This post will be very light on words. Mainly, I want to bring you on a visual tour of the Chicago Cultural Center, an old building with plenty of charm.
We might have missed it altogether if my friend Barbara, who’d been to Chicago several months back, had not suggested before the trip that if time, we should stop and take a gander at this free offering. She said it had been among the surprises of her own trip. Because I wasn’t in charge of our Chicago trip itinerary, I wasn’t sure how much push I’d have. But I made a gentle suggestion that if it were convenient, we might take a peek.
It was toward the end of Day 2, after we’d had our fill of art and fountains, that we began to head back to the hotel for the evening, and realized we’d be going right past this historic building. We’d walked right past it on the way to the art institute, so it seemed right to just pause a moment.
We weren’t prepared for the visual delight of this building. At first, we thought we’d come upon what Barbara had mentioned was her favorite spot — the Tiffany dome. But what we didn’t know was that treasure was yet to present itself.
Little by little, we were lured in further, passing the most interesting nooks, crannies and angles.
Eventually, we found ourselves gazing in on a most incredible spectacle — a room in the site of the former public library (built in 1897) — which announced itself in rather dramatic fashion. And we stood spellbound.
I even took a short video…
I’m sure it was a combination of not expecting much, and being all filled up already, that had us caught so off guard. But in the end, I think everyone in our group felt grateful we’d had a chance to peer into history here, and be mesmerized by its current form.
The building houses rotating exhibits as well. We had arrived in time to browse through the exhibit featuring doors designed by Eugene Eda, formerly house at the Malcolm X College.
Of course, I found myself once again captivated by art depicting a mother and child.
And always, the musical features lure me in. A few recognizable faces here.
The words, too, always draw, and in this old library, there were words aplenty.
It definitely felt like touching history, being in such an ornate building, whispers of old all around.
We left feeling our day was truly complete, the dazzling colors of the Tiffany dome and all of the treasures within still dancing in our minds as we headed back into the city streets.
Our visit to Chicago was still very new; there was so much to explore. Soon, we would find our way to the pier to see what we might see.
Q4U: When have you been delightedly surprised while on vacation?