On the Magnificent Mile: XII (the Finale)

At the Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel, on a 1920 postcard (Photo courtesy:  Wikipedia)

The Drake Hotel, on a 1920 postcard (Photo courtesy: Wikipedia)

The Drake Hotel, during the Christmas season (Photo courtesy:  Wikipedia

The Drake Hotel, during the Christmas season (Photo courtesy: Wikipedia)

From Wiki:

The Drake Hotel, 140 East Walton Place, Chicago, Illinois, is a luxury full-service hotel, located downtown on the lake side of Michigan Avenue two blocks north of the John Hancock Center and a block south of Oak Street Beach at the top of the Magnificent Mile.

Overlooking Lake Michigan, it was founded in 1920, designed in the Italian Renaissance style by the firm of Marshall and Fox, and soon became one of Chicago’s landmark hotels, a longtime rival of the Palmer House. It has 537 bedrooms and 74 suites, a six-room Presidential Suite, several restaurants, two large ballrooms, the “Palm Court” (a club-like secluded lobby), and Club International (a members-only club introduced in the 1940s). It is known for the contribution that its silhouette and its sign on the lake side of the building (the Oak Street side) make to the Gold Coast skyline.

The Drake Hotel was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

This is the Walton Street entrance, just east of the Magnificent Mile.

The Drake Hotel marks the north end of the Magnificent Mile.  This is the Walton Street entrance, just east of Michigan Avenue.

Only the huge Toy Soldier noticed my camera, and smiled brightly!

Only the huge Toy Soldier noticed my camera, and smiled brightly…I could swear he winked at me, too!  As you make your way around him, the grand staircase takes you up to the lobby, where resides the hotel’s fabulous Christmas Tree!

Gorgeous, isn't it, with angels fling above and the crystal chandeliers, the feeling I experienced was that I had gone back in time!

Gorgeous, isn’t it, with angels flying above and the crystal chandeliers, the feeling I experienced was that I had gone back in time!

Here are some macro shots of a few of the many ornaments.

Drake Hotel-4

Drake Hotel-5

Drake Hotel-6

Drake Hotel-9

As an added attraction, the toy train set-up is reminiscent of many years gone by, don’t you think?

Drake Hotel-7

As you can see by its blurriness, that little train was going quite fast!

As you can see by its blurriness, that little train was going quite fast, running the rails through the mountains and a quaint little town!

 

Before I had to leave, I walked right up to the tree and, of course, took a shot ‘looking up’!

Many of my followers have already celebrated the day, but it's just 7:00 PM (CST) here in Chicago...St. Nick hasn't flown by yet, but I'm sure hoping to catch sight of his sleigh!

Many of my followers have already celebrated the day, but it’s just 7:00 PM (CST) here in Chicago…St. Nick hasn’t flown by yet, but I’m sure hoping to catch sight of his sleigh!

Thank you all for joining me on my walking tour of the Magnificent Mile…I know many have found some enjoyment, and others marveled at the amount of decoration the stores and hotels do here in Chicago.  It’s a business, a BIG business…I know, because I used to work as a Holiday Designer professionally…and still make things for others, to give them some joy at this special time of year!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to do the same in 2013!!!

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On the Magnificent Mile: XI

At American Girl Place
(in Water Tower Place)

To begin, a cheery, beauty of a wreath, to get you in the mood!

To begin, a cheery, beauty of a wreath, to get you in the mood!

Next, a Golden Ribbon and Stars...with every way a little girl can get her wish!

Next, a Golden Ribbon and Stars…with every way a little girl can get her wish!

And then…the DOLLS!

As I understand, these dolls are very coveted by little girls, and you can purchase a ‘girl-size’ matching outfit for your daughter!

Little girl dolls, even baby dolls, and loveable teddies, too!

Little girl dolls, even baby dolls, and loveable teddies, too!  Hope they aren’t cold, sitting in that glittery snow?

Up on the snowy hill...the perfect place for every doll to play...even bay doll seems to be having fun!

Up on the snowy hill…the perfect place for every doll to play…even baby doll seems to be having fun!

Instead of icy igloos, the dolls warm up inside extra-large open ornaments...that's the fantasy of a doll's world, and a very creative display!

Instead of icy igloos, the dolls warm up inside GIANT open ornaments…that’s the fantasy of a doll’s world, and a very creative display!

On the Magnificent Mile: X

At the Park Hyatt Hotel

It’s not a very technically ‘good’ shot, perhaps because I expected a bit more from this place.  I did much of their original outdoor planting before they opened in 2000, and know the interior quite well.  Though the address is 800 N. Michigan Avenue, this entrance fronts Chicago Avenue.

Pretty BLAH, as festive Christmas decorations go...I did not even go in to photograph their collection of Chihuly glass!

Pretty BLAH, as festive Christmas decorations go…I did not even go in to photograph their collection of Chihuly glass!

The little half-block long ‘western’ Michigan Avenue is where the carriages pick up their clientele, so the horses are always there, like this lovely mare:

All decked out, but she looked very, very bored...she was listening though, as her ears kept flicking back and forth!

All decked out, but she looked very, very bored…she was listening though, as her ears kept flicking back and forth!

If you turn 180 degrees, you face the western facade of the Water Tower, which was one of only a few downtown Chicago buildings to survive the Great Fire of October 8, 1871.

It's been more heavily decorated in past years.  There is usually a photography exhibit inside, but I didn't go in this time, because I had another destination, just kitty-corner across Michigan Avenue!

