Since its humble beginnings as a reading room inside a repurposed water tower tank in 1873, the Chicago Public Library system has sprouted 81 branches. Throughout its history, the CPL has occupied a variety of architecturally significant from Art Deco and modern. In fact, the Chicago Cultural Center, an elaborate Neoclassical building, was actually the city’s very first public library.
In recent years, Chicago libraries have become more than just community spaces. Last year, the city built three new public library and affordable housing developments. A handsome West Loop library gave new purpose to a former Harpo Studios building. Plus, Mayor Lightfoot has eliminated book fines and expanded hours making the city’s libraries even more accessible.
These 13 libraries represent a sample of the system’s historic architecture and innovative new designs.Read More