This classical revival-style building was built in 1897 to serve dual functions: It was the city's first central public library, and it was also a memorial and grand meeting hall for Union Army veterans. Re-christened the Chicago Cultural Center in 1991, the building now houses numerous design treasures, among them, the largest glass Tiffany dome in the world, at 38 feet in diameter. The dome was designed by Tiffany's mosaic workshop director J.A. Holzer, but all of the glass was made by "the Tiffany girls," a female labor force led by Clara Driscoll, head of the company's glass-cutting department. These young women were valued for their deft and nimble handiwork; they made the room's light fixtures, wall sconces and chandeliers as well. While you're at the Cultural Center, check out "Chicago Landmarks Before the Lens" a photography exhibition that highlights numerous other historic city places. 78 E. Washington St.
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