Once again, back in my day, we parked in the Grant Park Underground if with Mom or someone that knew how to drive. If not, it was the Illinois Central, IC, that friends and I would hop on the from the South side. I think we were about 12 when we were able to travel into the city for a day of shopping and lunch at Wimpys. During Christmas, it was the Walnut Room at Fields and we had to dress in our best dresses, shoes and sometimes white gloves and hats.
Shopping on State Street during the 1950s/60’s included some of the best such as Chandlers for shoes, the Woolworths seemed bigger for some reason than those in other neighborhoods as well as Walgreens. However, probably our favorites was just experiencing the massive Marshall Fields Store ( 8 stories ) and Carson Pirie Scott which was 12 stories.
Marshall Fields was one of the three largest retailers in the country. Before Marshall Field’s death in 1906, his company became the biggest wholesale and retail dry goods enterprise in the world and also one of the first buildings with escalators.
I think that those were the first that I rode too, one that followed a brief curve to another going up and down. But I really loved the elevator; wanting to be an elevator lady some day in their cute matching outfits and great shoes with nylons.
We would span the floors as we rode the escalator. We were fascinated by the fourth floor toys with toy drums that encircled the hanging lights. I collected dolls so was in awe every time we would visit as we walked down the aisle where dolls topped glass cases as well as an incredible variety of porcelain dolls and dolls from around the world. Depending on who we were with, how much money and the time of year, we would also have lunch in the blue Narcissus room.
You can still visit the magnificent Tiffany Ceiling on the first floor when you go to what is now known as Macy’s, bought from Fields in 2006. But visiting as a child and young girl, the granite pillars, the Walnut Room, ceiling, clocks and Christmas decorations was so special. Today, jeans and sweatpants our just fine.
Carson Pirie Scott is 164 years old and still open today though the State and Madison store was closed in 2006. My aunt worked at the store in Evergreen Park and we shopped more at that store than any other.
State Street begins at North Avenue, the south end of Lincoln Park, runs south through the heart of Downtown Chicago, and ends at the southern city limits, intersecting 127th Street along the bank of the Little Calumet River. It resumes north of 137th Street in Riverdale. I never realized being a resident of Dolton, Il for awhile. From there, it runs intermittently through Chicago’s south suburbs until terminating at New Monee Road in Crete, Illinois.