Chicago Cultural Center

  • Museums
  • Cultural center
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Photograph: Martha Williams
Cultural Center
Loop Free

Since being converted to the Cultural Center in 1991 (it used to be the Chicago Public Library), this city-block-wide institution now offers free classical concerts Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. Most of the center’s classical offerings take place in Preston Bradley Hall on the second floor near the Washington Street entrance, but the Claudia Cassidy Theater (named for the Tribune’s venom-penned theater and music critic from the ’40s) on the Randolph Street side is used for experimental concerts, too. Concerts are always free.

Venue name: Chicago Cultural Center
Address: 78 E Washington St

Cross street: at Michigan Ave
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 8am–7pm; Fri 8am–6pm; Sat 9am–6pm; Sun 10am–6pm
Transport: El stop: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Randolph; Red to Lake. Bus: 3, 4, 6, 10. Train: Elec Main to Millennium Station
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Pick a date

  • Sculpture Until Sunday May 1 2016
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  • Classical and opera Wednesday February 17 2016 - Wednesday February 24 2016 Free
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  • Film events Thursday March 3 2016 - Sunday March 6 2016 Free
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  • Festivals Friday May 13 2016 - Sunday May 15 2016 Free
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  • Music festivals Thursday September 1 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016 Free
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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Michael J

It's kind of amazing that you can just wander off of the street and into this stunning space for free. What you can actually do inside of the Cultural Center depends largely on the programming, but it's worth a visit just to explore its interiors: the ornate staircases, the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial room and the two glass domes. Of the latter, the Tiffany one is particularly sublime; grab a seat and just admire it.