Chicago Landmarks

Chicago Public Library/Cultural Center

Michigan Ave. and Washington St. elevations     Address: 78 E. Washington St.
Year Built: 1897
Architect: Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: November 15, 1976

Illuminated dome Washington St. elevation and detail This is the first permanent structure of the city's public library system. Designed to be a grand civic building, its Classical Revival-style exterior appearance and its interior spaces are based on classical Greek and Italian Renaissance precedents. The interior is extensively decorated with mosaics, marbles, bronze, and two stained-glass domes designed by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. The building's architect was the Boston firm that succeeded the office of Henry Hobson Richardson, designer of the Glessner House.

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