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« Be Good, Rita! | Main | “Everybody Likes Me!” »

September 25, 2005


This post left me in tears. But as far as I'm concerned there's a Heaven for buildings, too. There will always be a Field's. And your Mom will always know where it is. As for me, I'll see you at Schwab's. (If I'm not there, I just ran over to CC Brown's for a quick sundae!) You are the best, my darling.

Great piece Danny. BTW, it was my boss, the Senior VP Human Resources that was the first woman VP, not my girlfriend!

I remember the first call I made to Mom from Field's. Having spent my entire career in broadcast news before Fields I would often call mom and say, "Mom I met the Mayor, or Governor, or another newsmaker today." She would always say something like, "Cool!" and we'd move on to the next subject.

My first week at Field's we shot a piece on how the geniuses in their display department do the Christmas windows. When I called to tell Mom I was in the window as they put it together she screamed, "YOU WERE INSIDE THE MARSHALL FIELD'S Christmas windows!!!" I think it was her proudest moment!

Holy crap, Danny. I literally can barely see through my tears right now. That last paragraph was a very quick shocker out of my laughter and admiration at how you and only you could speak of Macy's and raging gonorrhea in the same paragraph. Now I can not stop bawling. sniff.

It is unbelievably depressing, isn't it? When I read the news I immediately lost interest in ever setting foot in the place again. Thousands, I'm sure, feel the same.

So I predict the building will be converted to swanky condos within a decade.

Oh, Danny, I loved reading this! Kela learned to walk in Chicago and I bought her first pair of shoes at Marshall Fields - we celebrated with lunch in the Walnut Room. And I LOVE to recall OUR lunch there, witnessing the waiter deliver your Fields Special - that massive mound of iceberg slathered and shining with day-glo Thousand Island dressing! I could only watch in awe!

Be assured that the original Marshall Fields is preserved and thriving in another dimension, and you and your mom know the address.

Bravo, bravissimo. You are such a great writer. Thank you for this. I will send it to my sister who lives in Chi-town.

how outrageous. I could eat a box of Frangos that's how depresesed I am.

What a wonderful piece - your last paragraph in particular truly resonated with me. How important "places" are to us! About three years after my father passed away, my husband and I bought a new house. I remember being thoroughly upset at the concept that he wouldn't be able to find me at our new home.

Sometimes, "progress" can be so hurtful. In our area we had Bullocks and when it went under (bought out by none other than Macy's), with it died the opportunity for me to share a tea and fashion shows with our children.

Wonderful article, Danny, as always.

there is something so infuriating about the decision especially since living here in LA--- the land of the chain store.

the christmas windows.... i love those.


What a horrible decision. I haven't lived in Chicago for many years, but I still have great memories of Marshall Field's--the warmth coming from the lights around the Christmas windows, the giant Christmas tree inside the store, the beautiful restaurant, etc., etc. But, Danny, did I miss it or did you not mention one of the best places in Field's--the 4th floor--home of the toy department. That's where I remember it being, but then it's been a long, long time.

Macy's is doing this all over the country, including renaming Strawbridge and Clothier here in Philly (where my grandmother went into labor with my mother) and Meier and Frank in Portland, OR (my home town). It's another step towards homogenizing the country and it just kills me.

I stumbled across your post during a Google search for "christmas windows" and must say that you've hit it right on the head. I was devistated when I found out Field's was changing it's name, and as a Chicago native, feel we are loosing a part of our history. Carson's is going downhill quickly, and of all the State St. stores, my Grandma felt that only Field's could hold a candle to the glorius State St. of old (and my Grandma was born in 1914, so she knew quite a lot about that subject). I wish Macy's execs could read it, and the many other people who feel the same way. Change the name, keep the clock, but loose the atmosphere. Field's always had what I wanted, and I fear that will change with the name. I'm glad to see someone else does, too.

I was devastated to hear Marshall Fields was changing its name.

My grandmother and I had a tradition every year at Christmas to take the El downtown to go to lunch and to Marshall Fields. We would look at all the Christmas Windows(fasinated with all the moving figures) and then proceed to go inside.

Stepping onto Marshall Fields escalator was most impressive. looking up and down to all the floors. Our first stop would always be the toy department. I was always amazed at all the dolls and variety of other toys they had, which were always neatly put on shelves. I never left there without some toy or trinket. My grandmother always looked for a new scarf or handkerchief, since Fields always had such a nice selection. I'm sure if my grandmother was alive today, she would feel the same way everyone else does.

When a tradition is gone, so are your dreams.

I will never forget the moments and times I shared downtown at Marshall Fields with my grandmother, but I guess a big company like May Stores would never imagine these type of memories that everyone from Chicago holds on too.

Coming to your article late, I enjoyed it very much!

I was lucky, in the mid- '70s, to work in the main store, in the toy dept. Got to know the train guy and the man who did the magic tricks, along with many others who were there when I visited when younger.

This was my first retail job and the principles of customer service, that I learned there, remain to this day.

I no longer live in Chicago and, judging by my last trip there (five years ago), too much has changed. My old high school has been torn down and replaced with condos (I drove past it without realizing I was there) and the Museum of Science and Industry is transforming from an art deco palace to a modern chrome and glass monstrosity. Now the Marshall Fields name is gone.

How sad.

how many stores do they have?its sounds cool...and i am very eager in visiting the store..

I just read this and hope you are well in SoCal.

I can second just about all of those memories and could add a lifetime's worth more.

The day after Thanksgiving, we have Field's Special sandwiches in memorium. I am raising a handful of NY'ers with Chicago sensibilities.

And I'm awash in memories of 40+ years.

Yesterday I wore my favorite Field's t-shirt. There are Field's bags and boxes carefully stored in my closets: you know you rate if you get one!

Truly, I wish I'd taken pictures of all the windows: Uncle Mistletoe and a cast of hundreds, if not thousands.

Thank you.

I just returend from visiting Chicago and although I am very, very, very, very sad that it's a Macy's and I can't go to the Walnut Room wearing my little white gloves, I was very happy to hear that noone in Chicago refers to the store as Macy's. Whew.

Marshall Field's, where I worked between 1961-1968, was not just a bottom line, was it? All this flap over the current degradations has made me realize just how special and necessary Field's was. It seemed eternal to me at the time, but clearly our changing world is trying its best to pull down this transcendent gift called Marshall Field's. I live far away so I haven't been there in years and can't speak from experience: I am thinking the new escalators are wonderful, they look like exotic roller coasters. Neat—except they don't glide through department after department like a Disney ride, like the old ones. Nope. Marshall Field's, you are sorely missed!

I like this nostalgic post, I really appreciate your efforts.

oh my goodness - just found this!! i LOVE Frango Mints!! haven't been to Chicago in years, but hope you can at least buy those at Marshall Fields. loved that place - so wrong that it is no longer called that.

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