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Throw Backs: Christmas at Marshall Field’s

December 24, 2010

Christmas in Chicago is not complete without a trip to Marshall Field’s.  It starts young, with a terrifying trip to the jolly man’s lap, and eventually turns into a yearly Christmas time tradition.  Looking back, I didn’t fully appreciate all that this trip had to offer.  On top of being one of the most attractive buildings in Chicago, Marshall Field’s was ahead of the curve on the sartorial front.  To date it’s still the second largest department store in the world and boasts several firsts, including the introduction of how we experience retail today as well as becoming the largest wholesale dry goods store in the world prior to Field’s death in 1906.  I paid little notice to all this and was only concerned with going ice skating across the street at Skate on State (now housed in Millennium Park).  Although now defunct and owned by Saks, Marshall Field’s was a Chicago staple and powerhouse for 150+ years.  Its beginnings predate the Chicago fire, and the Marshall Field’s building (1892) is now a Chicago and national landmark, despite the namesake’s demise.  Having been away from Chicago for sometime, I haven’t picked-up a similar tradition in New York, but nostalgia may change this tune.

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