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Open thread: Which Chicago buildings have the most beautiful interiors?

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Flickr Creative Commons/Jackman Chiu

One thing Chicago has always done well and (hopefully) will continue to lead in is the world of architecture. While the architectural merit of newer buildings is often debated in the comments section of this blog, Chicago has an incredible collection of groundbreaking buildings from all periods since the advent of the skyscraper. So instead of discussing the perceived shortcomings of newer proposals, let’s shine a light on the good stuff.

Some of Chicago’s greatest buildings ever constructed were lost during the so-called urban renewal period from the 1960s through the 1990s, but fortunately, there are still many incredible spaces that have survived over the decades. When considering the most beautiful interiors, places like the Chicago Cultural Center, the Auditorium Theatre, and the Palmer House with their gilded age ornamentation are some buildings that immediately come to mind.

While some of Chicago’s most beautiful interiors have been restored and returned to the streetscape as contributing properties, others, like the Uptown Theatre, have been left in the lurch. There are still many beautiful buildings that are not open to the public. But hopefully with enough support and a financial and political will, future generations will be able to create memories in these places.

If you’re a Curbed reader, odds are that you probably have a building whose interiors are close to your heart. So tell us: Which buildings do you think have the best interiors? Sound off in the comments below, and feel free to share photos if you have ‘em. We’ll compile the best of the best in a forthcoming article.