The Chicago Cultural Center
(78 E. Washington Street) is not to be missed. It is a Chicago
Landmark and an architectural treasure. It was built in 1897 as
Chicago’s main public library, and continued as the library until
1991. Today it hosts art exhibits, concerts and community events,
and is the site of the Chicago Visitor’s Center.
A visit to the
Cultural Center will not only provide useful touring information and
free entertainment, it will also give you a rare view of one of
Chicago’s most elaborately decorated public buildings. The Community
Center’s sumptuous Washington Street lobby and grand staircase is
covered in white Carrara marble inlaid with mosaics of Tiffany
Favrile glass, colored stone and mother-of-pearl. Roman arches line
the top of the grand staircase, which leads up to Preston Bradley
Hall and a Tiffany glass domed ceiling created in a fish-scale
The Randolph Street side of the building is less opulently
appointed, but still quite grand. This side of the building gives
tribute to the Civil War and the Grand Army of the Republic. The
walls and grand staircase here are made of green Connemara marble
from Ireland, topped by a hand-carved coffered ceiling. This
staircase leads to another elaborate glass-dome in a floral motif.
State Street, Chicago’s original central shopping district, has
changed some over the years. In its heyday, it was home to such
retail giants as Marshall Field, Carson Pirie Scott and Montgomery
Ward. Today, in their place you will find Filene’s Basement, Old
Navy, and Urban Outfitters.
However, one grand old department store still remains in
operation and is worth seeing –
Macy’s on State
(The original Marshall Field & Co.) This stately building
remains one of the largest department stores in the world and is
listed on the National register of Historic Places.
Wrigley Field, built in 1916, is the second oldest Major League
Baseball Park still operating in the United States (after
Boston’s Fenway Stadium built in 1912). It has been home to the
Chicago Cubs since 1916.
Wrigley Field has witnessed many historic
baseball events during its lifetime, including Babe Ruth’s “called
shot” 1932 World Series home run into the bleachers; Ernie Bank’s
500th career homerun; Pete Rose’s 4,191st career hit; and
Sosa’s years of home runs. Wrigley Field has hosted All Star games in
1947, 1962 and 1990.
Even with all that history, there’s one thing missing –
has never witnessed the Cubs win a World Series. But, as Chicago Cub
fans are fond of saying, “Wait until next year.”
In addition to
tickets to see the “Cubbies” play, tours of Wrigley Field are also
in the Federal Plaza, 440 E. Grand Avenue, is one of Alexander
Calder's unique sculptures, known as the Flamingo. However,
this is a nearly fifty-ton sculpture, constructed of iron and coated
in a unique red color. If you are a fan of Calder, this is a
must-see. If not, it is a scene that you may remember from
several movies, including "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
If you are interested in outdoor sculptures, you might want to see
the one by Picasso (untitled) that is in the Daley Plaza at
the Daley Center at Washington and Dearborn. Perhaps you
remember this as the location where Jake and Elwood crash their car
through a window in the "Blues Brothers" movie As Jake said of Daley
Plaza "That's where they got that Picasso."
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