Chicago History

Memories of the Chicago Public Library

Favorite website
Open your eyes
If you only have time...
Maybe you'll be lucky
Day trip
Other ideas
Visiting Professors
Histories that have not been written
Pilgrim Baptist Church

Cultural Center
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."