Why You Should Visit Chicago Cultural Center – Our Review

It’s a wonderful thing having children that are open to different experiences when we travel. One thing my girls have all inherited, is an appreciation for what previous generations endured to make this country great. Sometimes this means admiring buildings that are over centuries old.

Chicago Cultural Center boasts one of the most comprehensive showcases of arts in the United States. Opening as the cultural center in 1977, the building was originally the central library, completed in 1897. It is our nation’s first free city cultural center. 

Chicago Cultural Center             Chicago Cultural Center

We began our self guided tour on the main floor. There were many winding rooms with lots of different art displays, photos, and history about the city. 

Chicago Cultural Center    Chicago Cultural Center

There were several rooms filled with mini architectural structures, and photos of buildings showing different types of architecture. The girls were fascinated by all the little figures and the detail involved.

Chicago Cultural Center

Anna had fun taking lots of pictures. She even won ribbons for entered photos into our county fair. 

Chicago Cultural Center                       Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center                       Chicago Cultural Center

As we headed to the Grand Staircase, I was taken back by the beautiful tile mosaic artwork and marble detail all around us, including all the moldings. They even offer free architectural tours, you can find more information HERE. 

Chicago Cultural Center Tiffany Dome

At the top of the Grand Staircase is the Preston Bradley Hall, which is used by the mayor to host presidents, royalty, and diplomats. The ceiling is adorned with a Tiffany dome, which they claim to be the largest in the world. it was absolutely breathtaking. 

Chicago Cultural Center
I absolutely love this quote!!

Having previously been the central library, the tile mosaics include names of authors, and quotes. 

Chicago Cultural Center

Artwork was uniquely part of walking through the building. Like this this beam archway. 

Chicago Cultural Center

A wide variety of mediums were present in the displays. 

Chicago Cultural Center Grand Army Republic rotunda

In the Grand Army of the Republic rotunda, there is another beautiful stained glass dome. I would be perfectly content to sit and listen to a book here. 

Chicago Cultural Center                       Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center                       Chicago Cultural Center

We came across another room with more architectural mini structures. These were more artful than the others. 

Chicago Cultural Center

 There were even suspension bridges in one of the atriums.    


Having been to Chicago many times before, I was glad to finally visit the cultural center. It is no surprise the cultural center is one of the most popular attractions in the city. 


Which cultural centers have you visited? Which are your favorites? Share with us on Instagram!! 

Girl kneeling with camera taking pictures

Be sure to check out more of our Chicago fun from Day One!

8 thoughts on “Why You Should Visit Chicago Cultural Center – Our Review

  • July 9, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    It’s was an absolute thrilled to show you one of my fav gem’s in the city. Next time Chicago Botanical
    gardens. Also noteworthy is Open House Chicago Architecture is in Oct this year for 2’days.. They open up 200 buildings to the public to gawk and gaze. Chicago’s history is inside the buildings! Xoxo. Great first blog! I’m honored and grateful to be apart of it.

    • August 29, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      You were a great tour guide. The Botanical Gardens and architectural tour sound interesting too.

  • July 12, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I’m going to be visiting Chicago for the first time in August and this was not on my to do list. It is now! The domes look incredible and the variety of displays look like they can entertain anyone and everyone. I can’t wait to visit in August. Thanks for sharing!

    • August 29, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      Hope you had a great visit to Chicago. Did you visit the Cultural Center?

  • July 12, 2018 at 11:46 am

    I have never been to a cultural center. It would be interesting to visit. I will have to see if there is a cultural center in Atlanta.

    • August 29, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      Yes!! Please let us know if they do. We travel through all the time.

  • July 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve been here! It is a spectacular place to visit. Your pictures are excellent. It shows a variety of things the Cultural Center has to offer. Great post!

    • August 29, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you so much!! Happy you had the opportunity to visit too.

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