State Street & The Loop, Chicago
A great alternative to Michigan Ave. as far as shopping because it does get crowded on certain parts of Michigan Ave. It is alot quieter down here especially on the weekend. The Theatre District is here also.
Most people who visit NYC or London make sure to take in a live show. I'd highly recomend doing the same thing in Chicago!
The Goodman Theatre has a long history in the city, providing superb live plays featuring top notch actors.
If you haven't been to the Goodman in several years then you may be surprised to find out that it no longer resides behind the Art Institute. It had to move because refurbishment of the old theatre was just too expensive. So they built a new theatre in the heart of the loop - actually, one building that houses two theatres.
When this was built in 1985, my first reaction to this Helmut Jahn creation was "The Martians have landed!" Although I'm still not wild about the blue and salmon colored panels on the exterior of the building (or the very ugly white sculpture outside), I think I'm actually starting to like it, at least the view of the south side of the building where it truly does resemble a spaceship that has landed. And be sure to go inside, it's a phenomonal waste of space (government's speciality) as there is very little office space housing the State of Illinois employees but the atrium is quite stunning.
In 1993, the building was renamed the James R. Thompson Center in honor of former Governor James R.Thompson. He's still alive so I think it's a little peculiar to have a building named after him. So I still call it the State of Illinois Building as do many other locals who were here when it was built.
There's a few retail stores on the main level, if you go down the escalators there is a food court with mostly fast food, I will occasionally stop by at Panda Express for their yummy orange chicken.
The first 3 weeks of December bring a slice of Alt-Deutschland to the plaza in front of the Daley Center. Booths serving mulled wine, warm pretzels and German specialties provide the fuel for shoppers to check out the displays of handmade tin, wood and glass ornaments. Sample the gingerbread from Nuremberg or the marzipan from Lubeck. Santa and a helper are on hand for photo ops and for taking special requests from good little girls and boys. Spend half an hour or half a day.
Harold Washington Library can be visited in the following opening hours:
. Monday - Thursday: 10.30am to 7pm
. Friday: 10.30am to 4.30pm
. Saturday: 9am to 4.30om
. Closes on Sundays
It is situated in 400 South State Street, which is near Michigan Avenue and Grant Park. The Harold Washington Library is the Central Library of Chicago's Public Libraries.
What I enjoyed the most about the Library was the neo-classical building itself - the colour and the roof with the sculpted figures - as it stands out in Chicago architecture. This building was inaugurated in 1991 and it figured in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest public library in the World.
"The Loop" refers to an area in downtown Chicago where all of the El Trains (metro) converge. The geographic area is literally a rectangular "loop" demarcated by the train tracks that are ELevated above street level.
If you're in downtown Chicago and need to get anywhere then you just need to walk to one of the many El Train stations and you can catch a train to most anywhere in the city.
Whether you go to Marshall Field's for the shopping or for the displays or for the magnificent interior, you should go. The shopping is probably higher priced than most department stores, but this is a very prestigious store!
Built between 1872-74 (architects Wheelock and Thomas) this Italianate-style building is one of the few Loop structures surviving from the massive rebuilding that followed the Fire of 1871.
For a few moments every morning, I feel like I'm in Paris :-)
When in New York City you find Macy's, in London you find Harrods. And in Chicago you find Marshall Fields. Their Christmas window displays are beautiful. You have to literally stand in line to get a chance to look at the displays.
Marshall Field's Department Store
Huge department store on State St., much like that of Macy's-fame. But this is better than Macy's (I've been to Macy's). Ok, yeah, it's still just a department store inside, but outside it's all decorated at Christmas, and there's always the large clock on its corner. Get some Frango mints while you're here!
Chicago's City Hall is a handsome neo-classical structure that was built between 1909 and 1911 by the noted architectural firm of Holabird & Roche. Between 1906 and 1907 they constructed its twin, the County Building on the east half of the block. Together the two structures form a monumental civic edifice that covers an entire city block and measures 337 feet along LaSalle and Clark Streets and 214 feet along Randolph and Washington Streets.
This area does not only have a couple of event houses such as Theatres (Chicago) but also plenty of shops, banks, some restaurants. The red line (CTA) Metro is running underneath it...
State street is one of the main streets in Chicago paralel with Michigan avenue. Lot of shops (better prices than Michigan avenue), restaurants, theatres (Chicago theatre) etc.
The Magnificient Mile is perfect for shopping and there are many art objects such as Calders'sculpture or Picasso'structure or Chagall paintings...