The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is an upscale section of Chicago's Michigan Avenue, running from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. The district is located adjacent to downtown, and one block east of Rush Street. The Magnificent Mile serves as the main thoroughfare between Chicago's Loop business district and its Gold Coast. It is generally the western boundary of the Streeterville neighborhood, to its east and River North to the west.
Real estate developer Arthur Rubloff of Rubloff Company gave the district its nickname in the 1940s. Currently Chicago's largest shopping district, various mid-range and high-end shops line this section of the street; approximately 3,100,000 square feet (290,000 m2) are occupied by retail, restaurants, museums and hotels. To date, rent on The Magnificent Mile is the eighth most expensive in the United States, behind Fifth Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Tall buildings, such as the 875 North Michigan Avenue are in the district. Landmarks along the Magnificent Mile include Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, and the Allerton, Drake and Intercontinental Hotels.
Chicago's Magnificent Mile looking South
The Mag Mile
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After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, State Street (anchored by Marshall Field's) in the downtown Loop, especially the Loop Retail Historic District, was the city's retailing center. The convenience of mass transit including streetcars and elevated trains, supported a retail corridor along State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.
By the 1920s, commuter suburbs began to have significant retail districts. Prior to the bascule bridge construction, swing bridges across the river were open for ship traffic during half the daylight hours. The Rush Street Bridge was the swing bridge for this area. The opening of the Michigan Avenue Bridge in 1920 created a new commercial district.
The concept for the Magnificent Mile was part of the 1909 Burnham Plan of Chicago. It was constructed during the 1920s to replace Pine Street, which had been lined with factories and warehouses near the river, and fine mansion and rowhouse residences farther north. The earliest building constructions varied in style, but challenged new heights in construction. The name the "Magnificent Mile" is a registered trademark of The Magnificent Mile Association, formerly the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (GNMAA).
After the Great Depression and World War II, Arthur Rubloff and William Zeckendorf bought or controlled most of the property along this stretch of the avenue and supported a plan by Holabird & Root for construction of new buildings and renovation of old ones that took advantage of new zoning laws. Soon the property values driven by the luxury shopping districts were pricing out the nearby artists of Tower Town, just southwest of the Chicago Water Tower. Rubloff and Zeckendorf successfully developed and promoted the area until it became one of the most prestigious addresses of the city. That distinction holds today, and spurred new investment along the Magnificent Mile and throughout the Near North Side.
After 1950, suburban development reduced the Loop's daily significance to many Chicagoans as downtown retail sales slipped. However, the Magnificent Mile kept a luxury shopping district close to the central business district. The opening of the 74-story Water Tower Place in 1975 marked the return of Chicago to retailing prominence. By 1979, the State Street commercial corridor had lost its commercial vitality and was closed to street traffic for renovation including sidewalk widening until 1996.
Today, The Magnificent Mile contains a mixture of upscale department stores, restaurants, luxury retailers, residential and commercial buildings, financial services companies, and hotels, catering primarily to tourists and the affluent. The area also has a high concentration of the city's major media firms, such as the Chicago Tribune newspaper, and advertising agencies. The Magnificent Mile includes 3,100,000 sq ft (290,000 m2) of retail space, 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 51 hotels, and a host of sightseeing and entertainment attractions to more than 22 million visitors annually.
The American Planning Association selected The Magnificent Mile as one of the 10 Great Streets for 2007 through its Great Places in America program. In recent years, The Magnificent Mile has added trees and flower-filled medians to reflect the changing seasons.
Many of the world's leading retail stores populate The Magnificent Mile, including luxury department stores Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Barneys New York. In addition, some of the finest luxury boutiques are located along The Magnificent Mile (many of which have only a few North American locations), including Canada Goose, Cartier, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Armani, Chanel, Burberry (its U.S. flagship location), Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Gucci, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Escada, Christian Louboutin, Tiffany & Co., Georg Jensen, Max Mara, Harry Winston, St. John, Omega, Stuart Weitzman, Montblanc, Anne Fontaine, and Rolex.
