Since Christmas 1996, my wife and I have made it a family tradition to take our sons to downtown Chicago sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Part of our walking tour is State Street between Wacker Drive and Jackson Street. This includes a visit to what used to be the main store of Marshall Field & Co.
We’ve encountered all kinds of weather – one year it was sunny and in the 60’s. Another year there was rain, thunder and lightening. It has snowed a couple of times and it has been bitterly cold – below zero kind of cold.
We love walking in this magnificent canyon of the city. It’s decked out in holiday decorations and lights. There’s great crowds of people. The windows of Field’s (now Macy’s) usually tell a story – oftentimes it is the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. One year it was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – based on the book before the movie was made.
We’ve visited the Santa at Fields fifteen years in a row (more on that on Day 18). We also have broken our fast with the delicious food served in the Walnut Room a couple of times but always make sure we get a picture of the Great Tree from the 8th floor viewing area.
The Marshall Field & Company State Street store has a long history dating back to the 1860’s. The original building burned down in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, was rebuilt and burned down again in 1877. It eventually was rebuilt to encompass the entire city block, bordered by Washington, State, Wabash, and Randolph Streets. It’s long history is one of the reasons I love visiting the store. It has its deep roots in Chicago, as do I.
I’ll visit Marshall Field’s again with you on Day 18.