Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Monday–Thursday, 9 am–7 pm
Friday, 9 am–6 pm
Saturday, 9 am–6 pm
Sunday, 10 am–6 pm
Holidays 10 am-4 pm, Visitor Information Center only
Drawn by its beauty and the fabulous free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Chicago Cultural Center every year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events.
Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library, the building was designed to impress and to prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis. The country’s top architects and craftsmen used the most sumptuous materials, such as rare imported marbles, polished brass, fine hardwoods, and mosaics of Favrile glass, mother-of-pearl and colored stone, to create an architectural showplace. Located on the south side of the building, the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome ― 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass ― was restored to its original splendor in 2008. On the north side of the building is a 40-foot-diameter dome with some 50,000 pieces of glass in an intricate Renaissance pattern, designed by Healy & Millet.
In 1991, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents hundreds of free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers, providing a showcase where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts.
Come for the beauty, stay for the events.
Designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge as the first home of the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Cultural Center was completed in 1897. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 31, 1972, and was designated a Chicago Landmark by the City Council on November 15, 1976.
The Beaux Arts style was influenced by the buildings of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The building's interior features rooms modeled on the Doge's Palace in Venice, the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and the Acropolis in Athens. Its lush ornamentation includes two stained-glass domes, rare marbles inlaid with sparkling mosaics, and intricate, coffered ceilings.
Third Floor (Washington Street Side)
Third Floor (Randolph Street Side)
Fifth Floor (Washington Street Side)
Pedway Randolph Street Side
The Chicago Cultural Center is open seven days a week, except Holidays.
Garland Gallery, Chicago Rooms, Yates Gallery & Exhibit Hall:
The Michigan Avenue Gallery hours are the same as the building hours.
The Chicago Cultural Center is closed on the following holidays in 2015:
- New Year's Day - Thursday, Jan. 1
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Monday, Jan. 19
- Abraham Lincoln's Birthday - Thursday, Feb. 12
- Presidents' Day - Monday, Feb. 16
- Pulaski Day - Monday, Mar. 2
- Easter - Sunday, April 5
- Memorial Day - Monday, May 25
- Independence Day - Friday, July 3 & Saturday, July 4
- Labor Day - Monday, Sept. 7
- Columbus Day - Monday, Oct. 12
- Veterans' Day - Wednesday, Nov. 11
- Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, Nov. 26 (Visitor Information Center closed)
- Christmas Day - Friday, Dec. 25 (Visitor Information Center closed)
Choose Chicago Visitor Information Center Hours
The Choose Chicago Visitor Information Center is located on the Randolph St. side of the building.
The Visitor Information Center is open on holidays from 10am-4pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day when it will be closed.
- Monday to Saturday: 10am–5pm
- Sunday: 11am–4pm
Closed in observance of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Wireless is available to the public, in the public locations of the Cultural Center. The network is named "Wiz." Coverage/accessibility may be different in various locations inside the building, and speed is dependant on the number of users at any given time.
A good place to try access is in the Randolph Square on the first floor, north side of the building.
The wheelchair accessible entrance is located at street level at Garland Court, near the Randolph Street entrance, where power assisted doors are located at the westernmost entry portal.
Wheelchairs for use in the Chicago Cultural Center are available upon request on a first come, first served basis. Upon arrival, please ask the security officer on duty in the lobby for assistance.
A wheelchair-height pay phone is located on the first floor. This phone is also TTY capable. Wheelchair-height water fountains are located on the first, second and fourth floors near the restrooms.
The phone at the reception desk of the Chicago Cultural Center is equipped to receive TTY calls. The TTY phone number is 312.744.2947.
All restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Restrooms are located on the first and second floors.
ALDs for the hearing-impaired are available for all public concerts and lectures.
An accessibility lift and assisted seating are available in the Claudia Cassidy Theater.