When the building opened in 1966, it was known as the Chicago Civic Center. It was rededicated the Richard J. Daley Center in 1976 to honor the late mayor shortly after his death.
The Richard J. Daley Center houses the Circuit Court of Cook County and related government agencies. The Circuit Court of Cook County is not only the largest of the 22 circuits in Illinois; it is also one of the largest unified court systems in the world. More than 2.4 million cases are filed every year.
The law library also resides in the Daley Center. The library provides professional library services, with one of the largest collections of law books in the nation, including statutes and caselaw for all states and many foreign jurisdictions as well as numerous Illinois practices.
After completion of the building, the City of Chicago commissioned Pablo Picasso to create a steel sculpture for the building’s plaza. “The Picasso” was the first monumental modern sculpture to be placed in the loop. The abstract design was initially greeted with controversy. However over time it has become an icon of the city. The sculpture is an exemplary work of cubism in its use of multiple perspectives. This work of art also helped establish the Daley Center as one of Chicago’s important architectural landmarks of the city itself.
Over the years, the Daley Plaza has become a traditional place to hold events. The plaza welcomes many visitors each year and presents many attractions which include cultural noon time programming and well as seasonal farmer’s markets. (www.cityofchicago.org).