Magnificent Mile/Michigan Avenue, Chicago
"Get out of your train & drive up Michigan Avenue! I defy you not to respond to the excitement in the air, not to throw your hat to the sky & shout 'Beautiful, how beautiful!' How beautiful it is as you whirl northward past the Tribune Tower."
Mary Borden, novelist, 1930s
Water Tower Place is named after the 154-foot-tall Water Tower that was built in 1869 & is to the southwest across Michigan Avenue. It was the first of three large indoor malls built near the Water Tower; the other two are 900 North Michigan & Chicago Place.
In order to build Water Tower Place, the 12-story Pearson Hotel was demolished. Construction workers discovered an underground stream on the site & had to delay foundation work for several weeks. Finally, the water was plugged by building a giant concrete dome under the building!
It was constructed in 1976 & has 74 floors, & at the time it was completed, it had enough shopping space to contain all existing stores on Michigan Ave from the river to Oak Street!
The shopping mall itself is centered around an 8-story terraced atrium & three bundled hexagonal glass tube elevators. I remember these elevators very well...when our daughter Jill was f4, the doors of the elevator opened, & she ran on, & before we could get on too, the elevator took off. We had always told her to find an adult in authority if she ever got lost. She found a security policeman, & Allan & I were paged to come to get her. Wwere we ever relieved!
The main entrance to the mall is a 2-story set of escalators with a waterfallbetween them. There is also a winding staircase at the sides.
The podium contains a shopping mall that is anchored by 2 department stores: Marshall Field & Co. and Lord & Taylor. The attached tower houses a Ritz Carlton Hotel, offices, & condominiums.
There are several places to eat:
Ritz-Carlton Dining Room
Marketplace at Marshall Field's
The Ritz Carlton Cafe
California Pizza Kitchen
In addition, the Water Tower Movie Theatres are also located here.
What to buy: Besides the two huge department stores, there are about 100 other stores. Whatever you are looking for, you can no doubt find it at the Water Tower Place.
What to pay: This is an upscale shopping Mall, so items are quality and therefore expensive.
Chicago's Michigan Ave, or otherwise known as the Magnificent Mile is home to many designer stores and shopping centers, like the Water Tower.
Also a treat for all you window shoppers :-)
Whether you want to spend all your money, or no money at all...Michicagn Ave is the place to go!!
What to pay: Most of the designer stores like Kenneth Cole and Pucci can be very expensive, but you can always find a bargain at the H&M across the street from the Water Tower.
Located along North Michigan Avenue North of the Chicago River THE MAGNIFICENT MILE features big-name retailers like Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue, while smaller shops and boutiques fill in the space between. Although there are more than 400 retailers lining the street, there is plenty of room for the pedestrians to walk along the wide sidewalks. As it was the Christmas season, the street was delightful with all the decorations, wonderful store front windows and the hustle and bustle of folks doing their Christmas shopping.
One of America's retail institutions, floors 1-6, plus 70 other shops that cover everything to anything. There are also places to eat within the mall.
What to buy: All your clothing needs.
What to pay: And the price tags to go with it
Crate & Barrel's flagship store, located on North Michigan Avenue, is an exquisitely designed building. As seen in the photograph, it looks stunning at night with the lights on.
Crate and Barrel is known for its kitchenware, giftware, tabletop accessories, and home furnishings.The Crate and Barrel Francise has been in operation for more than thirty years.
Gordon and Carol Segal started their Chicago store with little or no experience. But, they discovered that if they bought directly from factories rather than importers, they could make a good living. So, they went to Europe and purchased well-designed tabletop and home furnishings from European craftsmen, and sold it directly to consumers. The first store was a renovated former elevator factory in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. They displayed the merchandise on packing crates and barrels that the items had arrived in, and, thus, the name Crate and Barrel!
In 1965, Crate & Barrel also entered into the catalog business, which has become about a $25-million venture for the company.
Segals gained inspiration for new products and for designs as well from Europe.
The thing that I admire about this store is the clean, contemporary flair they display. The store uses color, music, design, and the lack of "clutter" to make the merchandise more appealing.
Their success comes from offering quality merchandise of a clean, modern design without spending a fortune. Many other stores try to copy them, but without success.
What to buy: If you are in the market for glassware, kitchenware, tabletop products, designer fabrics, or clean-lined New England style furniture, then the "flag-ship" Crate and Barrel is the place to go. Even if you don't need anything, it's such a joy just to visit this store to browse the four floors of excellent merchandise.
What to pay: Depending on your choices you can pay anything from $1.00 to a couple of thousand dollars (for furniture).
Please, please, please don't call North Michigan Avenue, the section of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Oak Street, the "Miracle Mile", it's the "Magnificent Mile" or "Mag Mile". This is the most popular place in Chicago to shop, even on cold blustery days you will find folks braving the elements with their hands full of bags.
Along this stretch you will find large department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's).
Bargain shoppers will want to check out H & M's at 840 N. Michigan, Marshall's at 600 N. Michigan or Filene's Basement at 830 N. Michigan.