Also present are Ralph Lauren (Ralph Lauren's largest store in the world), Kate Spade, Eskandar, Barbour, Cole Haan, Charles David, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Henri Bendel, Hugo Boss, Brunello Cucinelli, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, L'Occitane en Provence, Diesel, Carolina Herrera, American Girl, Moncler, Furla, Harry Winston, Aritzia, Ermenegildo Zegna, Brooks Brothers, Zara, Vera Wang, La Perla, Tumi, Agent Provocateur, L.K.Bennett, Dennis Basso, Lululemon, Piazza Sempione, Graff Diamonds, Fratelli Rosseti, Hickey Freeman, Kiehl's, Jil Sander, Henry Beguelin, Topshop, Michael Kors, Bernadaud, Christofle, J. Crew, Arthur, Sermoneta, H&M, Manrico Cashmere, Marlowe, Paul Stuart, Graff Diamonds, David Yurman, Fogal, Wolford, The Art of Shaving, BHLDN, Buccellati, AllSaints, Frette, Pratesi, Culti, Uniqlo (Its first in the Midwest), and many others.
The Magnificent Mile is also notable for its three urban shopping centers: Water Tower Place, The Shops at North Bridge, and 900 North Michigan Shops. Each spans multiple floors and city blocks and offers various tenants: mall mainstays and more upscale apparel shops, restaurants, and unique attractions, such as museums. In its book The 10 Best of Everything: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers, National Geographic named The Magnificent Mile along with Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue as one of the 10 best shopping avenues in the world.
Renowned and critically acclaimed restaurants such as The Signature Room at The 95th, Spiaggia, Tru, The Pump Room, Lawry's The Prime Rib, The Grand Lux, and The Park Hyatt Room provide a variety of dining options. Three 5-star hotels (The Peninsula Chicago, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, and Ritz-Carlton Chicago) and Illinois' only 4-star hotel (Park Hyatt) are located within about five blocks along The Magnificent Mile.
|Name||Street Address||Parent Company|
|Knickerbocker Hotel||163 E. Walton Place||Millennium Hotels|
|Westin Michigan Avenue||909 N. Michigan Avenue||Starwood Hotels|
|Four Seasons Hotel Chicago||900 N. Michigan Avenue – Floors 32–46||Four Seasons Hotels|
|Ritz-Carlton Chicago||845 N. Michigan Avenue||Marriott Hotels|
|Park Hyatt||800 N. Michigan Avenue
(110 E. Chicago)
|The Peninsula Chicago||108 E. Superior Street||The Peninsula Hotels|
|Allerton Hotel||701 N. Michigan Avenue|
|Omni Chicago Hotel||676 N. Michigan Avenue||Omni Hotels|
|The Conrad Chicago||520 N. Michigan Avenue
(521 N. Rush Street)
|Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago||505 N. Michigan Avenue||InterContinental Hotels Group|
|Drake Hotel||140 E. Walton Place||Hilton Hotels|
The largest banks have branches along the strip including the three largest banks in the nation: Bank of America, Citibank, and JPMorgan Chase's Chase Bank. Additionally, the largest banks in Chicago are present, such as LaSalle Bank and Harris Bank, which is technically across the street from The Magnificent Mile. American Express has a Magnificent Mile address for one of its two Chicago service offices. Fidelity Investments has an office at the foot of The Magnificent Mile.
Historic and landmark presences are shown in the table below, which lists Chicago Landmarks, National Register of Historic Places locations, and National Historic Landmarks along The Magnificent Mile. At the northern edge of this district on the west, one finds the exclusive One Magnificent Mile building and Oak Street running to the west. Also, at the northern edge of the district one finds the Chicago Landmark East Lake Shore Drive District, an extremely expensive and exclusive one-block area of real estate running east from N. Michigan Ave. and facing directly onto Lake Michigan.
At the southern edge of the district, the Michigan Avenue Bridge sits among four majestic 1920s skyscrapers, two of which are on The Magnificent Mile (Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building), and two of which are not (333 North Michigan and London Guarantee Building). These buildings are contributing properties to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District.
