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#1
Old 10-10-2009, 04:57 PM
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Chicago Nostalgia: Rand McNally store

I used to visit Chicago when I was a child and I remember well a Rand McNally store that was in the Loop and had beautiful wood paneling. This is in the 1960s -1970s. I believe it later became a ladies shoe store. Can anyone tell me anything about this building? Was it an historic interior? Where exactly was it located? Is it still intact? I would appreciate any information on it. Thanks.


schatze
#2
Old 10-10-2009, 06:28 PM
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I remember it well. It was on Michigan Ave, directly across from the Tribune Tower. Address must have been around 400 North Mich (even number as it was on the west side of the street). Is it still there? I don't know. I walk past there from time to time, but don't remembering noticing lately. I'll check next time I walk past it.......TRM
#3
Old 10-15-2009, 09:06 AM
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Thanks Tim. I honestly didn't think it was on Michigan, but a considerably narrower street. Wish I could research it. I'd love to see it again.
#4
Old 10-15-2009, 05:22 PM
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I remember a map store in downtown Chicago, but it was on the south side of one of the east-west streets like Washington or Randolph on the block just west of Michigan. I can't be sure if it was a Rand-McNally's, but I know it was full of atlases, globes, and travel guides, and I went in there once or twice, although I can't remember if what I was looking for anything in particular or just browsing.
#5
Old 10-15-2009, 06:44 PM
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That's more like it. We used to stay at the Palmer House and we walked the area. This interior was full of carved wood paneling, very decorative. So intricate, I cannot imagine anyone destroying it. I would love to pinpoint it so I could visit it again one day. It was so striking, I can't imagine there not being some historic interest in documenting it. I can't find anything on it so I was hoping to get an address.

Thanks LurkMeister. I might be homing in on it.

schatze
#6
Old 10-15-2009, 07:00 PM
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There could well have been one near the Palmer House, but the one I was thinking of was definitely on North Mich. It is also definitely gone; I walked past there today and there is no sign of it.

Their website has no mention of brick-and-mortar stores, so I suspect there are none left. Too bad; that's going to make finding the building a tad difficult!....TRM

Last edited by Tim R. Mortiss; 10-15-2009 at 07:01 PM.
#7
Old 10-15-2009, 08:35 PM
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Thanks for checking Tim. It has proven to be very difficult. The Rand McNally lead was my hope for getting to the bottom. In truth, the fancy - I think French- woodcarving of the built in displays was what made me think it was something historic. Thanks for the input, I keep trying to get an answer every now and then.
#8
Old 10-15-2009, 09:39 PM
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My memories of it are at least twenty years old, but that does sound like the place I'm thinking of, schatze, because I do remember a lot of fancy woodwork. Unfortunately, I'm no longer in Chicago so I can't wander the area to jog my memory.

I do know that over the years a lot of very nice places in Chicago have been torn down or rebuilt because unless they were of actual or historic value no one cared enough to preserve them.
#9
Old 10-16-2009, 05:09 PM
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I believe it was on the S side of Washington, between Wabash and State, directly across the street from Marshall Field's. I was only in it once, and it closed a long time ago. It may have been on the next block east.

I remember a restaurant scene in a movie was filmed in it. Trying to jog the grey matter.

My dad worked for Rand's for 20+ years. I put in a couple of summers there as well while in HS and college.
#10
Old 10-17-2009, 10:03 PM
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^So many words. So little information.

Rand McNally's Loop store was at 23 East Madison, a particularly handsome storefront whose façade can still be seen.

Sometime in the mid 80s they opened another store at 444 North Michigan. Sometime around 1990 they closed the East Madison store and about a year later opened one at 150 South Wacker. All Rand McNally retail stores across the country were closed about 2005.
#11
Old 10-21-2009, 10:04 AM
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Mr Downtown, I Googled 23 East Madison and that is ringing true as the spot I would remember. I know I visited after the map store left, when it was a ladies shoe store. They had kept the stunning interior but I have often wondered if it is still preserved. Thank you so much for the lead. If anyone is walking by, please check the inside for me.

schatze
#12
Old 10-26-2009, 11:59 AM
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Former Rand McNally Manager

Mr. Downtown almost has it right. The Rand McNally store was indeed at 23 E. Madison. I believe when the store was first built it was a woman's shoe store. The store was an extension of the Carson Pirie Scott building designed by Luis Sullivan. The exterior of 23 E. Madison did have details that looked like they were designed by Sullivan - but I cannot verify if they were. The interior, although very striking, I know, was not designed by Sullivan.

It had long served as a retail outlet along with it's two sister stores (one in NYC and one in San Francisco). In the late 80's, Rand McNally decided to expand upon the retail concept and create boutique like map and travel stores.

The first of these stores to open was their flagship store at the Northwest corner of Wacker and Adams. The famed six foot diameter physical relief globe that once hung from the ceiling at 23 E. Madison was removed from that location and re-installed at the Wacker Adams location.

The company had created a whole design concept for their new travel stores and wanted to promote it in a more visible way - thus the relocation to the Michigan Ave. About a year later, we started the laborious task of packing up the store and moving all the wares to Michigan Ave. When that store opened a 3 foot version of the famed globe was installed.

Rand McNally was on a growth pattern of open 5-7 stores a year at that time. All in large metro areas and all in upscale shopping malls/districts. Two more stores were added in the Chicago area. One in Oakbrook which I also managed for a while and one in in Schaumburg at the Woodfield Mall.

The 150+ year family owned company was sold sometime in the late 90's and I believe that is when all their retail stores started to shut down. They were wonderful stores, I learned much about mapping and geography and I enjoyed my time working for them. Sad that they are all gone.
#13
Old 10-26-2009, 01:03 PM
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pakim -

Thank you for the extra info and the confirmation. I can't tell you how many years this question has dogged me. I hope to return for a visit and pass by for old times sake, even if it has changed. I have such great memories of Chicago.
#14
Old 06-11-2010, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I remember it well. It was on Michigan Ave, directly across from the Tribune Tower. Address must have been around 400 North Mich (even number as it was on the west side of the street). Is it still there? I don't know. I walk past there from time to time, but don't remembering noticing lately. I'll check next time I walk past it.......TRM
I've walked past by it just yesterday, and have noticed that it is a completely different building.. Anyone knows what this is?
#15
Old 06-11-2010, 02:09 PM
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Not sure what your question is. Rand McNally's Mag Mile store was in the 444 N. Michigan building. That shop is now a Starbucks. The building is still the same, though a new canopy was put on the Michigan Avenue frontage about five years ago.
#16
Old 06-12-2010, 09:12 AM
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Wow I think I remember that store, the way it looks. However, can't remember where exactly it is located now. I already moved to another state.
#17
Old 06-12-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Not sure what your question is. Rand McNally's Mag Mile store was in the 444 N. Michigan building. That shop is now a Starbucks. The building is still the same, though a new canopy was put on the Michigan Avenue frontage about five years ago.
Hmm, yeah.. Same building, but just a different store - nothing has changed, only the establishment that stays there..
#18
Old 06-12-2010, 09:07 PM
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Added for information only.

There was a Rand McNally map store at 124 W. Monroe in 1967.

It was at 39 S. La Salle by 1968.

In November of 1967, 23 E. Madison was a shoe store==O'Connor and Goldberg.

I think the Madison address was more than one store.
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