POSTCARD – CHICAGO – STATE STREET – FROM WOOLWORTH TO MARINA CITY – SHOPPING CROWDS – FLAGS – NICE VERSION – MID 1960s – SEE READER COMMENT AND RESPONSE   1 comment

POSTCARD - CHICAGO - STATE STREET - FROM WOOLWORTH TO MARINA CITY - SHOPPING CROWDS - FLAGS - NICE VERSION - MID 1960s

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Posted April 25, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

One response to “POSTCARD – CHICAGO – STATE STREET – FROM WOOLWORTH TO MARINA CITY – SHOPPING CROWDS – FLAGS – NICE VERSION – MID 1960s – SEE READER COMMENT AND RESPONSE

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  1. This shows clearly why downtown is soooo sterile now. We have lost all of the classic architecture, and yes, the new buildings have class of their own, but not with detail of past days. The other, and probably more significant item is lack of signs! The zoning people have decided that their idea of beautiful should be thrust of everyone. I don’t know how people find locations downtown anymore. Look at photos of New York. Everyone says how much life, character and hustle/bustle is has. Look at the signage for the various businesses. THAT’s what gives it the character.

    I tend to agree. However, something else has also happened to State Street.

    It is a gentrified apartment neighborhood. People with costly condos don’t, for the most part, want blinking signs outside their windows.

    And, there simply is not – from what I can tell on Google Earth, not having been to Chicago in many years – anything like the mix of businesses that would generate such signs.

    Even the last of the grand old ladies – Macy’s, nee Marshall Field’s – likely does not have a long future. More condos?

    People don’t go downtown to shop, as they did in huge numbers into the 1960s. Or to go to one of the many movie palaces that there were, often with dinner or snacks.

    It is a different place entirely from the place in the postcard.

    And that is true of Chicago in general. Many great old neighborhoods are either decayed or have changed to something different.

    I can’t help having a great affection for the way things were. It was a style of life we’ll not see again, and it had many special qualities for city lovers.

    No department stores. No movie palaces. Fewer really bustling places. No huge crowds on the street. No elaborate and even eccentric building details. No magnificent lobbies and polished brass doors and name plates. The newer architecture on, say Michigan or Wacker, is mostly unimpressive stuff with an almost suburban blandness. Only the sheer volume of the groupings makes them in any way impressive.

    John Chuckman

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