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Harold Washington Library Center


400 S. State St.




Sat, Oct 16: 10am - 5pm

Sun, Oct 17: 1pm - 5pm

Family Friendly Photography Permitted Washrooms Available Wheelchair Accessible


Hammond, Beeby and Babka, 1991



Harold Washington Library Center is the central library location of the Chicago Public Library. Opened in 1991, it was named in honor of Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago's first African American Mayor. The enormous building’s red stone exterior references other iconic Chicago buildings such as the Monadnock and The Rookery, but the enormous rooftop acroteria, in the form of copper owls, give it a distinctive presence. Always a hub of activity, the library houses over 1.2 million holdings, an award-winning Maker Lab, the renovated Thomas Hughes Children's Library, cutting-edge Teen YouMedia space, dozens of works of art by notable artists, rotating exhibits, music practice rooms, and a beautiful Winter Garden.