Follow Michigan Avenue one street south to Jackson, cross to the south side of the street, turn right and head down to Plymouth Ct. Look to your left and you'll see the Harold Washington Library rising above the train tracks. Opened in 1991 and at the time the largest public library building in the world, the 10 story library was named after Chicago's late Mayor Harold Washington who helped initiate the ground breaking, but died before the building was completed.
While the Harold Washington Library looks like an architectural mess, the hodgepodge style is actually an homage to Chicago -- the design wouldn't fit anywhere else in the country. The brick front with its soaring arched windows and friezes is a reflection of the copious Beaux-Arts style around the city, and if you walk around the building you'll notice the brick is just a facade -- the sides are modern looking steel and glass, a nod to Mies van der Rohe. The ornamentation on the building includes the face of Ceres -- the Roman goddess of growing plants -- as well as corn and seed pods, symbolizing the Midwest's rich farming history.