Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Cultural Center
Are you visiting the Windy City? We figured this could be an intriguing place to see because it brings together structure, industrial and social history, and it could give us insight into one of the most intriguing characters of Chicago's history.
To find more info regarding this neighborhood we spoke to one of those volunteer greeters who team the Chicago Cultural Center and provide their regional experience to people free of charge. The Chicago Greeter program today offers 150 greeters talking 20 languages as well as the Greeter program is among the most effective methods for getting to know the city through the eyes of a neighborhood resident.
As a matter of fact, I'd registered electronically to get a Chicago Greeter Tour before my death, but something had gone wrong with my enrollment and consequently I wasn't assigned a greeter. The fantastic thing is that the Town of Chicago offers"InstaGreeters" - neighborhood volunteers / specialists who take folks on downtown walking tours with no requirement of a previous registration.
This is the way we happened on our own private InstaGreeter excursion: Chicago Greeter and neighborhood specialist Don spoke to us a little about the Pullman Historic District, but the longer we spoke, and the further he noticed that we were very curious, he asked us if we wanted a 20 minute tour of the Chicago Cultural Center. Considering that this is a Chicago landmark we easily agreed.
It's an impressive limestone-faced construction with complex features, marble staircases, tiled ceilings, beautiful floor mosaics and two notable stained glass domes. The cupola on the south side of this construction is that the world's largest Tiffany stained-glass dome.
Now the Cultural Center houses one of the town's Visitor Information Centers, many galleries, exhibit and meeting spaces, the Landmark Chicago Gallery which shows photos from the permanent collection of Chicago landmarks, the 294-seat Claudia Cassidy Theater in addition to the Studio Theater and several other facilities. You may even get married within the Chicago Cultural Center.
Produced from the beaux-arts design by the Boston firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, the Chicago Cultural Center was finished in 1897 and committed as the town's first Chicago Public Library. Completed at a cost of almost $2 million, that this remarkable monument was motivated by the neo-classical kind of this World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893.
To start off, Don told me that the title of the town of Chicago is an Indian term for"stinky onion swamp". In addition, he clarified that Chicago is a city of superlatives: 3 of the world's 10 greatest buildings are situated here. Chicago is also widely regarded as the birthplace of modern design along with also a living museum of design, showcasing a few of the planet's most renowned architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry.
The world's biggest public library is located here: the Harold Washington Library Center houses two million novels. Chicago is also home to the greatest building in the USA (excluding the Pentagon): the Merchandise Mart includes 90 acres of ground area, housed within an Art Deco landmark. Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park is among the world's biggest fountains. Chicago also offers the only river in the world that flow backward.
Our regional specialist Don took us throughout the construction and showed us both stained glass domes, the exhibition halls, the photograph collection of Chicago landmarks, and also to keep moving along the line of superlatives, Don gave us a short synopsis of Millennium Park, situated directly across Michigan Avenue from the Chicago Cultural Center. The concept of Millennium Park was conceived by renowned mayor Richard M. Daley and collectively with private business gifts has come to be among the most striking outdoor places everywhere.
Our Chicago Greeter Don, a former vice-president in Motorola, is quite knowledgeable about the history of Chicago and incredibly enthusiastic about his town. His pride in his town is clear, and there's a whole lot to be proud of. For me personally, Chicago's waterfront including Grant Park, the lakefront road and its shores are a few of the most amazing characteristics of this city.
In complete Chicago has more than 7300 acres of parkland, 552 parks, 33 beaches, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, and it is not surprising that Chicago has won a lot of awards such as"Best Town in the World" along with other accolades.
Together with Don's aid we have a fantastic summary of the Cultural Center and also a little bit of insight into Chicago's fascinating history. It was an ideal preparation for our tour of the Pullman Historic District, a commercial community made by George Pullman, a industrial despot, however a foresightful social entrepreneur that, based on Don, has been universally hated.
Equipped with a little bit of background understanding we were awaiting our exploration of Pullman's social experimentation.