|Chicago Landmark||Designation Date||Location||NRHP Date||NHL Date|
|Drake Hotel||April 18, 1985||140 E. Walton Place||May 8, 1980|
|Palmolive Building||February 16, 2000||919 N. Michigan Avenue||August 21, 2003|
|Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton Office and Studio||December 1, 1993||814 N. Michigan Avenue|
|Old Chicago Water Tower District||October 6, 1971;
amended June 10, 1981
|806/821 N. Michigan Avenue||April 23, 1975|
|Allerton Hotel||May 29, 1998||701 N. Michigan Avenue|
|Woman's Athletic Club||October 2, 1991||626 N. Michigan Avenue|
|McGraw-Hill Building||February 7, 1997||520 N. Michigan Avenue|
|Tribune Tower||February 1, 1989||435 N. Michigan Avenue|
|Du Sable, Jean Baptiste Point, Homesite ||401 N. Michigan Avenue||May 11, 1976||May 11, 1976|
|Michigan Avenue Bridge and Esplanade||October 2, 1991||Chicago River, between Michigan and Wabash Avenues|
|Site of Fort Dearborn||September 15, 1971||Intersection of N. Michigan Avenue and E. Wacker Drive|
Several of the tallest buildings in the world are located in The Magnificent Mile district. These buildings are:
feet / meters
|875 North Michigan Avenue||875 N. Michigan Avenue||1,127 / 344||100||1969|
|900 North Michigan||900 N. Michigan Avenue||871 / 265||66||1989|
|Water Tower Place||845 N. Michigan Avenue||859 / 262||74||1976|
|Park Tower||800 N. Michigan Avenue||844 / 257||67||2000|
|Olympia Centre||737 N. Michigan Avenue||725 / 221||63||1986|
|One Magnificent Mile||980 N. Michigan Avenue||673 / 205||58||1983|
|Chicago Place||700 N. Michigan Avenue||608 / 185||49||1991|
|Palmolive Building||919 N. Michigan Avenue||565 / 172||37||1929|
Median planters were constructed as part of a streetscape improvement project in 1994. In the spring, hundreds of thousands of tulips bloom from mid April until the end of May. In 2008, a public art installation of kinetic sculptures designed by local and international architects was placed in the garden beds.
During the summer, the "Gardens of The Magnificent Mile" festival event occurs. It is a self-guided landscape display walking tour. In 2007 and 2008, fashion dress forms graced the garden beds. The forms were designed by students from the Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago and the International Academy of Design and Technology, as well as prominent designers located on the Avenue.
In 2009 and 2010 the first ever Summer Concert Series presented by Walgreens brought top level musical talent to the Avenue for free lunchtime shows for guests, locals, and employees of the Avenue. Past artists include: Collective Soul, Better Than Ezra, Mat Kearney, Michael Franti, Kris Allen, and Guster.
The tradition of lighting the trees of The Magnificent Mile to start the Christmas season extends more than forty years. More than one million lights are lit and fireworks follow the event. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, presented by BMO Harris Bank, is the annual kick-off to Chicago's Christmas season.
The day of the event has special activities and offers across Magnificent Mile businesses, plus interactive holiday booths in Pioneer Court, and a free concert with free concerts featuring popular artists all afternoon on the Harris Stage (past artists have included Jason Mraz, Mitchel Musso, and KT Tunstall). In the evening, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse lead a procession down Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, stopping at each block to light the trees. He brings along other Disney friends, marching bands, celebrities and more. It is considered the first annual Christmas procession of the year.
North Michigan Avenue is a six-lane two-way street that is serviced by Chicago Transit Authority public buses along the Magnificent Mile that connect the area to the entire Chicago metropolitan area. It is also serviced by seasonal trolley service along the street, and the foot of the Magnificent Mile is serviced by seasonal water transit services. Two blocks west along State Street, the Chicago 'L' rapid transit services the street via its Red Line. Pedestrian traffic abounds along the broad sidewalks that are shielded by extensive, mature greenery that provides much of the friendly atmosphere.
In autumn 2011, North Michigan Avenue was completely repaved from the Chicago River to Oak Street with a durable stone-matrix asphalt pavement mix that incorporated high levels of recycled materials, including waste shingles, ground tire rubber, and asphalt millings, diverting some 800 tons of material from landfills. The $1 million project was completed without ever completely halting traffic on the street. In July 2012, the City of Chicago and CDOT were honored with the Environmental Leadership Award from the National Asphalt Pavement Association.
333 North Michigan is a skyscraper in the art deco style located in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Architecturally, it is noted for its dramatic upper-level setbacks that were inspired by the 1923 skyscraper zoning laws. Geographically, it is known as one of the four 1920s flanks of the Michigan Avenue Bridge (along with the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and the London Guarantee Building) that are contributing properties to the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, which is a U.S. Registered Historic District.Additionally, it is known as the geographic beneficiary of the jog in Michigan Avenue, which makes it visible along the Magnificent Mile as the building that seems to be in the middle of the road at the foot of this stretch of road (pictured at left). The building was designed by Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root and completed in 1928. It is 396 feet (120.7 m) tall, and has 34 storeys.
