The Chicago Cultural Center is a Chicago landmark building that houses the city's official reception venue where the Mayor has welcomed Presidents and royalty, diplomats and community leaders. The building is a testament to the foresight of Chicago's turn of the (20th) century cultural leadership. Originally the central library building, it was converted to an arts and culture center at the instigation of Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg. This is also where the Tiffany dome and chandelier seen the last two days are showcased.
As the nation's first free municipal cultural center, the Chicago Cultural Center is one of the city's most popular attractions and is considered one of the most comprehensive arts showcases in the United States. Each year, the Chicago Cultural Center features more than 1,000 programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts.
According to Crain's Chicago Business, the Chicago Cultural Center was the fifth most-visited cultural institution in the Chicago area in 2007, with 821,000 visitors.
The building was designed by Boston architectural firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge for the city's central library and Grand Army of the Republic Museum, and completed in 1897 at a cost of nearly $2 million. It is organized as a 4-story north wing and a 5-story south wing, 104 feet tall, with 3-foot thick masonry walls faced with Bedford bluestone on a granite base, and designed in a generally neoclassical style with Romanesque revival elements.
Photo taken September 13, 2009.
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