…I decided to turn Macy’s Christmas Windows into a short video!
Enjoy…and have a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year!
The Great Tree is a tradition Macy’s continues to celebrate, after occupying the huge former Marshall Field’s store at Washington and State Street, where the very first Great Tree was erected in 1899! It is approximately forty-five feet tall, and almost touches the ceiling of the two-story Walnut Room Restaurant! The ornaments and theme change every so often, and this is totally different than last year’s Great Tree!
…so I can stay awake to watch election returns tonight, and feeling a bit patriotic, as I already voted a week ago Friday. Just thought I’d present a few flags of the United States of America…to get in the mood. You may hum “America the Beautiful” as you see fit!
Flag in a flower pot, outside my building
Flag at Lake Shore Nursing and Rehab facility, across the street and also the local polling place
The lake winds have left this flag in tatters…it is only two years old!
Flag in the lobby of the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago’s Loop
…how about this? The building is the Farcroft, just a bit less than two blocks north, which has been undergoing a gut rehab for the past 11 months or so.
It’s twelve stories, plus the tower room at the front. Every window is new, and the lighter, bricked-in spaces used to be the entry doors to a fire escape, which I believe will now be on the west (left) side of the structure. Look closely at the scaffolding on the left; as a matter of fact, I’ll provide a closer look:
Yes, that’s a workman, who spent approximately five days building this scaffold…by himself! Here’s a shot of him taking a break (yes, he is tethered) and looking out to the west, which must be a great view…he can probably see past Skokie all the way to Des Plaines, and most likely all the way south past the Loop and Downtown Chicago.
Back when I first began working as a Scenic and Lighting Designer, I had to train myself to overcome my fear of heights. It took several months, but I could finally climb and work in a 35 foot high lift, hanging, cabling and focusing lighting instruments…but 100 feet is a bit TOO high, especially when all one has is a plank to stand on and open air to step over!
I took a walk over early that evening, just to capture some images from the ground, and found he had built the scaffold twice as wide along the front of Farcroft as well.
The Farcroft and many other properties in the Rogers Park neighborhood are owned by James N. Pritzker, a member of the family which owns the Hyatt Hotels. He believes in restoration, and certainly the crews he has hired are hard-working and doing a marvelous job here. I snuck under the ground floor scaffold and took some shots of the lobby and front office area, which I shall present another time…and it’s too early to get a definite finish date, so I’ll keep checking, and hopefully arrange permission to get some interior shots as well.
I’d love to capture the view from that lovely tower room, which I prefer to call ‘Rapunzel’s Place’!
…and still going strong!
The Chicago Theatre–State Street/Lake Street in the Chicago Loop
From the Chicago Theatre’s website, where you can also view several pictures of the interior:
The grandeur of The Chicago Theatre often leaves its visitors breathless. The elegant lobby, majestic staircase and beautiful auditorium complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling, are components of an amazing building called “the Wonder Theatre of the World” when it opened on October 26, 1921.
The Chicago Theatre was the first large, lavish movie palace in America and was the prototype for all others. This beautiful movie palace was constructed for $4 million by theatre owners Barney and Abe Balaban and Sam and Morris Katz and designed by Cornelius and George Rapp. It was the flagship of the Balaban and Katz theatre chain.
Built in French Baroque style, The Chicago Theatre’s exterior features a miniature replica of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, sculpted above its State Street marquee. Faced in a glazed, off-white terra cotta, the triumphal arch is sixty feet wide and six stories high. Within the arch is a grand window in which is set a large circular stained-glass panel bearing the coat-of-arms of the Balaban and Katz chain – two horses holding ribbons of 35-mm film in their mouths.
The grand lobby, modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles, is five stories high and surrounded by gallery promenades at the mezzanine and balcony levels. The grand staircase is patterned after that of the Paris Opera House and ascends to the various levels of the Great Balcony.
The 3,600 seat auditorium is seven stories high, more than one half of a city block wide, and nearly as long. The vertical sign “C-H-I-C-A-G-O,” at nearly six stories high, is one of the few such signs in existence today. A symbol of State Street and Chicago, the sign and marquee are landmarks in themselves, as is the 29-rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.
Read more here.
These shots were taken last Saturday afternoon while walking north on State Street. Here’s a view of the theatre from the intersection with Benton Place–notice the water storage tank (used in case of a stage fire) and the signage painted on the brick, making it obvious that the tall building on the south side of Benton did not exist when the theatre was built!
The Chicago Theatre (south facade)–Benton Place