The American Writers Museum celebrates American writers through innovative, state-of-the-art exhibitions and compelling programming.
The Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library has been an anchor of the storied Bronzeville community for generations. The library’s namesake, Dr. George Cleveland Hall, was a renowned African American surgeon, social activist, and civic leader. The library opened in 1932 and was the first branch to have an African American branch manager, Vivian Harsh.
Harsh amassed a vast collection of African American research and pioneered library programs to foster the work of Chicago writers. The "Book Review and Lecture Forum," an influential discussion group about black literature, current events, and social issues that she initiated in 1933, existed until 1953.
The library served as a meeting place for writers like Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Lorraine Hansberry, just to name a few. On July 7, 2000, the Friends of Libraries USA and Illinois Center for the Book designated Hall Branch as a literary landmark in recognition of its promotion of African American literary culture. The library still stands proudly at the same intersection of 48th St. and Michigan Avenue serving the Bronzeville and Grand Boulevard communities.
To appreciate the Hall Branch Library's unique architecture, you will want to step inside.
George Cleveland Hall Branch Library opening day and today