Chicago Landmarks

Blackstone Library

Front Elevation     Address: 4904 South Lake Park Avenue
Year Built: 1904
Architect: Solon S. Beman
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: December 8, 2010

Glass-floored mezzanine Entrance Portico Built in 1904, the Blackstone Library is a stately Classical Revival-style building designed by Chicago architect Solon S. Beman, the noted designer of the industrial town of Pullman. It was presented as a gift to the city by Isabel Norton Blackstone in honor of her late husband, Timothy Beach Blackstone, a Chicago railroad executive and philanthropist. As the first purpose-built library branch in the city, the Blackstone represents the Chicago Public Library's early efforts to serve the needs of rapidly growing neighborhoods. The dome of the rotunda is decorated with four semicircular lunette paintings created by Chicago artist Oliver Dennett Grover. The paintings are allegorical murals which convey the themes of Literature, Science, Labor and Art. Blackstone Library's carved granite entrance portico, richly decorated rotunda and glass-floored mezzanine are some of the major historic spaces still intact within the building.