NileGuide Expert Says:
Conveniently located downtown to help begin your Chicago exploration.
NileGuide Expert tip:
Stop by during lunch time to catch a noon performance in the lobby for free!
The Chicago Cultural Center was built in 1897 as the city's public library, and in 1991, it was transformed into a showplace for visual and performing arts. Today, it's an overlooked civic treasure with a basic Beaux Arts exterior and a sumptuous interior of rare marble, fine hardwood, stained glass, and mosaics of Favrile glass, colored stone, and mother-of-pearl inlaid in white marble. The crowning centerpiece is Preston Bradley Hall's majestic Tiffany dome, said to be the largest of its kind in the world.
The building also houses a Chicago Office of Tourism visitor center, which makes it an ideal place to kick-start your visit. If you stop in to pick up tourist information and take a quick look around, your visit won't take longer than 15 minutes, but the Cultural Center also schedules an array of art exhibitions, concerts, films, lectures, and other special events (many free), which might convince you to extend your time here. A long-standing tradition is the 12:15pm Dame Myra Hess Memorial classical concert every Wednesday in the Preston Bradley Hall.
Guided architectural tours of the Cultural Center run at 1:15pm on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2009
- Recommended 2010