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!
Chicago's premier Department Store since 1852, Marshall Field's became MACY'S in September, 2006. Their "Magnificent Mile" location offers eight floors of designer fashions, accessories, shoes, cosmetics, housewares, gourmet foods and wines.
When we were in Chicago, Hans and I visited Macy's twice. First was to have lunch in the Marketplace Food Court. Robert thought it was a good idea to eat there as there was such a wide variety to choose from and was very popular with the locals.
We also went later with Kristi, Kat, Kris and Robert. Kristi brought us up to the seventh floor where the famous "Walnut Room" was and from there was a magnificent view of the HUGE Christmas tree in the center.
Founded in Chicago in 1852, Marshall Field's has been a mainstay in the Chicago area for over 103 years. It was the first store to have a restaurant in the store. During the Christmas season Marshall Fields has been known for using their store wondows to create a "theme" for the yuletide shopping frenzy. This year was "Cinderella." Macy's has bought out Marshall Fields but they have promised to keep the window tradition alive, well, it just won't be the same.
The store has established a long time favorite of Chicagoans everywhere with their world-famous Frango chocolates. I snagged the last box of "dessert" Frangos. These are melt in your mouth mint truffles. Even me, who is not a big fan of chocolate was seen eating more than just one sample of these fantastic chocolates.
We rode up to the top floor to see the beautiful Tiffany stained glass roof and this huge Christmas tree with all the crystal decorations upon it. The Tiffany Ceiling is the largest glass mosaic of its kind and the first ceiling ever built with iridescent glass. The Great Clock at the corner of State and Washington streets has been keeping time for over a century and has been painted by American artist Norman Rockwell.
What to buy: Frangos, the Marshall Fileds wildly popular mint chocolate melt-a-ways. This season in honor of breast cancer research the mints were made in "pink" with a donation from the proceeds of each box sold going to the research for the cure of breast cancer.
What to pay: One pound box of Frangos were priced at $10.99 per box. They are originally $17 per box. They had smaller sample size boxes that were running about $5.00 as well. The store was jammed packed with Christmas shoppers buying clothes, fragrances as well as household items.
This store is beautiful!!! It is a National Historic Landmark, and is the second largest department store in the world. It takes up the whole block, and there are twelve floors of shopping! Every section is great! After Thanksgiving, they decorate their windows for Christmas. It's a really popular place! Don't miss it!
What to buy: Here I'm always checking out the latest perfumes, purses, clothes, and furniture, but every section is great! You can always find something beautiful!!!
What to pay: It will probably be expensive, ... but you will love it!
Updated October 2006
The arrogant brain trust at Federated turned all of the Marshall Field's into Macy's in Fall 2006, I haven't stepped foot into one since the change over and many proud Chicagoans are claiming that they will no longer shop there now that the name has changed, what effect it will really have remains to be seen.
Even though the Field family hasn't owned the department store chain for many years, the connection to Marshall Field's name was a strong one, people who have lived here all of their lives have fond memories of heading to the State Street store with their families around the holidays to look at the holiday windows and to have lunch near the towering tree in the Walnut Room. And unlike many of the other retailers in Chicago that were headquartered outside of Chicago, it was OUR department store started by a real man named Marshall Field who gave a lot to the city of Chicago (the Field Museum is named after him).
But don't avoid the store altogether, stop in and go to the 5th floor (SW corner of the building) where there is a beautiful Tiffany mosaic ceiling. You can view it from the 5th floor closeup and also from the main level looking up, look for the Clinique counter in the cosmetics department (unless Macy's redesigns the store).
What to buy: Macy's still sells Frango Mints with the Marshall Field's logo and I might still buy them as long as they have Field's name on them, the original mint flavor is in a dark green box or you can get assortments or seasonal Frangos, such as caramel apple or decadent desserts. Federated has claimed that Frango production will continue after the name change. But a box of Frango's with the Macy's logo? Bah humbug!
And I might stop in if they kept the gourmet food court on the 7th floor including Frontera Fresco, a very good express version of Frontera Grill, as well as another gourmet food court on the lower level.
But that's it for me, I will not be shopping at Macy's.
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.
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.
This is the famous Marshall Field's department store on State Street, all done up in it's Christmas glory. The story of Cinderella was featured in the window display, for the 2005 holidays.
This is a huge department store, with something for almost anyone. Shopping galore and, when you're hungry, go to the 7th floor for some good food with several restaurants to serve you.
Marshall Field's is a Chicago instution, but the name won't be around much longer. It's about to be converted into Macy's, and that's a shame. When I think shopping in Chicago, I think of Marshall Field's...Macy's screams "New York" to me. I can always go to Macy's at home. Ah, the price of "progress".
This reminded me of Macy's in Herald Square in that it's an old fashioned Department Store of another era. This store has at least a couple of Escalator banks. One set around an Atrium and another around a Tiffany Mosaic Glass Domed cieling. I went to the cafe, in search of a cup of coffee, and when the elevator opened I was in an old-fashioned Store Restaurant. It was like stepping into the 1930's. I didn't get my coffee there but at one of the Starbuck's in the store.
What to buy: I bought myself the cutest shoes that have pink and red flowers all over the platform wedges and a box of Frango Chocolates for my mother.
This is just an amazng store and with the Euro it is fantastic value. You know the categories for shopping where you can only tick one ...well this just ticks them all eveything from high fashion to fantastic chocolates !!!
What to buy: Anything but the chocolates in the basement area are fantastic
Not many department stores have a Tiffany glass skylight or 10 floors of shopping extravangaza. Mr. Marshall Field spared no expense when creating his flagship store that bears his name. The department store occupies an entire city block and is bordered by State on the West, Wabash on the East, Washington on the South and Randolph on the North.
Spectacular shopping year round a great time of year to visit Field's is around Christmas when the sidewalk windows spin a tale from the Night before Christmas to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Fine dining is also available in the Walnut Room beneath a magnificent tree ornamented in waterford crystal.
What to buy: Frango mints are a Marshall Field's speciality but you can purchase just about anything in Fields.
What to pay: As much as you want
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.
Marshall Field's is a department store that originated in Chicago in the 1850's. It has always been an innovator in the department store industry, by creating such things as the bridal registry and overseas buying offices.
The flagship store of Marshall Field's is in one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, and is a Chicago icon. Even if you don't plan on shopping here, stop by to check out the architecture.
The best time to visit is during the holidays when the store is decorated for Christmas and its world-famous window displays are set up, attracting thousands of window shoppers. When I was a kid, my parents would always take me to Field's and then to Michigan Ave. every year before Christmas. It became a family tradition, and it gave me some of my favorite Christmas memories. There really is nothing like Christmas at Field's.
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.
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!