Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library, Chicago

4.6
#117 of 351 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, Chicago Public Library Reviews
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174 reviews
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4.5
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  • This one is world class. Beautiful architecture, and a great place to get a little respite from the hullabaloo of the city. Once you're rested, step on to the L (right outside the doors) and explore a...  more »
  • I went with a friend and I must have asked a dozen times, "How did they get so much funding?!" Architecture both inside and out were breathtaking. The interior was filled with artwork and famous quote...  more »
  • very well done, very well thought out. huge amount of copies. you have a floor of games! order of Board Games! I am a fan of puzzles and they have them on large tables as a community where anyone can sit together awhile.
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  • Essential visit whenever in Chicago. Stunning building, inside and out. Massive collection has most anything you many desire. There is an auditorium in the basement featuring speakers often. Music CDs, especially jazz is extensive. Discarded items from the collection can also be gotten for free in a small room right off the media department on ground floor. Lots of space to study and relax. Nice exhibit room on the top floor with changing exhibits.
  • This is unacceptable. I have been trying to connect with an associate to reserve a book for over 30mins. I called, a machine answered and had me on hold. When I finally had the chance to speak to someone, she was unable to additional me and transferred me to the "first floor" (I'm not sure what it means). The phone rang and range and rang for over 3mins now one answered then got disconnected. Now try again 3 times!!
  • The best library in Chicago! Except for the transients that come to sleep and snore from opening to closing, and the loud talkers. Besides that, there's so much information here it's unbelievable.
  • This has everything you want in a library and the building itself is fantastic. Located in the middle of the South Loop, its is definitely a place to visit when you're in town, or to come by whenever you're downtown. Don't miss the Winter Garden on the top floor! It is breathtakingly beautiful and serene.
  • I've been here many times and will continue to go. The librarians are very helpful and friendly--better than what you find in the burbs. I don't think it's a great place to study or work because there are a number of people using it as a daytime shelter to sleep and hang out. I basically look for books, check out, and leave.

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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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