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Chicago's Architecture Highlights

Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street), completed in 1897 and designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, serves as Chicago's free-admission public center for culture. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style, the Cultural Center recalls several periods of classical architecture. Lush detailing is present throughout the interior, particularly in the two intricately constructed domes, each made of richly colored glass, including the world’s largest Tiffany dome. Free tours of the Cultural Center are offered weekly, departing from the Randolph lobby on the first floor.

1889 Auditorium Building

The 1889 Auditorium Building (Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway), designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, is still visited by many Chicagoans and visitors because it houses the Auditorium Theatre, which ranks as one of the city's finest performance spaces.


Sullivan's penchant for ornamentation can be seen in the grillwork on the Carson Pirie Scott store (1899), 1 S. State Street. Ornamentation from the Art Deco era is on display at the must-see Chicago Board of Trade Building (LaSalle Street and Jackson Boulevard), a 1930 work of Holabird and Root.

William Le Baron Jenney designed the world's first "skyscraper" in Chicago in 1885: the Home Insurance Building, which was at the northeast corner of LaSalle and Adams Streets.

Jenney's technology, in which a thin outside skin was applied to an iron-and-steel frame, made possible the structures that make Chicago home to three of the world's ten tallest buildings.

Trump Tower in Chicgao
Trump Tower in Chicgao

Michigan Avenue with Wrigley Building in back
Michigan Avenue with Wrigley Building in back



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Source: Chicago CVB; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20100210
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