Tuesday, December 02, 2008

One good dome deserves another

This morning I saw Tonya's fabulous photos of the dome at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, so I couldn't resist posting photos of the vaulted mosaic ceiling at Marshall Field's in Chicago. It's not so obviously spectacular as the Galeries Lafayette, but it was still pretty cool to see. I tried to photograph it without the Christmas decorations getting in the way, as they were big but not very creative.
The ceiling is made of over 1.5 million pieces of Tiffany glass, and Tiffany himself took charge of the work. Those two lamps hanging down are original Tiffany globes; there used to be four of them, but they were taken down to be part of a display at the store and some furniture fell over on them, irretrievably shattering two. I can see where one of them would have hung, but where would the fourth have been?
Another section of the store has a huge atrium with a skylight at the top -- at one point it was the highest enclosed atrium in the world, but that hasn't been true for many years.

Last year, Marshall Field's pulled out of the space it had occupied for over a century, and Macy's moved in. Many Chicagoans took it hard, and apparently quite a few have refused to patronize the store as Macy's is a symbol of -- gasp! -- New York. It would be a shame to see the store fail, for what would replace it? There is joking now that Chicago, the famous "Second City," is becoming the "First City" since it's the home of Barack Obama and he's handling his transition from there. Maybe this will ease the pain for those Chicagoans who don't like being #2 to New York.

12 comments:

Exuberant Color said...

I think I have only been in that building 3 times in my life and I never looked up. But then I was a lot younger then (under 20) and wasn't aware of the beauty around me. Great pictures!

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

that ceiling is amazing. 1.5 million piecies. aiyee. maybe the fourth globe was a spare?

ROZ said...

I didn't know about all the wonderful art deco in Chicago. Wonderful

Joyce said...

I've been to Chicago (#1 in my books - it's much closer for us) but never seen that building. Chicago is famous for it's architecture. These pictures show why.

em's scrapbag said...

The dome is beautiful. All those little pieces of glass, WOW! A-Maze-Za-Zing!

Libby said...

Of course I'm not a Chicago native but to me the whole Fields/Macy's thing was like the local being bought out by the corporate. Fields was anything but mom 'n pop, of course, but it was Chicago. Macy's is everywhere these days.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I grew up in southern Michigan and one year my parents took us to Chicago to see the windows at Marshall Field's. I remember the huge Christmas tree that filled that atrium and the displays in their windows... oh, my how wonderful they were! I still have two treasured Christmas ornaments that came from MF in Chicago - friends of my parents visited and brought them back.

Clare said...

Really? Tiffany designed it and it's 1.5 million pieces of glass? As they say in England, cor!

I hate change, especially when it affects lovely buildings like that. I assume it's protected so if Macys decide to pull out it won't be destroyed.

That's one thing I hate about Mr Fahed and Harrods. He's ruined it!

sewkalico said...

A beautiful dome. I'm a tourist, so I would love to shop at Macy's *gasp* LOL

jacquie said...

wowsers! another place on my chicago list. thanks!

Elaine Adair said...

OH my - I almost cried!!! I was BORN in Chicago, and while I now would be totally lost, and still hate the traffic, there were so many wonderful and beautiful things in the city. Thanks for the memories. 8-))

Oh and yes, I worked downtown and LOVED Marshall Fields! 8-)

jillytacy said...

Gorgeous! I love your virtual field trips! It's always exciting, educational and inspiring. And i get to see things I wouldn't see otherwise. Thanks for sharing and keep the virtual field trips coming!