Conrad Sulzer Regional Library

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Across from Welles Park.

Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, formerly Hild Regional Library,[1] is one of two regional libraries in the Chicago Public Library system in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois. It was named for Conrad Sulzer, a 19th-century Swiss settler in what was then Lakeview Township.[2] The library is located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood at 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. It is a full-service library and ADA compliant. As with all libraries in the Chicago Public Library system, it has free Wi-Fi internet service.[3]


The current building was designed in 1985 by the architectural firm of Hammond Beeby and Babka, now known as Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge, Inc. It utilizes a German neo-classical style inspired by the prominent German-American local culture[4] and the German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.[5] The same firm also designed the Harold Washington Library.[6]

Sulzer houses custom made furniture in a German mythological theme. It was a replacement for the Frederick H. Hild Regional Library, which now is home to a branch of the Old Town School of Folk Music. Alderman Eugene Schulter was instrumental in getting funding and the political support for the library. It was opened to the public in the fall of 1985.

Mysterious book removal[edit]

In 2001, books from the Sulzer branch were mysteriously being removed from the shelves. According to community activists, as many as 35,000 books were being removed. When Alderman Schulter went to see what was happening, at the behest of some community activists, he was denied entry. In addition, a Chicago Sun-Times photographer was also denied access to the library. According to Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, the alderman was not ordered to leave the library and the removal of books was part of standard procedure for older, damaged or less popular books.[7][8][9]

At the time, rumors were being circulated that Sulzer Library might be downgraded from a regional library. It also may have been a result of then-director Leah Steele's refusal to take a position at the Harold Washington Library. She was subsequently fired.

As a result of the lawsuit and media exposure, Commissioner Dempsey agreed to form a citizen advisory committee, promised not to remove Sulzer's regional status, and guaranteed continuing Sulzer's Media Center.[citation needed]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°57′46″N 87°41′04″W / 41.96278°N 87.68444°W / 41.96278; -87.68444