Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago

4.6
#118 of 343 in Things to do in Chicago
The Harold Washington Library Center is the central library for the Chicago Public Library System. It is located just south of the Loop 'L', at 400 S. State Street in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is a full-service library and ADA compliant. As with all libraries in the Chicago Public Library system, it has free wifi internet service. The building contains approximately 756000sqft of space. The total square footage is approximately 972000sqft including the rooftop garden penthouse, according to the Zoning department of the city of Chicago.
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Harold Washington Library Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
178 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It's a beautiful building and the interior is very interesting, especially the open space on the top floor, where you can see the Willis Tower through the glass ceiling! Also, check out the "baby bean...  more »
  • forget the usual libraries: this is a real creative laboratory. There is everything! the area for those who want to experiment with musical instruments, the silent zone for students, the laboratories of biology. Needless to say, the property is beautiful and easily accessible by public transport: definitely deserves a visit. the children area then is an absolute wonder
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  • I've walk past this library dozens of time and finally went inside. It won't be the last time. I loved checking out all the many levels, and taking a break at the top level. Next time I visit Chicago ...  more »
Google
  • It's a beautiful building with giant owls on the outside! Inside the stairs take you to large collection of many Fields. The top has a gallery with displays that change a few times per year. The ground floor is beautiful with a neat round basement near the hall used for open mic. The pop culture room has great collection of music, even Opera. And a whole wall of comics!
  • Good place to warm up on a cold day, except that in some day it doesn't open before noon and on others it closes at 5:00 pm. Lots of books, especially for research on Chicago commercial institutions and political history. Excellent programs for children.
  • Fantastic library in the middle of the city with a wide array of books. Easily accessible from the red and brown lines. Expansive collection of hundreds upon hundreds of books spanning multiple floors. If you love reading, this place is paradise.
  • A wonderful library. Pleasant atrium on the 9th floor. Beautiful art department on the 8th floor. Also really enjoyed the innovative playground design exhibition on the 3rd floor. The Maker programming seems really cool too. If I lived in Chicago I'd be a regular for sure!!
  • Massive library perfect for reading, getting work done, doing puzzles, exploring, or warming up from the cold. Visit the lobby on the top floor for Cultural Center-esque vibes.

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The Midwest's major center for business conventions, Chicago boasts many affordable places to stay, with most hotels located around the airport and the city's central business district. To discover the city from a comfortable base within walking distance of most tourist attractions, aim for one of the big chain hotels in the downtown area. If you're traveling on a limited budget and wish to get a deeper sense of Chicago's many diverse neighborhoods, consider staying away from the pricey city center and explore suburbs on a commuter train line for easy city access.
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