Skip to main content
Playlist Chicago Public Library

Chicago Public Library

Fourteen Remarkable Libraries in the Chicago Area

Geoffrey Baer

Ever since the opening of the Central Library, now the Cultural Center, in 1897, the Chicago area has built some remarkable libraries, as Geoffrey Baer explores. 

Architect Brian Lee Brings the Expertise Required for Skyscrapers to Neighborhood Buildings

Daniel Hautzinger

Brian Lee has designed one of the tallest buildings in the world as well as neighborhood-level buildings such as three libraries in Chicago. "To be able to reinforce and maybe enhance a neighborhood with a building—I think that’s a great positive goal of architecture and urban design,” he says. 

The Chicago Librarian Who Created a Lauded Collection of African American History and Literature

Daniel Hautzinger

Vivian Harsh helped make Bronzeville's library a center for African American writers and intellectuals, hosting speakers such as Gwendolyn Brooks and Zora Neale Hurston and amassing a collection of books and manuscripts by the likes of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright.

Out of the Ashes: The Birth of the Chicago Public Library

Daniel Hautzinger

The Chicago Public Library was founded in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire with an inventory of books donated from England and other countries. 
Subscribe to Chicago Public Library