“For decades, Chicago was home to some of America’s grandest department stores. Clustered along a mile-long stretch of State Street, stores like Marshall Field’s; Carson, Pirie, Scott; Sears; Wieboldt’s; Montgomery Ward’s; and Goldblatt’s set new standards for retail innovation, customer service and visual display. Generations of Chicagoans trekked to these stores for holiday shopping, celebrations, and fun.
“Within thirty years of the Great Chicago Fire, the revitalized city was boasting some of America’s grandest department stores. The retail corridor on State Street was a crowded canyon of innovation and inventory where you could buy anything from a paper clip to an airplane. Revisit a time when a trip downtown meant dressing up for lunch at Marshall Field’s Walnut Room, strolling the aisles of Sears for Craftsman tools or redeeming S&H Green Stamps at Wieboldt’s. Whether your family favored The Fair, Carson Pirie Scott, Montgomery Ward or Goldblatt’s, you were guaranteed stunning architectural design, attentive customer service and eye-popping holiday window displays. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, advertisements, catalogue images and postcards, Leslie Goddard’s narrative brings to life the Windy City’s fabulous retail past.”
“In this illustrated lecture, historian and author Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., revisits Chicago’s fabulous retail emporiums and explores their rise and fall.”