Chicago Beaux Arts Architecture


Art Institute of Chicago Building


The Art Institute of Chicago is a complex of buildings located in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. The main building, which is the centerpiece of the complex, was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by the architects Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, and was completed in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition. 

The Beaux-Arts style is characterized by its grandeur, classical motifs, and ornate decoration, which can be seen in the Art Institute's main building. The exterior features a mix of styles, including a central dome inspired by the Renaissance, Ionic columns, and a stone façade with sculptural reliefs. The interior is equally impressive, with marble floors, grand staircases, and a central rotunda under the dome.

The Art Institute of Chicago is home to one of the world's most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Seurat. Other highlights of the museum's collection include American Art, European Decorative Arts, Contemporary Art, and Asian Art. The Art Institute also has a large collection of architecture and design objects, including Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio.



Art Institute of Chicago Building
Beaux Arts - Art Institute of Chicago


Chicago Cultural Center 


The Chicago Cultural Center building, located in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA, was originally built as the city's central public library in the Beaux-Arts style. The building was designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, the same architects who designed the main building of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The exterior of the Chicago Cultural Center features a classical design, with a grand entrance on Michigan Avenue that leads to a spacious marble lobby. The lobby is adorned with mosaic tile floors, a grand staircase, and a stained glass dome that is one of the building's highlights.

The Chicago Cultural Center is home to a wide range of cultural programming, including art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and dance performances. The building also features several large event spaces, including the Preston Bradley Hall, which has a Tiffany glass dome that is one of the largest in the world. The building's other highlights include a theater, a gallery space, and the stunning G.A.R. Rotunda, which features marble columns, mosaics, and a large skylight.

The building is open to the public for self-guided tours, allowing visitors to explore its many beautiful spaces and learn about the history of the building and the city.



Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center interior


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra building, also known as Symphony Center, is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA, and was designed in a modernist style by the architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  The interior main concert hall however is designed in Beaux Arts style.  

The exterior of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra building is characterized by its sleek, minimalist design, with a glass and steel facade that reflects the surrounding cityscape. The building features a unique, curved design that creates a sense of movement and energy. The interior is equally impressive, with a spacious lobby and grand staircase that lead to the main concert hall.

The main concert hall, named Orchestra Hall, is considered one of the best concert halls in the world for its acoustics, and features a stunning design with warm wood tones and elegant curved lines. The hall is renowned for its perfect acoustics, which provide an exceptional listening experience for both performers and audiences.

In addition to the main concert hall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra building also features several other performance spaces, including the Buntrock Hall, which is a flexible space that can be configured for a variety of performances, and the Grainger Ballroom, which is a spacious event space that features stunning views of downtown Chicago.

Overall, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra building is a striking example of modernist architecture, and an important cultural institution in the city of Chicago. Its combination of modern design and world-class acoustics make it a must-see destination for music lovers and architecture enthusiasts alike.



Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Beaux Arts - Chicago Symphony Concert Hall


The Field Museum of Natural History Building


Although the Field Museum of Natural History building in Chicago, Illinois, USA shares some similarities with the Beaux-Arts style, it is not considered a pure example of this architectural style. The Field Museum building was designed in the neoclassical style by the architect Charles B. Atwood, and while neoclassical architecture has some common elements with the Beaux-Arts style, there are some differences between the two.

Neoclassical architecture, like the Field Museum building, is characterized by a revival of classical forms and motifs, including columns, pediments, and ornate detailing. Beaux-Arts architecture, on the other hand, also incorporates elements of Renaissance and Baroque styles, as well as more ornate and elaborate decorative features.

That being said, the Field Museum building does have some features that are reminiscent of the Beaux-Arts style, such as its grand entrance and ornate detailing, including sculptures and reliefs depicting natural history subjects. However, the building's overall design and detailing are more in line with the neoclassical style, which was popular during the early 20th century when the museum was constructed.



Field Museum of Natural History building exterior
Field Museum exterior - Neoclassical blended with Beaux Arts