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Best Historic Venues in Chicago

, 9 Options Found

Established in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center is a prominent landmark that is operated by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Every year, the cultural center features several programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of arts, including literary and visual. The magnificent art-deco building is attractive in and of itself, its interiors being equally ornate and regal. A particular architectural highlight is the two stained-glass domes within the building, which never fail to mesmerize visitors who pass beneath its massive expanse. Be it for the cultural program roster or simply its artistic beauty, the Chicago Cultural Center continues to be a tourist hot spot.

Ever since maestro Theodore Thomas first raised his baton at the Auditorium Theater, the world knew that this was a first-class orchestra to be reckoned with. That reputation has continued through such legendary conductors as Fritz Reiner and Sir George Solti. In 1997, after an extensive renovation, Orchestra Hall was re-christened Symphony Center, a place dedicated to educating young and old alike about classical and jazz music. Under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, the orchestra has continued its tradition of quality musicianship. Seating arrangements within the hall offer a range of options, from the intimate ambiance of the main floor to the elevated elegance of the balcony. The hall boasts flawless acoustics, achieved through careful attention to detail and the use of state-of-the-art technology. This architectural masterpiece captures the essence of both tradition and innovation, offering an unparalleled experience for music lovers from around the world.

Inspired by a style called "Opium Dream," this theater has a quasi-Arabian theme, from the statues that peer down on the audience to the intricate wrought-iron work on the staircase. This was the premier place to see movies in the Loop, and it later housed such live acts as Fred Astaire and Jimmy Durante. However, it fell into grave disrepair in the 1970s and was shuttered for good in the early 1980s. In the mid-1990s, it was purchased by Canada's Livent Theater Group and painstakingly refurbished with money from the Ford Endowment for the Performing Arts, giving it an expanded name. Today it is one of Chicago's premier showcases for musicals such as Ragtime and Cats.

Amazing and beautiful! That will be your initial impression when you arrive at this breathtaking architectural structure where history, music, and drama echo. "The best of both worlds" is the phrase that best summarizes this classic Loop theater. It is opulent enough to appeal to the most discriminating of tastes, but refined enough to satisfy the most discerning theatergoer. The concerts are frequent, and an occasional movie is shown here on its giant screen. The lower level of this theater has only 281 seats, making it more intimate than other nearby theaters.

Originally presented as a gift to the Art Institute, Goodman Theatre is one of the oldest and largest not for profit theaters in the city. A new, much larger location, in the heart of the theater district, opened to rave reviews. While many students have honed their craft at the Goodman School of Drama, the theater has also won much acclaim for major productions like Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy as Willy Loman, and the annual production of A Christmas Carol. Productions are of consistently outstanding quality.

Established in 1906, CIBC Theatre, previously known as Bank of America theater projects the class of the famous theatrical family that founded it. This venue has stayed in top-notch shape for years, serving as home to touring companies for hit musicals and plays. The theater is small enough to feel intimate but large enough to accommodate substantial crowds. The shape and size of the theater allow for good viewing, whether you are seated at the top of the balcony or in the front row. Hamilton, a largely popular show is hosted here.

Imagine having your dream wedding in a former masonic building or celebrating your birthday in a place that once was home to none other than the Knights of the Templar! The Mansion is about all this and more. Referred to as the 'Emerald Necklace of Chicago', The Mansion is a special-events venue replete with facilities to host everything from wedding ceremonies and birthday and anniversary parties to musical concerts and christenings. The ornate décor, the artwork, and the deep historical dwellings of the place are extremely attractive and are sure to keep you coming back to the place!

Wrigley Field is one of the country's oldest ballparks and also one of the prettiest. You won't find any Astroturf here because the fans would not allow it. The real grass is kept a lush green, and the ivy grows thick and heavy along the outfield walls. Now home to the Chicago Cubs, at one time the Chicago Bears football team played here. Even if you aren't a sports fan, you will enjoy a visit to this stadium. There's enough sense of history to satisfy anyone looking for a slice of the past. Make sure to grab a hot dog and a beer before finding your seat to watch the ballgame. Don't have a ticket? You can try to get a free peek of the game at "The Knothole" - a long rectangular opening on the Sheffield Avenue side of the stadium. Don't forget to check out the statue of famed radio and television broadcaster Harry Caray outside.

This venue showcases some of the most famous acts in rock music. Dating back to 1917, this eye-catching building is equipped with lush balcony seats and VIP-boxes and features French Renaissance Revival architecture. Its lower arena is usually filled with grungy teens or punk rockers ready to mosh. The Riviera is not known for its subtle use of the sound system, so bring earplugs if you want to be able to hear when you reach middle age! Ticket prices vary.

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