People looking to charge their credit cards to the max may want to check out some of the expensive boutiques such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Armani, and Ferragamo. The section of Oak Street between Michigan Avenue and State Street also has high end retailers such as Hermes, Prada and Jimmy Choo.
For the younger folks, there is a Nike Town, Apple store and a Disney store.
There are several malls along the way, the oldest and most well known is Water Tower Place at 835 N. Michigan. There are also malls at 900 N. Michigan, 700 N. Michigan (Chicago Place) and 520 N. Michigan (Shops at North Bridge).
If you are looking for a break from shopping, you can stop by Garrett's Popcorn or Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (830 N. Michigan next to Border's bookstore) for a snack but both can be crowded during tourist season, if you are headed to the Loop you might want to get your popcorn fix at one of the other locations.
Dining options in the area are numerous, the ones on my dining tips with NMA in the title are the closest to the Mag Mile. You can also get some more ideas from the attached website.
The Magnificent Mile, also better known as Michigan Avenue, is Chicago's premier shopping district. There are loads of shops to please anyone in need of some retail therapy.
What to buy: There are all types of shops on Michigan Avenue, from Famous Designer brands to Department stores.
Michigan Avenue. A mecca for any shopaholic. Lined on both sides of the street, for many blocks are just about every designer retail shop you can imagine. For the bargain shopper, you also have Filenes Basement and some other stores where bargains await! There are three large malls, with Bloomingdales the main anchor store of one, and Marshall Fields the other, and Nordstrom in the final. Whatever you are looking for, can be found on this street.
What to buy: Anything your heart desires.
What to pay: Depending on your credit card limit.....?
The Magnificent Mile is aptly named. You can get anything you want there...for a price. If you want bargains, hit Filene's Basement. If you want luxury, try Ferragamo, Gucci, or Burberry.
What to buy: What's not to buy? There are tons of great restaurants. Oooh...go to Vosges Chocolate in the North Bridge Building (Nordstroms). The chocolate is out of this world!
Water Tower Place is a vertical shopping mall that takes it's name from the adjacent Water Tower -- yes the one that survived the Chicago Fire!
The picture shows the fountain inbetween the escalator that takes you up to the shops & restaurants.
The "anchor" stores are Marshall Field's & Lord & Taylor. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is perched on the upper floors.
Located at the famous North Michigan Avenue or more affectionately called the Magnificent Mile the 900 shops is a upscale mall where you can spend serious money on designer clothing.
The largest tenant of the mall is Bloomingdale's which if you haven't been to one of their outlets you should since it is a really nice department store with both super expensive designer clothing - and also reduced priced designer clothing that have become 'last season's items'.
Apart from Bloomingdale's the mall boasts several other upscale shops such as Club Monaco and United Colors of Benetton (clothing). They also have a Williams-Sonoma store for any good looking kitchen appliances that you might want to have.
If I ever go back to Chicago for an extended visit, I'd probably spend more time in the Magnificent Mile. I went there to meet up with a friend and ex-coworker that I hadn't seen in around 7 or 8 years. We walked into one store where she bought some shirts for her husband but I wasn't really looking to shop. From what I could see The Magnificent Mile houses a lot of stores that we have here, in Boston, in a really beautiful setting. However, I'm sure there are some great little and unique to Chicago stores, that I didn't get a chance to see. Maybe next time?
What to pay: I'll bet you could spend a lot....
At the pinnacle of Chicago's famed Magnificent Mile, Water Tower Place is Chicago's premier shopping destination. Its stunning eight-level atrium features more than 100 of your favorite stores and restaurants plus a mix of distinctive specialty shops and boutiques. It offers a unique, high-energy urban shopping experience you simply won't find anywhere else in the city. In short, Water Tower Place is the place to shop.
Water Tower Place offers eight levels of sophisticated shopping anchored by Marshall Field's and the only downtown Lord & Taylor. Add 100 specialty stores to the mix ? stores like Banana Republic, J.Jill, Eileen Fisher, Nine West Lifestyle, The Sharper Image, GAP, Jacadi, STUDIO Sterling Works and many others exclusive to Chicago, and you'll see why this urban mix makes for a very unique shopping experience.
You want it? It's probably somewhere on Michigan Avenue. But don't forget to enjoy the view. This has become one of America's great shopping streets - and there's something here for everyone. And the best thing is that, although there are malls aplenty here, the street is still public space.
Water Tower place is an eight story shopping mall just south of the John Hancock building. The indoor mall is anchored by Lord and Taylor and Marshall Field's. There are over 100 stores here, some of which are found only in Chicago, in this shopper's paradise. Its also a good place to spend a rainy or snowy day in downtown.
As for food, there are a handful of fast food places here, including California Pizza Kitchen, which seems so out of place in a city which practically worships its versions of this food.
I didn't spend too much time here, as shopping malls just aren't my thing, especially on vacation. But, much like the museums, you could get lost in here, browsing or buying or both.