts of it were thoughtful and fascinating.) The old building is a little bit of a maze, but it rewards people willing to explore.
It was completed in 1897 to serve two functions--Chicago's first central public library and a civil war memorial for the Grand Army of the Republic. The G.A.R. Memorial Hall is large and beautiful, decorated in deep somber colors. The marble walls contain the names of 30 Civil War battles. The highlight of the building is the stunning Tiffany Dome. It features 2,848 faceted glass jewels set into a gold frame.
Come for the building and enjoy the interesting exhibits. Either way, you cannot go wrong. It's a remarkable piece of history just steps from the famous Cloud Gate sculpture (A/K/A, "The Bean.") The building was designed by Boston architectural firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge for the city's central library, and Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) meeting hall and memorial in 1892. The land was donated by the GAR and the building was completed in 1897 at a cost of nearly $2 million (equivalent to $57.
58 million in 2016). It is organized as a 4-story north wing (77 East Randolph entrance) and a 5-story south wing (78 East Washington entrance), 104 feet tall, with 3-foot-thick (0.91 m) masonry walls faced with Bedford Blue Limestone on a granite base, and designed in a generally neoclassical style with Italian Renaissance elements. It is capped with two stained-glass domes, set symmetrically atop the two wings.
Key points of architectural interest are as follows: Randolph Street entrance and stairway - Entrance with doric columns, mahogany doors, and entry hall with coffered ceiling and walls of green-veined Vermont marble. The curving stairway is faced with Knoxville pink marble, and features mosaics and ornate bronze balusters. Washington Street entrance, lobby, and grand staircase - Arched portal, bronze-framed doors, and a 3-story, vaulted lobby with walls of white Carrara marble and mosaics.
The staircase is also of white Carrara marble, set with medallions of green marble from Connemara, Ireland, and intricate mosaics of Favrile glass, stone, and mother of pearl. The stairway to the 5th floor was inspired by Venice's Bridge of Sighs. Grand Army of the Republic Memorial - A large hall and rotunda in the north wing. The hall is faced with deep green Vermont marble, broken by a series of arches for windows and mahogany doors.
The rotunda features 30-foot walls of Knoxville pink marble, mosaic floor, and a fine, stained-glass dome in Renaissance pattern by the firm of Healy and Millet. Sidney R. Yates Gallery - replica of an assembly hall in the Doge's Palace, Venice, with heavily ornamented pilasters and coffered ceiling. Preston Bradley Hall - A large, ornately patterned room of curving white Carrara marble, capped with an austere 38-foot Tiffany glass dome designed by artist J.
A. Holtzer. The Cultural Center states this to be the largest Tiffany dome in the world. Overall a beautiful place. I love the ceiling and history here. Must see in Chicago area. Beautiful. Just beautiful. The architecture is gorgeous. It's close the park, open for long hours, and FREE! It's amazing. The tall windows and artwork are magnificent and I could spend hours in there. My favorite was an exhibit based on the sake of yves saint laurent's estate.
So awesome!! Don't bother reading anymore reviews! Just go!! The Tiffany ceiling is a must and is on the southern most side of the building on the third floor. It's a great photo opp. This cultural center provides alternative life and options to the people. The activities not only bring young age to retirees, it also bring some professional to students display. There is theater and dance ongoing performance if you check their schedule.
They have good children program in summer. What I am interested is the building. The structure was built 1893. Then the Cultural Center was established at 1897. The building has the gothic look. Inside the building has the grand staircase that lead to the Preston Bradley Hall. There go the first Tiffany 38 feet round dome is the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world. When you walk into it, you will said wow.
The marble wall lead to top of the dome. On top of each each wall carve the difference language famous quotations. It is work of art. The second dome is Healy and Millet stain glass dome. This is impressive. Two dome at the same building. There are many art pieces for display. It will be good with special concert to be hold here. Quite a few things were blocked off when I came, so I didn't get to see much.
I like the architectural structure itself, but the exhibits were okay for me. There weren't that many signages explaining what was going on...maybe I should have hopped on a volunteer-guided tour. Location is across from Millenium Park, so stop by if you want to hide indoors for a bit and learn about local artists! What was once the Chicago Public Library and Civil War Memorial has now been converted into a public cultural center featuring free art exhibitions, music, theater, and dance performances.
The space itself is a landmark and just walking around to look at the over 100 year old architecture is pretty cool in itself. From the elaborate ceilings to the marble stairways and even the huge Tiffany & Co dome piece, you can't not help but appreciate how beautiful the building is. If you happen to find yourself nearby at the bean, I'd definitely pop in to take a peek. Like I said this is a free spot to check out.
It would be wise to check out their website to see what special exhibits and performances they have going on and even check the hours/days open. I know they also do rent out the space, as I'd been here for a law school formal. So if you're interested in hosting an formal event or wedding of some sort, definitely worth a look. Anyways, that's about all I got on this one. 'Til next time, cheers! 110/365 Let's be honest here, who can complain about something free in Chicago? This is Chicago! Somethin always cost something! A plastic bag is 7 cents guys! Haha.
BUT! Not the Chicago Cultural Center. It is open to EVERYONE! Are you from Chicago? FREE. Are you from out of town? FREE. Are you an alien that X-Files has decided to come visit? FREE. You get the picture now. I love this center because the exhibits always change. There is always something new! I love the open room that has the beautiful ceilings! It is always clean. There are no rowdy kids running around.
There is alway staff around to keep an eye on everyone. It is so peaceful and quiet in such a busy city. It's almost therapeutic... Gorgeous historic building! A former public library converted into a cultural center. The interior glittered with stone mosaics on every wall. The Tiffany dome (largest one world-wide, I believe, at 35') was breathtaking. A true center where art, music and culture converge! 5/5 stars for the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert I heard on Wednesday afternoon at 12:15pm in Preston Bradley Hall.
Christoph Croisé on Cello and Noreen Cassidy-Polera on Piano were a fantastic duo. I'm definitely not a fan of classical music, but this was a wonderful experience. Nothing beats free entertainment and the opportunity to see emerging artists in an intimate setting. These free concerts are made possible through the generosity of various local and international foundations. Take advantage of a concert if you're in the area.
I enjoyed my time here thanks to the price point as well as the stunning architecture of the building. The two domes, one a Tiffany and the other, and Italian renaissance inspired piece, we both breath taking. He reason for my 3 star review is the security presence here around each corner. I honestly felt like I was being followed by one security guard in particular, so really, I could have enjoyed my time more than I did thanks to this.
If you're in the area, stop by and check it out. The price is right, but be ready to be scrutinized around each turn. Last year I had the good fortune to attend a friend's wedding here So beautiful & mystical. High beamed cielings, great works of art & quite an unusual place for a wedding. I was in awe of the overall transcendent beauty. It was quite the free tourist attraction, but an exceptional wedding venue.
Absolutely stunning & beautiful. What's a girl to do? Enjoy the surroundings & your friends happiness Great museum! Awesome place to spend 1-2 hours for FREE right in downtown Chicago. Close to Millenium Park, the Loop, and the L. That being said, I don't think this is really a museum for kids under middle school because I think they would be bored. It seemed to be mostly rotating exhibits, with the exception of the two stained glass domes.
There was a great exhibit of protest banners on the first floor that I found unique and well curated. My biggest complaint is that it was not easy to navigate and there was a lack of signage. The docents were friendly and helpful, but more signs would have helped.
Title: Cultural Arts Center Chicago