Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Chicago Cultural Centre

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This massive building on Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park was formerly the central public library. In 1991 it became the Cultural Center. Over recent visits I must have been past it many times – and noticed swarms of people entering and leaving – but for the first time this trip we went inside, not really prepared for what was there. And it was amazing. “The People’s Palace”


Inside the south entrance the hall and staircase is covered in these mosaics

“Washington Street entrance, lobby, and grand staircase – Arched portal, bronze-framed doors, and a 3-story, vaulted lobby with walls of white Carrara marble and mosaics. The staircase is also of white Carrara marble, set with medallions of green marble from Connemara, Ireland, and intricate mosaics of Favrile glass, stone, and mother of pearl. ” (wiki)


The center has a full program of music, films, lectures and visual arts: there are also tours of the building


There is an old phone box which contains a sort of free electronic juke box


Here is Jelly Roll Morton: Hesitation Blues and the 19263 Black Bottom Stomp (Morton recorded “Black Bottom Stomp” with his Red Hot Peppers in Chicago on September, 15, 1926) both on YouTube


Passage SO-IL (New York City) consisting of a series of portals that envelop a ramp. The installation is made from standard steel studs usually hidden behind a layer of sheetrock and insulation.


Grand Army of the Republic Memorial


The central atrium is not accessible but contains an installation of ladders and swings called “Piranesi Circus” by Atelier Bow-Wow (Tokyo). “This void space recalls the allegory of G B Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons a series of 18th century etchings depicting foreboding architectural scenes.”


The Preston Bradley Hall


The world’s largest stained glass Tiffany Dome (38 foot diameter)


Google translate fail – only gets two words out of four

ministered faithfully 



I didn’t make a recording of this rehearsal – which was making the best of the acoustics under the dome.



Written by Stephen Rees

October 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Posted in architecture, Culture

One Response

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  1. Great article and info!


    November 7, 2018 at 1:19 pm

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