North and Central America->United States->Illinois->Chicago
Primary architect, Thomas Beeby of Hammond, Beeby & Babka. A. Epstein & Sons International, associate architects. Hammond, Beeby & Babka won a much-publicized and controversial commission to design the largest library building in the country, and spent $195 million to carry out this missive. It is approximately 756,000 square foot.
"The Harold Washington Library Center is a grand, neo-classical building with columns, arches and vaulted ceilings influenced by ancient Greek and Roman structures....opened October 7, 1991, and appeared in The Guinness Book of Records as the largest public library building in the world.
The Harold Washington Library Center has five story arched windows on three sides of the building set in red brick walls. These windows are linked together by cast stone ornamentation. In 1993, seven ornaments were added to the roof. They are placed on each of the four corners, as well as in the centers of the State, Congress, and Van Buren sides of the library. The State Street ornament is a 3 Â½ ton, 20 feet tall sculpture of a Great Horned Owl, a universal symbol of knowledge and wisdom." --http://www.chipublib.org/aboutcpl/cplpr/2007/aia.php