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||Contact:|
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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"Parsons & Charlesworth: Spectacular Vernacular"
British husband and wife design duo Tim Parsons and Jessica Charlesworth team up to present their first major exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. "Spectacular Vernacular" is an exploration of how objects are designed and the ways in which they...Design Until Monday January 2 2017 FreeRead more
Things to do
Chicago International Map Fair
World travelers and collectors alike should chart a special voyage to this niche annual fair returning to Chicago for a fourth year. Sample hors d'oeuvres at the stylish cocktail reception that opens the event Friday or spend the weekend browsing beautiful...Festivals Friday October 28 2016 - Sunday October 30 2016Read more
Juicebox Series at the Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Cultural Center presents Juicebox, a free series of performances that will get your kid's creative juices flowing. Music, dancing and theatrics are just some of what you'll find at this regularly occurring event.Friday November 4 2016 - Friday December 16 2016 FreeRead more
Things to do
Wired Fridays at the Cultural Center
Kick the weekend off a little early at Wired Fridays, the Cultural Center’s popular midday DJ series. An engaging rotating lineup of Chicago-based DJs will spin beats from noon to 1pm—the perfect excuse to get out of the office and blow off a little steam...Concerts Friday November 4 2016 - Friday December 16 2016Read more
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The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the more under-appreciated cultural institutions in Chicago, a historic building with architecture that is just as stunning as the works of art it contains. Step inside (go ahead, it's always free!) and you're likely to find an art exhibition on display or a free classical music performance in progress. It doesn't matter if you're a tourist or a local—if you're looking for a bit of culture, you'll find it here.
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.