Located in the heart of Chicago’s Loop on Wabash between Washington and Monroe, Jeweler's Row has become a distinctive, significant, and unique part of Chicago’s famous downtown shopping district.
Jeweler's Row became significant for its association with Chicago's rise as a jewelry hub in the early Twentieth Century. Officially opening in 1872, these traditionally small-scale, entrepreneurial businesses occupied both ground-floor storefronts and upper-floor offices in the district's buildings as seen on both sides of the street in this 1907 photo. In 1912, the Mallers Building at 5 South Wabash began to house jewelry manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers putting Jeweler's Row on the map. By World War II, the most important Chicago firms, like Sherman Tucker and M. Y. Finkelman, had located there. Finkelman's son, Marshall, brought international fame to the Chicago jewelry trade in international gem markets and opened the Jeweler's Center in the late 1980s.
The 1900’s was a popular time for jewelers from Mexico, South America, and Southeast Asia who brought new ethnic trends to Jeweler's Row.
In its early years, jewelers held public events where hundreds of Chicagoans would try their luck at ducking for diamonds. At one event, there was a bowl full of hundreds of rhinestones, plus five carats worth of real diamonds, and guests lined up with tweezers to do their best.
During the rehab of the Jeweler's Center in the Mallers Building in 1900, it was discovered that part of the basement space had once been used as a Prohibition speakeasy. Even Al Capone made a few purchases within the walls of the historic building.
Peter J. Weber, of the architectural firm D.H. Burnham and Company, designed The Silversmith Building featured on the left side of the street. It was built in 1890 in response to the transition from Romanesque Revival architecture to the Arts and Crafts Movement.
In 1985, Alderman Gerald McLaughlin was the first to recommend Jeweler's Row as a historical district.
Today, Jeweler's Row spans two blocks with jewelers from all over the world, becoming a designated landmark district. Recognizable by the 12 iconic steel Jeweler's Row markers that line both sides of Wabash from Monroe to Washington, and with more than 215 jewelers in both ground-floor storefronts and upper-floor offices, this district continues to thrive as the jeweler’s hub of Chicago.
Jeweler's Row was declared a Chicago landmark on July 9, 2003.
The steel Jeweler's Row street markers were installed in 2008.
The Jeweler's Center at 5 South Wabash holds more than 190 jewelers representing 33 countries in fine jewelry making.
The Silversmith Building, now the Silversmith Hotel and Suites, is a boutique hotel featuring 143 guest rooms, including 63 suites, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A fully-accredited school within a major urban university, The Theatre School at DePaul University is the Midwest’s oldest theatre conservatory and is renowned as one of the top professional theatre training programs in the United States. And with more than 30 public performances annually, there is always something worth seeing.
Here are three shows coming to the historic Merle Reskin Theatre in the Loop in the next few months:
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy, January 19 - March 2
From Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Adults, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy takes the audience back to 1912 in coastal Maine. Reverend Buckminster’s son Turner is the new kid in town. Lonely and having trouble fitting in, he meets Lizzie Bright, an African-American girl from nearby Malaga Island who becomes his best friend. They share everything: secrets, worries, and the courage to take a stand against greed and racial prejudices in their community. When the townspeople try to force the residents off of Malaga Island, their friendship is tested and Turner and Lizzie face life’s great challenges of loss and allegiance. Bringing together themes of Black History Month celebrations, community, friendship, and leadership, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy is a great uplifting performance for the whole family.
Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika, February 8 - February 17
The Theatre Showcase Series presents the second half of the anticipated show, Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika. It is 1980s America. An Angel of the Apocalypse crashes through a ceiling and hovers over the bed of Prior Walter, a gay New Yorker with AIDS. This collision sets in motion the reintroduction of characters from part one of Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-part epic as their lives intersect during the Reagan era. Tragic and hilarious, Perestroika explores personal responsibility, the future of mankind, and the nature of God.
