Chicago Public Library (since 1991, the Chicago Cultural Center)

Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge (A. H. Coolidge, design architect)
1897





Rooms in the interior are modeled on the Doge's Palace in Venice, the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and the Acropolis in Athens. Two stained-glass domes, beautiful coffered ceilings, and rich marbles and mosaic inlays contribute to the lavish ornamentation of the interior. Mosaics and glasswork were designed by Robert C. Spencer and executed by J. L. Holzer, an artist who studied under Tiffany.

The Italian Renaissance architecture of the Sidney R. Yates Gallery

Arched bronze doorways, similar to those of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, are inlaid with verd antique marble. Walls, piers and arches in this central room are covered with mosaics of colored stone, mother of pearl and favrile glass.
 

The stained-glass dome

A quotation from Joseph Addison circles under the dome: "Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn."
 

Left: Tribute is paid to writing in various languages, here with Egyptian hieroglyphs. Center: Various writers names embellish the walls--Tasso and Dante, for example; right: looking back toward the Grand Staircase

 

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase is the central focus of the interior and is made of white Carrara marble with mosaic inlays. Note the elaborate coffered ceiling of the stairwell.
 
 

The stairwell walls and mosaic floor



See also views of the exterior.

See the library's new home--the Harold Washington Library Center.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton University.


© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

Page maintained by Mary Ann Sullivan, sullivanm@bluffton.edu