Bloomingdales in Chicago

Inside Bloomingdales in ChicagoBloomingdales in ChicagoInside Bloomingdales in ChicagoInside Bloomingdales in ChicagoBloomingdales in ChicagoInside Bloomingdales in ChicagoInside Bloomingdale's in ChicagoInside Bloomingdale's in Chicago

Some photos from inside Bloomingdale’s in Chicago.

The building originally housed an ornate auditorium seating approximately 4,200 on three levels. The stage floor extended a considerable distance into the auditorium, and the seating was arranged in a U-shape around it. The auditorium contained an Austin Organ Company pipe organ (opus no. 558), installed in 1915, with 92 ranks, a 5-manual fixed console and a 4-manual movable console (added in 1931). Among the many events that took place in this venue was the annual Shrine Circus. Additionally, WGN-TV used the Medinah Temple for The Bozo 25th Anniversary Special (telecast live September 7, 1986).

The fine acoustics of the Medinah Temple’s auditorium made it a favorite site for recording. Many of the Chicago Symphony’s most famous recordings from the late 1960s (for RCA with then-music director Jean Martinon) through the 1980s (for Decca with then-music director Sir Georg Solti) were recorded there. The music to Fantasia 2000 was recorded at the Medinah Temple auditorium from 1994 to 1996.

Beginning in late 2000 the exterior of the building was restored and the interior gutted and reconstructed for use as retail space. It was designated a Chicago Landmark on June 27, 2001. It is currently occupied by Bloomingdale’s Home and Furniture Store, which opened in 2003.

I was kicked out shortly after I took these photos.  Photography is prohibited in the building.  I may or may not have ignored that rule.

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