Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chicago Cultural Center

Our tour of the great city of Chicago continues! Last weekend Mica and I went on a tour of the Chicago Cultural Center.  We got there early for the tour because we heard the tour groups were large and they only provide one tour a day. However, we ended up being the only ones there that day! Woo hoo!

Our tour guide was incredible. You could tell from his tone and body language that he loves what he does. We learned so much about the history of the city and the Cultural Center. For example, the word Chicago is an Algonquin (Native American) word for "place of the onion". The city land used to be a field of onions!

Also, the World's Fair was held in Chicago in 1893, the year the Cultural Center was built. In anticipation of this great event, the people of Chicago built the Center to impress all the people who would be attending the fair. Also, several new inventions were introduced at this fair including the zipper, popcorn, Juicy Fruit gum, the Ferris wheel, and the first electric automatic washing machine. The Center was originally built to be a library and a meeting place for war veterans but then in the 1960s was converted into a center of history and culture.

OK, enough history. Let's see some pictures!

Here is a stained glass dome in the Grand Army of the Republic rotunda.

This room used to be a large reading room which is why the windows are so tall and large. They relied heavily on natural sunlight back in the day. You can see our humble tour guide too.

Here you can begin to see the AMAZING tile work done here (all cut and laid by hand) and the theme of plants and agriculture that permeates the center. This theme represents the farmers of the Midwest.

This is my favorite room by far. The walls and ceiling are covered almost entirely with bright and beautiful tiles.

Same room here.

This is a famous Tiffany stained glass dome designed by (I believe) a relative of the guy who founded the Tiffany jewelry store. It is gorgeous!

This room and staircase was used for a scene in the film "The Untouchables". Where we are standing is used by many couples when they wed in the hall behind us.

More tiles. Also, there are quotes ALL OVER the place including the names of numerous authors (which makes sense because it used to be a library). 

Cool shot here. You can see all four floors from this vantage point. 

This is a sparkling building that is both governmental and private. There are several merchant stores inside as well as state offices.

What great use of natural light!

What does this say to you? It looks like all three pieces form a large tower. 

 Mica and a trash can. And what a lovely trash can it is.

Can anyone guess what word these letters form? Hint: it's an advertisement for an art show


Random Blues Brothers walking around Chicago. It makes sense to me.

Every time we go into the city we bring home a bag of Garrett's Popcorn!  We always get the Chicago Mix which is a combination of the cheese popcorn and the caramel-covered popcorn. I want to be buried with these delicious little treats.

We dyed Easter eggs this year.  We need to practice. I made the little football egg.


  1. Hey cuties!
    I really enjoyed this post. You are sharing things I did not know or have never seen. Love it! So glad to see you take advantage of it all!

  2. Hi, M&M! Its been a looooong time since I've logged onto blogger. So happy to see your posts! Life in Chicago looks so fun and interesting! We keep staring at C&A wedding invite on our fridge. Hope you all had the most wonderful family gathering for their wedding! You both look great and so happy to see such big smiles. *Hugs and Loves!*