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Harold Washington Library

Chicago, IL 60605, USA
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Not Your Average Library Chicago Illinois United States
Harold Washington Library Chicago Illinois United States
Not Your Average Library Chicago Illinois United States
Harold Washington Library Chicago Illinois United States

Not Your Average Library

The Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago is a sight to behold, both inside and out. The exterior of this beautiful building boasts soaring steel and glass windows, with the crown of the structure bearing enormous gargoyles that are perched on high, gazing down upon all who pass. Enter this historical place and you'll be greeted by vaulted ceilings and more literary treasures than you can conceive of. Be sure to make it to the top floor, where you will find an absolutely amazing atrium that streams in sun and starlight alike. The space at the pinnacle of the library is available to rent for special events.

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AFAR Traveler
about 4 years ago

Harold Washington Library

Harold Washington Library is the Chicago Public Library System's main branch. Located in the south loop it is easy to get to and even has it's own CTA stop. It is hard to miss, just look for a large Red Brick building with giant copper green gargoyles on each corner.

Once inside, the library it is amazing. There is big open rotunda when you first walk in and quotes about books on the walls. Take a few flights of escalators to level 4 where the rows of books start and the circulation desk is located. I love to just look around at all the books. If you are looking for a certain section follow the signs and you can find the level you want easily.

If you have young children it is fun to show them the library's old card catalog and explain how library's didn't always have computers.

The best part of your whole trip there will most likely be taking the escalators up through all the books to the very top foor where the stacks end. At the top is a giant room with a glass roof. It isn't well known and there always seems to be only a few people reading or working at the small tables. Look out the windows and see the backside of the iconic Chicago skyline. Also on the way out look out the top of the glass roof through the iron support beams and see the top of the Willis Tower.

The Harold Washington Library is a work of art. Stop in...you'll enjoy it!