Saturday, December 25, 2010

Around the South Loop: Christmas 2010

Christmas in the South Loop
Christmastime in the South Loop is special. With the mix of the old and new, the historical with the history making, the neighborhood's character is unique. When you look south on Prairie Ave. from 18th St., you can almost imagine what the street looked like when Marshall Field, Philip Armour, and George Pullman lived there.

History and Prairie Ave.
Some of the remnants of Prairie Ave. remain with us: the Kimball, Coleman, and Reid houses still stand. The home of John and Frances Glessner, at 1800 S. Prairie, is now the Glessner House Museum. The museum offers visitors a glimpse into society life in the late nineteenth century. The home is decorated in the English and American arts and crafts style which, before the Glessner's arrived on Prairie Ave., not too many people were familiar with.

The male servants entrance to the Glessner House.

Character Development
The South Loop neighborhood has developed it's own unique character. In the six years that I've lived in the area, I've seen many changes. I've stopped counting the new high-rises and town homes that were built since I bought my condo in 2004. Many businesses opened during those six years and unfortunately, some of them  didn't make it and are closed; it's tough being a small-business owner during these tough economic times. Still others survive and even prosper. That may be the reason the South Loop is still able to attract large retailers like Trader Joe's and Costco and small businesses like Donna's Cafe, which will be opening soon at 1255 S. State St.

SuccezZ athletic shoe store at 1329 S. Michigan Ave. has the coolest ashtray in town.

Maybe you bought a Christmas tree from Marcel Florist at 1471 S. Michigan Ave.

The Advent wreath at South Loop Community Church reminds us what the season is all about: Emmanuel, God is with us.

These sculptures look less menacing in the snow, but I'm still not a fan.

The tree at the Palmer House Hilton is pretty awesome, don't you think?

South Prairie Ave.: You can almost envision Marshall Field taking a stroll.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. Come back soon to find out what the South Loop was reading in 2010. I'll be counting down the top-ten posts.

Stephen Reginald
South Loop Connection

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