In my quest to find new venues to photograph and expand my skills beyond nature photography, I spent a day last week exploring and photographing one of Chicago's hidden jewels, the Chicago Cultural Center. Inspired by a recent post by Architectural Historian Wendy Bright on my friend Chris Smith's "Out of Chicago" website, I decided to check it out. Read Wendy's post and explore Chris' fabulous website here:
Opened to the public in 1897, The Chicago Cultural Center originally served as Chicago's first public library as well as a memorial to the Civil War vets organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic. Many people do not realize the beauty that lies within this massive building that occupies a full city block along Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Washington. Its sparkling mosaics, imported marble and gorgeous stained glass are sure to impress.
Preston Bradley Hall, with its stunning mosaics and the world's largest stained glass Tiffany dome, was originally the library's General Delivery Room. The Tiffany dome is 38 feet in diameter and contains some 30,000 pieces of glass. The dome, mosaics and lighting fixtures were all executed by Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company of New York.
The grand staircase of Carrara marble and mosaics.
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Rotunda and Memorial Hall was built to honor the Union Soldiers in the Civil War. The 40-ft. diameter leaded glass dome was executed by Healy and Millet, a Chicago glassmaking firm.
You can see more images of the Chicago Cultural Center in my website gallery. I will add more in the future, as I plan a return visit to explore more areas of this magnificent building.