Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge

Chicago Public Library (Chicago Cultural Center)

The Chicago Cultural Center is big, bold, and beautiful. It’s a solid institution in a solid building anchoring the intersection of Randolph and Michigan. Filling an entire block, the stone structure stands as an impressive monument to culture; it seems like it was always meant to be. The short story is that the People’s Palace, …

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Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

In 1866, Chicago wasn’t exactly known for its culture. Culture? Art? In Chicago? Nah—that town was all about making money. It was dirty and consumed with building and the accumulation of wealth. It stunk, with its stockyards and grain elevators and sewage-filled river, and the people that kept coming, thousands of them, hoping to make …

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