A Cultural Center for Public Programming
Whether it’s a world music or dance performance,
a lecture, conference, or symposium, an international
film festival, or a cultural celebration, International
House presents public programming that
advances cross-cultural understanding and
promotes opportunities for civic discourse
on community, national, and world affairs.
For over 75 years, programs such as our Global Voices Program have provided Chicago’s citizens, universities, cultural institutions and community groups meaningful engagement with master artists, scholars, and leading figures from the world stage.
Situated in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and located on the campus of the University of Chicago, International House builds on its historic and educational position as it continues to expand its role as presenter and co-sponsor of innovative, internationally-focused programs.
Global Voices Community
Through the Global Voices Community Co-sponsorship Program, International House offers its conference venues, performance space and professional support to educational and cultural organizations, as part of an ongoing effort to foster culturally authentic programs and to raise awareness of contemporary global issues. We invite your group to apply for Global Voices Community Co-sponsorship when planning your next public event.
A Rich History
There are five original International Houses - in Berkeley, Chicago, New York, Paris and Tokyo. They were all built with funds provided by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., at the suggestion of Harry Edmonds, a YMCA official. Both men believed that if American and foreign students could live, work and study together in a comfortable multicultural environment this would lead to friendships and increased international understanding. Since International House at the University of Chicago first opened its doors in 1932, it has provided a “home away from home” for nearly 40,000 individuals from around the world.
Designed by the legendary Chicago architectural firm of Holabird and Root, International House is a nine-story gothic building which centers around a fountain courtyard and soars above the Midway Plaisance, the historic site of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Facilities include the spacious Assembly Hall, elegant meeting rooms and banquet facilities.
Bringing People Together
International House is more than just a residence for individuals from around the world. Educational and cultural programs such as music, dance and theatrical performances, forums and debates on world issues, and our cultural celebrations are among the hundreds of activities enjoyed by International House residents and members of the Chicago community.
The beautiful cathedral windows, colorful display of international flags, and rich hues of oak paneling give the spacious Assembly Hall optimum elegance and grandeur. Equipped with a balcony and a full stage including a 9 ft Steinway concert grand piano, dressing rooms, projection booth and oak floors, the Assembly Hall is ideal for visual and performing arts, cultural festivals, conferences, seminars, dances and gala dinners. The Assembly Hall can accommodate five hundred guests for performances, conferences and receptions, and two hundred guests for banquets. Air-conditioning now available. (Image 1 | Image 2)
The Coulter Lounge is an impressive room
with a view of the historic Midway Plaisance.
It boasts high ceilings, handsome oak
paneling, leaded glass windows, and a stone
fireplace. The Coulter Lounge, with its unique
qualities of both an old-world boardroom and
a private study, is the ideal room for seminars,
recitals, films, and receptions. The Lounge can
accommodate fifty guests in a theatre-style
or banquet setting and thirty participants for a conference. (Image 1 | Image 2 )
The Home Room is a bright and elegant lounge graced with cathedral ceilings, chandeliers, and a grand piano. Located on the second floor, this room offers striking views of the University of Chicago campus. This intimate room is ideal for recitals, banquets, lectures, symposiums, and multimedia presentations. The Home Room can accommodate up to seventy-two people for banquets and as many as eighty-five for receptions and recitals. (Image 1 | Image 2)
Adjacent to the Home Room, the National Room
is equipped with an adjoining kitchen, making
it an ideal space for catered luncheon or dinner
meetings, small recitals or receptions. This room
can accommodate sixty guests for a banquet and seventy for a stand-up reception. (Image 1 | Image 2 )
Ideal for intimate receptions and dinners, press conferences, or as a break-out room for a full-day symposium, the Tiffin Boardroom with its historic oak conference/dining table can seat twelve guests. Basked in natural light, the Tiffin Boardroom offers a lovely view of the newly-landscaped fountain Courtyard. (Image 1 | Image 2)
A Place to Stay
International House now offers a range of overnight accommodations to conference attendees and affiliated guests including two deluxe guest suites featuring queen beds, private baths and air-conditioning, as well as, a limited number of newly-renovated single occupancy rooms featuring queen beds and shared common bathrooms. All guest rooms feature phones, internet access, television, and linens.
In order to hold your group's next public event at International House, download and submit the Community Co-sponsorship Application. Completed applications will be accepted by fax or email if scanned in PDF format. To see more of International House take a virtual tour, learn about our guest rooms, or view our community spaces.