The Coral King, April 2 - May 25
The Coral King is another show to look forward to, from Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Adults. This original fairy tale is an enchanting story about mermaids, a blue cat, an acrobatic octopus, and the majesty of the ocean. Pierre works all the time to please his lazy siblings who grow greedier on an Island of many treasures. But when he meets an intriguing stranger, Pierre makes choices that prove he is true of heart and respectful not only to others, but also to his surrounding environment – the sea.
The Theatre School broke ground June 1 building their new home—a 175,000 sq. ft. multipurpose facility designed by internationally renowned architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli. Opening Fall 2013, the new building promises to further the school's already renowned repretoire, attracting new performances and talent to Chicago and the Loop.
Don’t miss out on the exciting new shows and development from The Theatre School at DePaul University!
In with the new and out with the old! This month we are highlighting 10 great ways to kick off the New Year with places to stay, dine, explore, donate and relax.
1. Book Club
Set a goal to read a new book or set up a book club with your friends or coworkers. The Chicago Public Library offers many different book lists to help start a club or to read yourself. Happy reading!
2. Suite Sale
After all the planning, visiting, cooking and wrapping, it’s time to put your feet up and ease back into the routine with a weekend of relaxation. Hotel Monaco is offering 25% off their luxurious suites—Jacuzzi-style soaking bathtub included—because you deserve it!
3. Party Planning
Office holiday party still in the works? Need a DJ for a wedding? Oncore Productions delivers the highest quality of DJ, photography and videography services that are reliable, affordable and tailored to meet your needs.
One of the country’s premier dining rooms, Everest Restaurant showcases Chef J. Joho’s world-renowned cuisine and award-winning wine list, earning Everest international recognition. Located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, it’s an experience you will not forget!
5. Eye CAN
Become an Eye CAN member and join Prevent Blindness America in advocating for vision and eye health. As an advocate, you can educate, improve and take action towards spreading the word about preventing blindness.
6. Back On Track
Looking for a diet refresher? Freshii offers up delicious and extremely healthy meals to boost your diet or get fresh ideas for meals you can make at home!
7. Chorus & Orchestra
Under the direction of internationally acclaimed British conductor Jane Glover, Music of the Baroque occupies a special place in the rich cultural life of Chicago. Secure your tickets for the upcoming 10th Anniversary season.
8. Moving In
Troy Realty prides themselves in their years of experience throughout residential neighborhoods. If you are looking for a new place in a new neighborhood, let them help you find your perfect fit from condos to single family homes.
9. Shape Up
New year, new you! Join one of the most sought-after personal trainers in Chicago, Michelle Rossfeld in starting a new workout routine with Chicago Woman’s Fitness.
10. Changing Gears
The Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co. offers a unique and professional transportation service to entertain clients of guests that seek insider’s tips on the best of Chicago or for interesting travel options to transport business and social groups!
Since the first bulb was lit on a Douglas Spruce on Christmas Eve in 1913, Chicago's Tree Lighting Ceremony has been a family favorite. Look back on nearly a century of trees and traditions in this month's "Then and Now" post.
Chicago’s first municipal Christmas tree was lit in 1913 on Christmas Eve by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park. The 35 foot tall Douglas Spruce seen in the 1913 photo was decorated with 600 multi-colored lights and topped with the Star of Bethlehem. This event started the wonderful Tree Lighting Ceremony tradition we now celebrate every year.
- Chicago businessman P.J. Jordan donated a 35 foot tree to the city. He made the donation in memory of his late partner and friend, Captain Herman Schuenemann, who had died the year before when his ship sank on Lake Michigan while making its way to Chicago with its cargo of Christmas trees.
- The official Chicago Christmas tree has varied in height from the 35 foot spruce used in 1913 to the 64 foot spruce used this year.
- It was a cool, 29 degrees while the large crowd gathered, bands played and the entire crowd hummed and sang Christmas carols.
- This photo was taken one month after The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 (The Big Blow). The storm has been said to have been the worst winter storm in the United States. Caused by two storm fronts over the Great Lakes, there were 90 mph winds that lasted 16 hours. This storm was also the same type, a November gale, which famously sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.
