Saturday, May 24, 2014

Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall - Chicago Cultural Center

Location: Chicago Cultural Center - Chicago, Illinois

Features: Large marble hall with Renaissance pattern glass rotunda.  Mosaic floors and mahogany doors that feature the names of the major American Civil War battles.

History:  The Chicago Cultural Center was originally built in 1897 as the city's primary library and meeting hall for the Grand Army of the Republic.  The GAR was a fraternal organization of Civil War veteran founded in Decatur, Illinois in 1866.  The GAR donated the land to build this Chicago landmark with the purpose of housing the GAR meeting hall and memorial.  The other rooms of the building feature a variety of beautiful neoclassical architectural designs.  Today the Center serves as a multipurpose forum hosting local events, art galleries, music and film exhibitions, and lectures.

Traveler's Notes: I attended a recent business related awards ceremony that was hosted in the GAR Memorial Hall.  Being there a little bit early gave me the opportunity to take some pictures.  Perhaps more of an architectural history destination, it is certainly worth exploring the amazing decor of this Chicago institution.


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