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Speaking of Marshall Fields...

...anybody from Chicago with memories of the classic department store?

I practically grew up there, and the Walnut Room, the big bunny at Easter, the various bakery items and glorious Tiffany ceiling were all part of a trip downtown.

Frango mints...of course.

Do you remember the pink Rum cake with dark chocolate coins?

by Anonymousreply 20May 25, 2010 4:18 AM

Making a special trip during December to look at the windows and the glorious Christmas tree inside.

by Anonymousreply 1May 24, 2010 2:06 PM

minty ice-cream shakes at the frango mint cafe.

by Anonymousreply 2May 24, 2010 2:27 PM

Are the Frango mints available at Macys the same as Marshall Fields or did they change them after buying the company?

by Anonymousreply 3May 24, 2010 2:39 PM

OP- Some Walnut Room memories.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 4May 24, 2010 2:43 PM

I moved to Chicago in 2000 and I loved Marshall Fields although everyone tells me it had already gone far down in quality by the time I had arrived. But I loved the building and the beautiful holiday decorations and the Frango mints (which they still sell). It hasn't changed much since Macy's took over, other than some brands that have been dropped, and of course the housewares section is now Martha Stewart's Last Stand. I wish Macy's had at least kept the green awnings; they're black now and it looks terrible.

by Anonymousreply 5May 24, 2010 2:49 PM

Petit fours in the Tea Room after shopping with Mom.

The toy department...it had an actual motorized mini car...45 years ago...fabulous!

by Anonymousreply 6May 24, 2010 3:02 PM

One day when I was a little kid, my mother's sister who lived in Chicago came to visit. We lived in Wisconsin. Shen entered our home carrying a large white box tied up with ribbon. She placed it in the middle of the kitchen table.

My Aunt and Mother visited. Meanwhile, I stayed as quiet as possible. If I drew attention to myself by interrupting or making noise, I would have been ordered to go outside and play and that's the last thing I wanted to do because I was so curious about what was in the box; almost, I felt hypnotized by it.

Finally, my aunt said, "Well, shall we open it up?" She lifted a large cake with white frosting out of the box.

My mother gave me a small portion. I had never tasted carrot cake before and I've never tasted one that delicious since. And the frosting!

Marshall Field's Bakery, of course.

by Anonymousreply 7May 24, 2010 4:39 PM

Clubfellow dress shirts, their private label brand. The blue Oxfords were a tremendous bargain, they lasted forever.

I remember the men's hat department still displayed a selection of straw boaters (with choice of hat bands) in 1978.

by Anonymousreply 8May 24, 2010 4:42 PM

My parents took us to the State Street store the day after Thanksgiving from the time I was a little kid up to my early teens. We always had lunch in the Walnut Room, next to the Christmas tree. I don't know how my dad managed to pull that one off.

I remember tremendous crowds, and now I suspect that my parents were hoping we'd be abducted or lost in the crowd.

Years later I worked at the Rockford store, in "The Store For Men". A few times a year the department manager and I would go to State Street to meet with buyers. The employee cafeteria had the best scrambled eggs and bacon I've ever had. They must have put crack in it.

Anyone who worked there years ago will remember the gift boxes. They weren't collapsible, but hard. The boxes were all placed inside each other, going from big to smaller to smaller. If you needed a smaller box you'd have to open each one until you got to the size you needed. Sort of like those Russian nesting dolls.

There was a very particular way to fold the tissue paper and place the gold seal, hand write the return sticker, then you had to tie it up with the gold cord and attach the little gold gift card to the bow.

Of course, that all went the way with the Edsel. Everything changed with subsequent owners, and it got dumbed down. The men's department manager is still there, and I was upset when they announced they were killing the brand. But he told me that younger customers aren't brand loyal like they used to be and to get over it.

by Anonymousreply 9May 24, 2010 5:18 PM

Queen Marie of Roumania once visited the State Street store.

by Anonymousreply 10May 24, 2010 5:52 PM

In the crowded bargain basement when I was little my mom would drag me along and I would get smacked by the heavy purses the babushkas (grandmothers) would carry.

I was just the right height.

Smack! smack! smack!

by Anonymousreply 11May 24, 2010 5:54 PM

I loved the store on State Street and love all my memories of it. I think I was 10 when I first went to their bargain basement. I remember the Walnut Room and all the beautuful Christmas decorations.

by Anonymousreply 12May 24, 2010 6:03 PM

Wah wah wah. Face it Chicago--you lost and we won. Get over it.

by Anonymousreply 13May 24, 2010 6:09 PM

I *heart* this thread.

by Anonymousreply 14May 24, 2010 6:54 PM

When I was 17 I fell in love with the butch lesbian who worked behind the Frango Mint counter at Marshall Fields. I all but begged her to fingerfuck my Parapalegic Squirrel Pork Chop Sandwich. One night after her shift we went into the bathroom and muffdived right in the stall. My ladymayo flew out of my muttonclump all over her Marshall Fields Frango Mints smock.

by Anonymousreply 15May 24, 2010 11:32 PM

Marshall Fields was fantastic, but it couldn't hold a candle to that little Magic Shop with the arcade machines half a block north on Lake. Somebody or other's Treasure Chest as I recall, and they had every magic trick and joke item ever made as well as those ancient pinball and arcade machines.

Across the street was the place that grilled the steaks and piled them up in the big plate glass window. It looked so delicious, but my Mother would never let us go in.

She did allow the occasional Garrett's popcorn (half cheese/half carmel) to eat on the train going home though.

by Anonymousreply 16May 24, 2010 11:58 PM

As a New Yorker who grew up in Chicago, I looove this thread.

Muah R9! You made my day with the memories of those green (or white!) gift boxes and the stickers.

Back in the 90s, I used to buy so many pieces at The Men's Store on the Third Floor State Street. I was chummy with the fab sales clerks and they would HOLD merchandise for me while it was marked down. So the D&G or JPG shirt might start off at $300 but they'd hold it a month or twwo until it was marked down to $29. Looooved them!

by Anonymousreply 17May 25, 2010 12:05 AM

They had wonderful stamp and coin departments. One of the last department stores to do so.

by Anonymousreply 18May 25, 2010 12:14 AM

Ha r10! She came to the Museum of Science and Industry on that trip too!

Frangos are actually from the Seattle Frederick & Nelson's chain, which Marshall Fields acquired. I remember when they came in cylindrical boxes, not hexagonal ones.

by Anonymousreply 19May 25, 2010 12:16 AM

I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it.

by Anonymousreply 20May 25, 2010 4:18 AM
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