As shown in the photo, this year Mayor Rahm Emanuel lit the 64 foot, 12,000 pound Colorado Spruce adorned with 15,000 lights from Prospect Heights in Daily Plaza where the ceremony has been held since 1984.
- The tree was donated by Barbara Theiszmann which was chosen from 25 submissions to the city. The tree had to be at least 55 feet tall, had to be a spruce or a fir and had to have a nice shape. She and her three grandchildren joined the Mayor in lighting the tree in Daily Plaza.
- 2012 marks the fourth straight year Chicago is using a single tree rather than a series of smaller trees. This year, the 64 foot tree stood nine inches taller than the tree from the previous year.
- The tree lighting ceremony shares the event with the Christkindlmarket which brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago.
- Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival was first held on Pioneer Court in 1996. By special invitation of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Christkindlmarket Chicago moved to Daley Plaza in 1997 and has become a staple event on the plaza ever since.
The Loop is a treasured holiday destination, full of festive offers and events. Thanks to Winter WonderLoop, the best of the Loop -- from theater to retail and dining -- is at your fingertips this time each year. To help you ring in the holidays, the Chicago Loop Alliance elves have been hard at work pulling together some of the promotions that you'll find included in this year's holiday guide...take a look!
1. Eileen Fisher, $25 Off
Receive a coupon of $25 off your purchase (minimum purchased of $50) when you mention “Winter WonderLoop” at checkout. Cannot be combined with any other promotion.
2. Merz Downtown, Free Gift with Purchase
Receive a free full-size Razorpit shave foam with any purchase of $30 or more. Please mention "Winter WonderLoop" at checkout to receive this unisex, paraben free shave foam.
3. Spex, Free Goodie Bag
Envision "happy holidays" with a free cleaning cloth, eyewear cleaner, and $25 dollar gift certificate from your friends at Spex.
4. 210 North Wells Self Park, $8 Weekend Parking
Park at 210 North Wells Self Park located at Wells/Lake for just $8 for up to 12 hours. This offer is only valid on Saturdays and Sundays. Please stop by the garage office on Level 2 and mention “Winter WonderLoop” to receive discounted rate.
5. Chicago Architecture Foundation, 50% off Walking Tours
Take advantage of 50% off select walking tours this holiday season! Offer valid for Rise of the Skyscraper, Treasures of Culture & Commerce, Chicago Old & New, Millennium Park Revealed, and Downtown Deco. Use discount code “WONDERLOOP” when purchasing tickets online at architecture.org/tours or at the box office.
6. Chicago Institute of Natural Health, 50% off Massage
Feeling stressed this holiday season? Treat yourself to a massage at the Chicago Institute of Natural Health. Mention "Winter WonderLoop" to receive 50% off a one-hour massage!
7. House of Blues, Free Appetizer or Dessert
Enjoy a free appetizer or dessert when you spend $20 in the Crossroads at House of Blues Restaurant. Limit 1 per table, may not be combined with other specials or promotions.
8. Emerald Loop Bar & Grill, Free Appetizer
Receive a complimentary appetizer for the table with purchases of $15 or more. Not valid with other offers. Mention "Winter WonderLoop" at your table to redeem.
9. The Silversmith Hotel & Suites, $89 A Night
Special Winter WonderLoop rates starting at $89! Cozy up at The Silversmith Hotel & Suites this winter! Subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. To book your reservations or for more information, please contact Lisa Le directly at (312) 795-6517 or Lisa.Le@silversmithhotel.com.
10. Broadway In Chicago, Save $80 on a Four-Pack of tickets to Potted Potter
Use code “WONDERLOOP” when ordering tickets at BroadwayInChicago.com, at any Broadway In Chicago box office, or by calling 800-775-2000. Valid on Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday evening performances only. Subject to availability. Not valid with any other offer or on a previously purchased seat. Not valid for premium or rear seating. Normal ticketing fees apply. Other restrictions may apply.