Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington St.

The Chicago Cultural Center was completed in 1897 as the city's main library. The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the city's ten most popular attractions. 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. Learning guides are provided to enhance the public's appreciation of the landmark building and enjoyment of its diverse programs and exhibitions.

Programs feature classical, jazz, world, folk, pop, and vocal music concerts, new and classic plays and readings, modern dance performances, art discussions, film screenings, lectures, cultural celebrations, and participatory events for all ages. Regularly scheduled programs include weekday “LunchBreak” concerts and gallery talks, and weekly “Sunday Salon Series” afternoon concerts, among others. Regular building tours are scheduled at 1:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Exhibitions present a wide range of traditional and new media: painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, crafts, architecture, and design. A variety of contemporary, historical, and cultural offerings include international traveling exhibitions as well as one-person shows by local artists. Related lectures, panel discussions, films, symposia, and gallery talks are frequently scheduled.

Designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, the building was dedicated in 1897 as the first permanent home of the Chicago Public Library. Its beaux-arts style was influenced by the buildings of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and its architecture features both Greek and Roman styles. The building's interior features rooms modeled on the Doge's Palace in Venice, the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and the Acropolis in Athens.

* Content provided by the Chicago Cultural Center