The Death of Marshall Fields and the Dissolution of the Sense of Place

In banishing the Marshall Fields name, Federated Department Stores is just doing to Chicago what's its already done to cities across the country. The implications are anything but positive, writes Lynn Becker.

Marshall Fields, a Chicago institution for over a century, will disappear in 2006 to be replaced by Macy's stores.

"From their inception, department stores were like a museum, a riverfront, a memorial, or a stadium - something that defined the unique character of a city. Now they're just roadkill in Wal-Mart America...

In the end, if the alternative is to make things available more cheaply and efficiently, unique local character may seem an anachronistic luxury, but its loss is an assault on America's future. Creativity comes, not out of uniformity and constricted choice, but out of the range of possibility that only variety can provide."

Thanks to Lynn Becker

Full Story: The Death of Marshall Fields and the Dissolution of the Sense of Place

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