Massive is the first word that comes to mind when describing Chicago's central public library. The building, named after ... More
Harold Washington Library
Massive is the first word that comes to mind when describing Chicago's central public library. The building, named after Chicago's beloved late Mayor Harold Washington, was built in 1987 with the goal of giving Chicago the largest public library in the world. Five design teams consisting of architects and builders submitted their design plans in a widely publicized competition. In the end, Chicago got a library that combined the latest in construction innovations with an old-world flavored architecture that fits right in with the classic Chicago buildings. Despite being largely understaffed, operations here run fairly smoothly. The collection is huge, encompassing 756,000 square feet and 10 levels, not including a rooftop winter penthouse garden. Among its more than 13 million pieces are innumerable rare manuscripts, books, art and sound archives.
This library is incredible. The only library I have used in America (including nyc) that can rival my Bibliotheque Nationale de France. I have to say it is a masterpiece on the outside as well as inside. I enjoy simply browsing the library for hours upon hours. An amazing library for an amazing city.
My Chicago Public Library card is my passport to the world, and the Harold Washington Library is one of my favorite places to be. I especially like the Language section on the seventh floor. I am now fluent in Spanish, thanks to the wealth of materials I have found here. The Language section offers a wide selection of videos, tapes and books. Now that I know Spanish, I must decide what I want to learn next. Will it be German, Chinese, Polish, Russian, or Tagalog? I have way too much to choose from!
Take a ride on the "L" train. You'll gasp at seeing its gargoyle-festooned roof. It's a relatively new structure with an ancient soul -- just like the late mayor whose name graces the building. Don't be overwhelmed by the dizzying array of books and media on every floor. These librarians are happy to be your guide. Before leaving, take a walk around the top floor's garden-like atrium. There's nothing else like it!
Although not one of the country's larger 'Chinatowns', the main drag on Wentworth Avenue is worth the brief side trip
from the Loop for the curious. You will find an assortment of shops, restaurants and butchers with skinned ducks ...
Graceful sea horses spray jets of water into the lagoon that surrounds what is perhaps Chicago's most beloved public piece
of art. Philanthropist Kate Buckingham commissioned the fountain in 1927 in honor of her brother Clarence. Its design parallels ...
Travel from ancient civilizations through modern times, viewing remnants of bygone cultures and traditions at The Field Museum. Get the
inside story on Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skeleton, or view preserved man eating lions ...
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