There was a period in time when American architecture was a form of art. Every single tile and every single window was laid perfectly in place to construct a beautiful piece of work. The buildings would tell a story, written in the walls in the forms of arches and columns. It's hard to come by these type buildings nowadays in America (thanks to the popularized idea of "rebuilding the old" in the 1970s and 80s). The late nineteenth century has been nearly written out of history in many parts of the country. However, tucked away on a street just across Millennium Park in Chicago sits one of the most beautiful examples of American Renaissance architecture I have ever seen.
The fire of 1871 had nearly destroyed Chicago completely. Within years eager architects had begun projects far and wide to rebuild this fast growing city. Donations from around the world came flooding in to restore Chicago's promise, some of which came in the form of books. Queen Victoria even donated books to the city of Chicago shortly after the fire. The need for a library became apparent and by 1897 the building was finally complete.
The library was designed in both Roman and Greek style. Along the walls are dozens of quotes in different languages about books and libraries. The stained glass dome is the largest Tiffany dome in the world. Every room was designed meticulously, giving every visor almost too much to look at.
Today, the library is now a cultural center. Free to visit, the building now houses exhibitions, performances, and private events. Although it is one of the most visited attractions in Chicago, upon entering you feels as if you have found a hidden gem.
Admission | Free
Hours | Monday - Thursday 9AM - 7PM
Friday & Saturday 9AM - 6PM
Sunday 10AM - 6PM
What are some of your favorite buildings around the world?