Mr. Connolly & I traveled to Chicago last November just in time for the holiday season to kick in. And where did we pop by but to Macy's, of course!!
Home to the famed Tiffany mosaic stained glass, the lovely Lush store (British Bath & Beauty products) and lovely cosmetics such as Mac, Macy's is an absolutely wonderful place to shop and it's never a lovelier time than at Christmas.
What to buy: I love to shop for Lush products!
Many people miss this beautiful Tiffany glass mosaic ceiling as they are busy shopping at the Marshall Field's (now Macy's) on State, I didn't even know it was there until about a year ago.
It was installed in 1907, it’s the largest unbroken example of Tiffany Favrile glass in the world, with over 1.6 million pieces.
The best way to see it is from the main floor, find the Clinique counter in the cosmetics section and look up. For a closer view you can head up to the 5th floor, I believe I found it in the lingerie section so keep an eye out for undergarments.
London has Harrods. New York has Macy's and Bloomingdales. Chicago had Fields- alas it now has its name changed to Macy's. Recently acquired by the Federated Department Stores (and renamed), the very first Marshall Field's opened its Chicago doors in 1852 as a retail dry goods store. It burned to the ground in the great Chicago Fire of 1871--and again just six years later. It has stood the test of time, continuing to be a one-stop shopping destination as well as a tourist stop. It also recently had a major renovation.
During winter holidays, the State Street location sees thousands of visitors who don't always make it inside--they're busy enjoying the famous window displays.
There are 2 downtown locations - State Street and Water Tower. For the true Chicago experience I would recommend vistiting the State Street store.
What to buy: The store still offers exquisite merchandise--from signature Frango mints (now, sadly, no longer produced in Chicago) to Emerilware cookware endorsed by acclaimed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse. Designer clothing, shoes, jewelry, china, crystal, linens and furniture are beautifully displayed throughout. This department store holds its own across a range of price points, from junior threads by Ralph Lauren and Guess to fashion favorites like BCBG, DKNY, Laundry, Jones New York, Liz Claiborne and Theory. They also carry brands like Trina Turk and Nanette LaPore which are my favorites.
Be sure to check out the 7th Floor for high end food. The food court below ground is not bad either. During the holidays, it is a tradition for families to lunch around the giant Christmas tree in the Walnut Room of the State Street store.
I am one of those who hasn't been back since the changeover -- we shall see how long memories are -- but they may have misjudged when they rebranded the State St. Queen.
This is THE Chicago department store -- no longer owned locally and overshadowed on the high end by Nordstrom and Bloomindale's, it still is the grand dowager of Chicago shopping.
The picture is of the atrium at Christmas time.
I, along with most other Chicago area people are "bummed Out" about Marshall Fields losing its identity. Because they were bought out this year , in less than one year this fine old department store will be renamed Macy's. Macy's belongs to New York, and Marshall Field belongs to Chicago. It will never be the same!
I remember well the first time that I walked into Marshall Field and Co. on State Street. I was 20 years old and with my mother-in-law to be. We took the South Shore to Chicago from Munster, Indiana so that she and I could register for my wedding gifts. This was in 1962!
Fields is known for the Great Clock outside on the street (as shown in the photo), a Tiffany mosaic dome, and eight floors filled with merchandise.
At that time, Fields was THE PLACE to shop. The people who worked there had worked there most of their lives and knew the merchandise frontwards and backwards.
Today, Fields is still a great place to shop, but it has lost its leading edge. It's perhaps too conservative for the 2004 crowd.
Recently, it was completely renovated, and I was there about one month (July, 2004) ago, and it was difficult to see much improvement. It is so understated that it seems the same as before.
What to buy: Fields has women, men, and children's clothing, (sportswear, formalwear, better dresses, intimate wear, purses, shoes, home goods) and is still famous for the stately Walnut Room Restaurant. It is also still famous for the memorable window displays at Christmas.
Fields was recently sold by Target.
Hopefully, drastic changes will not take place. Oh, how naive I was to think that things would not change!
When the store was opened in 1907, it was considered the largest in the world. The stores most spectacular feature is its Tiffany mosaic dome, beleived to be the largest piece of glass mosaic in the world.
Americans have invented department store shopping and this store opened in the late 19th century is not only a legendary luxury goods seller, but the building of the original store has beautiful architecture with inside courts, fountains, and a lunimous mosaic on the volted ceiling.
What to buy: Anything your pocket allows - mine was pretty empty, so I walked out with a fancy lipstick.
What to pay: My damage was a wooping $21 just for a lipstick!
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