Friday, December 30, 2011

Historic Photos of Christmas in Chicago by Rosemary K. Adams

    As we are aware the major cities in our country take on an entirely different appearance during the holiday season.
Lights decorate buildings, trees and roadways, store windows are beautifully and often dramatically decorated, and even the people appear happier, full of anticipation and good cheer.  Chicago is without doubt one of our major cities and a joy to behold at Christmas.  However, what makes this volume so special is that we’re privileged to visit the Windy City of history, thanks to images found in the Chicago History Museum.

    We’re reminded that the first civic Christmas tree emerged in Chicago in 1913, and then as now Santa Claus drew the rapt attention of youngsters.  We see a decorated tree at Wabash and Wacker in 1969 and Lincoln Park after a snow fall, reminding us that even in this bustling mecca there are oases of country quiet and beauty. 

    It seems that decorating Chicago for the holidays has gone on for quite some time as newspaper articles from the 1860s praise decorations with, of course, the Loop, Michigan Avenue and State Street boasting the most elaborate.

    There are almost 200 pictures in this volume all of which are identified in a closing “Notes on the Photographs.”   Historic Photos of Chicago is a visual return to the past, a volume that will be enjoyed over and over again.

    - Gail Cooke

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