Chicago shopping guide: Discover the coolest historic stores in the Windy City
Chicago shopping guide: Discover the coolest historic stores in the Windy city! Chicago’s love for shopping dates back as far as the mid 19th century, and despite the rise of e-commerce, people still flock to this most historic of consumer temples to enjoy the city’s unique atmosphere and specialty stores. Home to the world-famous Magnificent Mile, the Loop Retail Historic District, and a wealth of independent boutiques scattered liberally through the city’s diverse neighborhoods, the city of Chicago has long been seen as something of a Mecca for savvy shoppers.
Of course, much has changed since the early days of retail, and the shoppers of the 19th century would be thoroughly overwhelmed by the bright lights and bustling streets of Chicago today. However, there’s still plenty of history hidden between the aisles for the dedicated window shopper. Here, we look at a few highlights of Chicago’s historic shopping sceneójust remember to keep an eye on your bank balance.
Kaehler Luggage and Travel Works
If you plan to make your shopping trip one to remember, then it might be a good idea to upgrade your luggage so you can haul all your wares back home. Thankfully, the Kaehler Luggage and Travel Works on Michigan Avenue offers decades of experience when it comes to all things travel. Founded in 1920, this high-end luggage retailer also crafts fine leather bags and cases under the Kaehler 1920 label. Whether you are looking for the latest in innovative carry-on luggage, or you want a timeless leather holdall that will look great for years to come, Kaehler will help you choose the right fit for your journey.
Walking in hand-in-hand with Kaehler is Horween, a company that provides premium leather for the Kaehler 1920 collection and much more. Founded in 1905, the long history of this artisanal leather tannery at 2015 N Elston Avenue speaks to anyone who recognizes true quality and real craft. Today, the vast Horween complex that has been in use for the past century can be visited only by appointment, however, Horween’s online shop offers a broad selection of leather goods for those looking to take home a true piece of Chicago craftsmanship.
Macy’s only moved into the Marshall Field and Company Building in 2006, however, the marriage of this celebrated department store and this iconic building is a match made in retail heaven. Built between 1881 and 1909 this imposing building housed what is now considered to be the very first department store, with Marshall Field & Company responsible for the birth of luxury shopping as we know it today. Macy’s has done much to preserve the legacy of the original store, and the elaborate window displays that the original shop was famous for can still be seen. Additionally, the Walnut Room Restaurant is as breathtaking today as it was upon inaugaration
The House of Glunz
A great place to buy gifts of the liquid variety, or for anyone who likes a tipple themselves, the rich heritage of the House of Glunz dates back to 1888. Today, it is the oldest wine and spirits store in Chicago, offering a broad selection of rare vintages alongside everyday food and drink. Additionally, in 2013, the family re-appropriated the tavern next door, and customers can enjoy a very special speak-easy atmosphere in the heart of Chicago once more.
Thoroughly modern compared to many of the shops mentioned here, Beverly Records started life in 1967. However, it has been a hub for music lovers ever since, providing collectors in Chicago and around the world with rare pressings and sought after memorabilia. Located on South Western Avenue, Beverly Records is a true beacon for anyone looking to tap into the local music scene and the vibrant community that surrounds it.
David Peace, guest author of Chicago shopping guide: Discover the coolest historic stores in the Windy City, is an experienced blogger and copywriter from the UK who has written for a broad range of companies and organizations based all around the world. David loves to travel and experience new cultures first-hand, developing a particular taste for exotic food and drink along the way. David is also very interested in the arts, history, and architecture, and will write passionately on a broad range of topics.
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