It was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 7, 1997. It is located on the short quarter mile stretch of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District and the Magnificent Mile.
Designed by John Wellborn Root, Jr., the building's long and narrow footprint and towering structure are a tribute to Root's father John Wellborn Root's earlier Chicago Monadnock Building; Louis Sullivan's tall-building canon; and Eliel Saarinen's second-prize entry in the Tribune Tower design contest. The building was such a success that Holabird and Root took commercial residence there. The building's long and slender design optimized use of natural lighting. The building's interior represents Prohibition era modernism, especially its Art Deco Tavern club.The building is embellished by a polished marble base, ornamental bands, and reliefs depicting frontiersmen and Native Americans at Fort Dearborn, which partially occupied the site.Chicago Place
Chicago Place is a mixed-use high-rise on the 700 block of North Michigan Avenue (between Huron and Superior) in Chicago along the Magnificent Mile anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue. According to the Chicago Tribune, as of February 2009, the mall portion has been closed and is now a T-Mobile Store as well as offices. Above that is a tower containing condominiums.DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile
The DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile is a Doubletree Hotel franchise located near Chicago's "Magnificent Mile."Drake Hotel (Chicago)
The Drake, a Hilton Hotel, 140 East Walton Place, Chicago, Illinois, is a luxury, full-service hotel, located downtown on the lake side of Michigan Avenue two blocks north of the John Hancock Center and a block south of Oak Street Beach at the top of the Magnificent Mile. Overlooking Lake Michigan, it was founded in 1920, designed in the Italian Renaissance style by the firm of Marshall and Fox, and soon became one of Chicago's landmark hotels, a longtime rival of the Palmer House. It has 535 bedrooms (including 74 suites), a six-room Presidential Suite, several restaurants, two large ballrooms, the "Palm Court" (a club-like, secluded lobby), and Club International (a members-only club introduced in the 1940s). It is known for the contribution that its silhouette and sign on the lake (Oak Street) façade make to the Gold Coast skyline.Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is a part of the Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts chain of luxury hotels. It is located in the 900 North Michigan skyscraper on the north end of the Magnificent Mile overlooking Lake Michigan. The hotel occupies the 30th through 46th floors of the skyscraper, which contains a Bloomingdale's shopping center as well as ground-floor mono-brand locations for Gucci, MaxMara, Montblanc, L'Occitane en Provence, Kate Spade New York and Michael Kors.Grand Avenue (Chicago)
Grand Avenue is a major east-west street in the city of Chicago and nearby DuPage County, although it deviates somewhat from Chicago's grid system, as it is diagonal west of Western Avenue. The street runs from the Kingery Highway (also known as U.S. Route 20 and Illinois Route 83) in Addison, east through the western suburbs, and then east-southeast into Chicago, through the Magnificent Mile shopping area, and continuing out to Navy Pier, where it ends. This is a distance of about 19 miles (31 km).InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is a hotel in Chicago, United States. The hotel currently occupies two multi-story buildings. The historic tower, or "South Tower," is a 471-foot (144 m), 42-story building which was completed in 1929 originally as the home of the Medinah Athletic Club. The new tower, or "North Tower" is a 295-foot (90 m), 26-story addition, completed in 1961.InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.List of Michelin starred restaurants in Chicago
This article contains a complete list of Michelin starred restaurants in Chicago since 2011. Chicago was the fifth US city to be chosen to have a dedicated Michelin Guide in 2011, after New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, although the Los Angeles and Las Vegas guides were later discontinued. Although earlier editions included restaurants from the suburbs, since 2013, all the restaurants have been located within the city proper.List of diplomatic missions and trade organizations in Chicago
This is a list of diplomatic missions and trade organizations in Chicago. Many governments and organizations have established diplomatic and trade representation in Chicago, Illinois.Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
See also, Lights FestivalThe Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is an annual event celebrated in Chicago on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. An estimated one million lights on 200 trees brighten the city’s Michigan Avenue, also known as the Magnificent Mile. The festival is hosted by The Magnificent Mile Association, formerly the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, and is considered one of the largest Christmas holiday celebrations in the country.Michigan Avenue (Chicago)
Michigan Avenue is a north-south street in Chicago which runs at 100 east on the Chicago grid. The northern end of the street is at Lake Shore Drive on the shore of Lake Michigan in the Gold Coast Historic District. The street's southern terminus is at Sibley Boulevard in the southern suburb of Harvey, though like many Chicago streets it exists in several disjointed segments.As the home of the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and the shopping on the Magnificent Mile, it is a street well known to Chicago natives as well as tourists to the city. Michigan Avenue also is the main commercial street of Streeterville. It includes all of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District and most of the Michigan–Wacker Historic District, including the scenic urban space anchored by the Michigan Avenue Bridge.Near North Side, Chicago
The Near North Side is one of 77 defined community areas of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is the northernmost of the three areas that constitute central Chicago, the others being the Loop and the Near South Side. The community area is located north and east of the Chicago River. To its east is Lake Michigan, and its northern boundary is the early 19th-century city limit of Chicago, North Avenue. Of the downtown community areas, the Near North Side has the second largest total area after the Near West Side, the highest number of skyscrapers, and the largest population. With the exception of Goose Island and the remnants of Cabrini–Green, to the west, the Near North Side is known for its extreme affluence, typified by the Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, Navy Pier, and its world-famous skyscrapers.
