When I began compiling ideas for my new Monday blog series “Everything Old is New Again“, I thought about the spaces around me in my city, sweet home Chicago. One building that instantly came to mind is the magnificent Chicago Cultural Center, sometimes called “the people’s palace“.
The Cultural Center was originally build in 1897 to be a public library. Designed in the neo-classical style, this impressive granite and limestone building features a stunning Tiffany glass dome and sparkling mosaics. As the needs of the library continued to grow, it became clear that the building either needed to be torn down and a larger, modern library needed to open instead or the library had to move. Eleanor Daley, wife of Mayor Richard J. Daley, strongly believed the building should remain and encouraged her husband to save the building. He began a committee to determine the fate of the building and it was decided it would be saved. In the 1970s, the Chicago architecture firm of Holabird and Root were commissioned to remodel the incredible space, giving it a second life.
The cultural center is now an incredible space for the community featuring programs, musical performances, exhibitions and a private event space to host elegant weddings and other formal events. It is a must see whether visiting from out of town or just wandering the streets of this amazing city. Here are some shots of the amazing interior of this grand building.