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Chicago's Famous Buildings, fifth edition, also includes expanded sections on the city's future and the development of its diverse neighborhoods, presented with new maps to serve as an even more effective walking guide. A glossary of architectural terms, an extensive index, and more than sixty new photographs of both old and new buildings bring this guide into the present. Authoritative, informative, and easier to use than ever before, Chicago's Famous Buildings, fifth edition, serves visitors and residents alike as the leading architectural guide to the treasures of this marvelous city.
— Benjamin Schwartz
Chicago had long needed an adequate central public library when Shepley,
Rutan & Coolidge won the commission for this building. As the successor
firm of the late H. H. Richardson (whose Glessner House  is his only
surviving Chicago building), they participated in the 1893 World's
Columbian Exposition. Their Art Institute of Chicago had already shown
their skills in large, complex, and symbolic public projects. Sited on a
small public square facing east across Michigan Avenue to rail yards, one
entered the library at its narrow north or south ends. At Washington
Street, to the south, one entered between Ionic columns into a vestibule
dominated by a grand stairway of Carrara marble inlaid with mosaics. At
the top of these stairs is the present Preston Bradley Hall, crowned by a
Tiffany dome. Words and images enliven the surfaces of these spaces,
celebrating language, literature, and the book. The many languages of the
texts acknowledge themultiethnicity of Chicago's people. One text notes
the sweetness of finding, in a foreign land, works in one's mother tongue.
The north entrance on Randolph Street uses the Doric order, associated
with the military, to lead into the spaces of the Grand Army of the
Republic. The GAR was the association of Union veterans of the Civil War.
Its grand staircase leads first to a large room, the GAR Rotunda,
dominated by another stained-glass dome, this time by Healy & Millet.
Beyond is Memorial Hall, where the campaigns of the war are inscribed.
Lincoln and Grant are only the best known of Illinoisans who served the
nation at the time.
As Chicago's population rocketed from 1 million in 1890 to more than 3
million in 1930, the library was soon inadequate to the demands placed on
it. In 1974 the library began its move to temporary quarters in
anticipation of a new central facility, which was completed in 1991.
Holabird & Root completed their conversion and restoration of the building
in 1977. The open U-shaped court on its west side was enclosed with
accessible ramps and other services. Renamed the Chicago Cultural Center,
the building has a rich and eclectic mix of uses including galleries,
performance, lecture, and film spaces, visitor's and senior citizen's
centers, a cafe, a Museum of Broadcast Communication, and offices for the
city's Department of Cultural Affairs.
Excerpted from Chicago's Famous Buildings
by Franz Schulze and Kevin Harrington
Copyright © 2003
by University of Chicago.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|Preface to the Fifth Edition||vii|
|The Commercial Core||21|
|Away from the Core||171|
|The Ghost City||303|