The Near North Side is the oldest part of Chicago. In the 1780s, in what is now the Near North Side, on the northern banks of the Chicago River near today's Michigan Avenue Bridge, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable built the first known permanent settlement in "Eschecagou." Today this is marked by Pioneer Court.
Especially in the vicinity of Rush and Erie streets, the Near North Side was once known as McCormickville; so named because it is here where many branches of the famous McCormick family of mechanical reaper fame built their mansions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Old Chicago Water Tower District
The Old Chicago Water Tower District is a historic district along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. The district is located on both sides of North Michigan Avenue between East Chicago and East Pearson Streets. It includes the Chicago Water Tower, Chicago Avenue Pumping Station, and Chicago Fire Department Fire Station No. 98. All three structures are part of the Chicago Landmark district designated on October 6, 1971 (amended June 10, 1981). The Water Tower and Pumping Station were jointly added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 1975. In addition the Tower was named an American Water Landmark in 1969. The Water Tower was also one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire. The district is the namesake of the nearby Water Tower Place.One Magnificent Mile
One Magnificent Mile (or One Mag Mile) is a mixed-use high-rise tower completed in 1983 at the northern end of Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago containing upscale retailers on the ground floor, followed by office space above that and luxury condominium apartments on top. The 57-storey building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and at the time of construction was the tenth-tallest building in Chicago.Shops at the Mart
The Shops at the Mart is a group of some 40 restaurants and shops located on the first two floors of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois. Its retailers serve two markets: convenience retail and dining for local employees and residents, and Luxehome, a collection of luxury retailers of kitchen and bath furnishings that complements the Mart's historic role as a hub for the interior decorating trade.It opened in September 1991 and was originally anchored by Carson Pirie Scott & Co. and The Limited. However, retailers struggled to draw customers away from established retail centers in the State Street and Magnificent Mile areas, and in September 2003 the core of the mall was rechristened as LuxeHome.Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
The Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile, formerly named the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, is a hotel in Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. It is operated by the Sofitel hotel chain. The hotel was designed by French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. It has a unique knifelike edge on the southern end which extends 33 feet over the sidewalk. Its design has garnered the American Institute of Architects honor of being on its America's Favorite Architecture list.Streeterville
Streeterville is a neighborhood in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States, north of the Chicago River. It is bounded by the river on the south, the Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue on the west, and Lake Michigan on the north and east, according to most sources, although the City of Chicago only recognizes a small portion of this region as Streeterville. Thus, it can be described as the Magnificent Mile plus all land east of it. The majority of the land in this neighborhood is reclaimed sandbar.Named for George Streeter, the neighborhood contains a combination of hotels, restaurants, professional office centers, residential high rises, universities, medical facilities, and cultural venues. The area has undergone increased development in the early 21st century as numerous empty lots in Streeterville have been converted into commercial and residential properties, especially in the southern part of the neighborhood. The neighborhood had earlier experienced booms following World War I and World War II.Woman's Athletic Club
Woman's Athletic Club is a historic building located along the Magnificent Mile in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1898, it is the home of the first athletic club for women in the United States. It was named a Chicago Landmark on October 2, 1991.Wrigley Building
The Wrigley Building (400-410 North Michigan Avenue, Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois) is a skyscraper located directly across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower on the Magnificent Mile. It was built to house the corporate headquarters of the Wrigley Company.
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