Monday, May 12, 2008

1909 Public Library, Michigan Ave. and Washington St., Chicago, Illinois

On Monday, October 11, 1897, the Central Library, at Michigan Avenue between Washington and Randolph Streets, opened its doors to the public. The building, located on the grounds of Dearborn Park, (named for the Fort Dearborn Military Reservation that formally encompassed the area) cost approximately $2 million to design and build. The building was designed by A.H. Coolidge, associate of the firm Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge of Chicago. In designing this building, 25 draftsmen took one year to complete approximately 1,200 drawings. Heedful of the lessons of the Chicago Fire, they designed the building to be practically incombustible.

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