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Chicago Gets Festive For The Holidays


Few things take our breath away like observing the Chicago skyline during the holidays, when every building, rooftop and antenna tower is decked out in red and green lights. The views are especially stunning from Maggie Daley Park's ice skating ribbon, where buildings like One and Two Prudential Plaza and Aon Center tower over skaters as they glide across the ice.

But the views can be equally stunning inside. Here is the holiday display inside the Crain Communications building at 150 East Randolph, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland complete with snowy trees, polar bears frolicking and a Toys for Tots donation box.

Across the street from the Crain Communications building, the Chicago Cultural Center's Washington Street lobby has understated Christmas trees, wreaths and decorations that complement the tile artwork of the staircases, walls and floors. The Cultural Center was one of the most ambitious adaptive reuse efforts of its time. It used to be the city's central library before the opening of the Harold Washington Library. Led by the efforts of former Chicago first lady Maggie Daley, it was transformed into one of the most important cultural landmarks in town.

It isn't called Marshall Field's anymore, but Macy's on State Street has continued the tradition of making the department store an extension of Santa's Workshop. While most of the attention centers on the holiday window displays and the Christmas tree in the Walnut Room, we have a fondness for the decorations in the sublevel food courts and kitchenware sections. Their oversized ornaments almost compel you to buy Frango mints by the case.

Here you see a mix of the old and new inside One Prudential Plaza's lobby. The pristine white walls make an ideal canvas for hanging ornaments and festive projections on the lobby's video wall. Both One and Two Prudential Plaza's exteriors are lighted during the holidays, with alternating green and red lights every night.

Sometimes less is more, and that's what you get outside Prudential Plaza. Three oversized ornaments adorn the center of the plaza, while the trees are trimmed in white LED lights.

Hubbard Place's lobby gets decked out for the holidays. Check out that fireplace; it's perfect for waiting out the bitter cold nights to come with some cocoa, or something stronger.

Speaking of something stronger, Simon's Tavern in Andersonville served 2,300 gallons of glögg last year. The high-octane mix of mulled wine, brandy and grain alcohol will put some color in your cheeks and fill you with Christmas cheer. Simon's goes all-out with its holiday decorations, as everyone should.

Related Topics: Chicago architecture