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Harold Washington Library Center

Open today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good32%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“dog tags”(7 reviews)
“red brick”(6 reviews)
The library houses approximately two million books and is a wonderful example of Chicago's architecture.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605-1216
Downtown / The Loop
+1 312-747-4300
Ways to Experience Harold Washington Library Center
from USD 30.00
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from USD 650.00
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Reviews (208)
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All reviewsdog tagsbeautiful buildingred brickglass ceilingbook loversformer mayorchildren's sectionlove librariespublic librariesstate streetinformation deskarchitectural gemsouth loopchicago buildingsgreat architecturegreat chicagoworth a stop
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1 - 10 of 177 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The libarary itself isn't impressive like New York or Boston. But if you go to the roof there is a charming atrium. It's a cool space. Other than that this is a pass. Not much to see, but lots to read!!!!

Thank WanderingCanadian33
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The exterior looks like you're going into a giant Chinese restaurant. Inside, it's like most urban libraries: loud, not very clean and tremendously busy. You have a population mix from families, street/homeless people, tourists, serious students and groups using the meeting rooms. Beware, you might...More

Thank Richard L
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Missed the opportunity to go inside..closing time 5 PM, well worth seeing. Wear comfortable shoes and have patience with the crowd taking selfies.

Thank Sharon W
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As a library, HWL is terrific and CPL is a wonderful system. As a building, you might spend a few minutes walking through on the way somewhere else. (I personally love the exterior architecture, but that's a matter of taste.) Free and clean public bathrooms,...More

1  Thank Karen60660
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were disappointed, quite frankly. Staff was not helpful in guiding us to the exhibits and the observation area was closed. The building exterior was interesting but the interior very underwhelming. Not worth a trip out of your way.

Thank Liz M
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The main library is merely the biggest location of the wonderful library system. A beautiful building and a fabulous collection. They always have what I'm looking for, and I love that I can read books for free!!!

Thank Chi_explorer312
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Space is not utilized well and the design feels cold. Wish the location offered more classes - online and guided.

Thank Ptujgirl
Reviewed 12 July 2018

I sat in the library for several hours.I always start with the newspaper and magazine.The floor housing art also has section called MAXWELL Street. On Wabash there is a resturant called MILLERS PUB,best corn beef sandwich and tv with Cubs games. I love watching the"L"roll...More

Thank Theodore L
Reviewed 3 July 2018

I stopped by this building on the way to Chinatown. What a beauty! Such an incredible building inside and out. There's just something peaceful about a library...especially one this huge and beautiful!

Thank Julie I
Reviewed 1 July 2018

I loooove libraries and Harold Washington its one of my favorites. Easy acces from train station and buses and its soo big! You can find anything here or they can request the books you want , they also have cool events like print making or...More

Thank Lirumena
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Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a
good starting point to sample the city's energy and
flavor. This central business district boasts
Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier
shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep
your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many
photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of
Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of
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10 June 2017|
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Response from cherryicecream2017 | Reviewed this property |
I humbly apologize for not responding sooner, my Internet has bee been down, the question is no longer readily visible to me at this time. I hope I can help in the future in a more timely manner. Cherry ice cream, 2017