Chicago Cultural Center Tiffany dome restoration complete
Holabird & Root today completed the Preston Bradley Hall Tiffany dome restoration at the Chicago Cultural Center. This project celebrates Chicago's finest example of the high decorative arts of the 1890s and emphasizes the era's cultural richness. It was a fantastic project involving over 60 artisans and consultants.
"The beauty of restoration is the celebration of the past, of the paths that we, and our ancestors, have taken to create physical space, as well as the perpetuation of the crafts and talents that we have brought along the way," said Project Manager and Preservation Group Leader Mary Brush. "The Tiffany dome restoration was a truly remarkable project. The Preston Bradley Hall will become a favorite destination place in Chicago for cultural and social events. It is the architectural embodiment of our history, our present, and our potential for the future."
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of General Services retained Holabird & Root to be the architects of the Preston Bradley Hall Dome restoration in 2004, and the project has been a four-year effort of research, study, and construction.
The building was originally designed as the Chicago Public Library, with the Preston Bradley Hall as the delivery room. In 1971, the building became the home for the Chicago Cultural Center, which Holabird & Root restored.
The goal of the library design was to create large, open, luminous spaces to capitalize on natural lighting. The monumental windows brought in the light and the glass mosaics reflected it. The Tiffany glass dome, the largest in the world, celebrated the light.
The restoration work included the reintroduction of natural light to the dome with the replacement of the 1930s-era concrete dome. The glass was removed, restored, and reinstalled in its original configuration. The return to natural sky lighting allows the textural and color richness of Tiffany glass to radiate.