Detail from stairway, Cultural Center, formerly main library. GTJ photo.
The following was posted by the author for "Teen Chicago" an on-line project of the Chicago History Museum:
"I grew up in suburban Park Ridge, but when I reached junior high (1962-4), I had a history report big enough to work
on at the old Chicago Public Library. I took the train downtown, and was introduced to a beautiful, but eccentric, temple
of culture. I was more fascinated by what I saw than I was by the topic for my report. As you still can see today in the Cultural
Center, this was a beautiful, impressive building, rich in detail. The walls were festooned with quotations that set a high-minded
tone and encouraged study. The patrons were much more interesting than anyone I had seen in Park Ridge. I remember sitting
down at a reading table next to an old man who looked like Buffalo Bill -- complete with the long hair and the beard. This
was a wonderful introduction to a wider world of people, places and knowledge."