It’s been more heavily decorated in past years. There is usually a photography exhibit inside, but I didn’t go in this time, because I had another destination, just kitty-corner across Michigan Avenue!

At Water Tower Place

This year's theme is "Charlie Brown's Great Exhibit", sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry.  It's a wonderful change from the somewhat scary 'dancing harlequins' which were used for more than five years!

This year’s theme is “Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit”, sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s a wonderful change from the somewhat scary ‘dancing harlequins’ which were used for more than five years!

Smaller trees, such as this one, are at the escalators which lead to the second floor...and are thoughtfully and sumptuously decorated.

Smaller trees, such as this one, are at the escalators which lead to the second floor…and are thoughtfully and sumptuously decorated.

Everywhere else, it’s huge lit snowflakes and lights dripping from the ceiling…quite an arduous installation!

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Water Tower Mall-5

When you arrive at the second floor atrium, the elevators, normally see-through glass, have been covered with (from this side) several story-high “Peanuts” characters…here’s Lucy and Snoopy!

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After riding to the third floor (and getting my ears re-pierced–Christmas gift to self!), I walked back over to the escalators and found this maquette of the Water Tower…nicely done by ‘unknown’!

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Oh, lest I forget, I did see something I absolutely loved on the third floor…and I don’t remember which store!

Both these outfits belong in my closet, but I really took the shot because those little paper things truly intrigued me!  Maybe next year I'll do something with them as an inspiration?

Both these outfits belong in my closet, but I really took the shot because those little paper things truly intrigued me! Maybe next year I’ll do something with them as an inspiration?

On the Magnificent Mile: IX

At 900 North Michigan Shops

From Wikipedia:900 North Michigan in Chicago is a skyscraper completed in 1989. At 871 feet (265 m) tall, it is currently the eighth tallest building in Chicago and the 25th tallest in the United States. It was developed by Urban Retail Properties in 1988 as an upscale sister to Water Tower Place, one block southeast, and was the second vertical mall built along the Magnificent Mile. The building features a large, upscale shopping mall called 900 North Michigan Shops.

From Wikipedia:
900 North Michigan in Chicago is a skyscraper completed in 1989. At 871 feet (265 m) tall, it is currently the eighth tallest building in Chicago and the 25th tallest in the United States. It was developed by Urban Retail Properties in 1988 as an upscale sister to Water Tower Place, one block southeast, and was the second vertical mall built along the Magnificent Mile.
The building features a large, upscale shopping mall called 900 North Michigan Shops.

Over the entry doors is this beautifully-designed lighting fixture, heavily decorated for the Christmas shopping season.

Over the entry doors is this beautifully-designed lighting fixture, heavily decorated for the Christmas shopping season.

 

Here's what you see when you stand beneath it...pretty, yes?

Here’s what you see when you stand beneath it…pretty, yes?

Let’s go inside!

At Bernardaud Fine China

At Bernardaud Fine China-1

Let’s take a closer look at that spectacular cup and saucer!

At Bernardaud Fine China-2

At Michael Kors

At Michael Kors

At United Colors of Bennetton

At Unknown-Cool Stuff

At MaxMara

At Unknown-Weird

At Christofle of Paris

You can purchase this Menorah for a mere $!,000...pricey, but totally gorgeous silver!

You can purchase this Menorah for a mere $1,000…pricey, but totally gorgeous silver!

But the ‘big draw’ this time of year at 900 North Michigan Shops is on the second floor!

It's several stories high, and simply loaded with ornamentation!

It’s several stories high, and simply loaded with ornamentation!

I got closer and, of course, couldn't resist looking up!

I got closer and, of course, couldn’t resist looking up!

So, look with me, even closer!

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Bloomie's Tree-4

Bloomie's Tree-5

Alas, it was time to leave, so I took one last look as I made a ‘wish’ for all my followers to have a beautiful Christmas season, and that we may all have a very prosperous New Year!

I DO love this giant openwork urn, don't you?  I think, if I put my wish into it, it will roll around inside and filter out to ALL!

I DO love this giant openwork urn, don’t you? I think, if I put my wish into it, it will roll around inside and filter out to ALL!

 

On the Magnificent Mile: VII

At Cartier

The Michigan Evenue entrance, resplendent with a reclining 'big cat' made of lights!

The Michigan Avenue entrance, resplendent with a reclining ‘big cat’ made of lights!

Another 'big cat' of lights sits attentively above the other large window!  And, of course, there's beautiful lit garland hung around each window!

Another ‘big cat’ of lights sits attentively above the other large window! And, of course, there’s beautiful lit garland hung around each window!

This is a side window, with a very unusual 'swirling gift boxes' theme...and gorgeous jewels!

This is a side window, with a very unusual ‘swirling gift boxes’ theme…and gorgeous jewels!

On the Magnificent Mile: VI

At Louis Vuitton

I guess it's 'lucky' to receive a gift of Louis Vuitton, hence the shamrocks!

I guess it’s ‘lucky’ to receive a gift of Louis Vuitton, hence the shamrocks!?

Because I know you’re curious, here’s a closer look at that sparkly bag, and the details on the coat!

Louis Vuitton-2

If you broke all those wishbones properly, would every wish come true?

If you broke all those wishbones properly, would every wish come true?!?

On the Magnificent Mile: IV

Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, looking toward the north from Ontario Street

Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile, looking toward the north from Ontario Street

At XXI Forever: “Let the Deals Glow”

The Black Window

The Black Window

The White Window

The White Window

Apparently, black and white are the new black and white!