WHAT IS MAGNIFICENT MILE CHICAGO LIKE RIGHT NOW? History of Mag Mile & Downtown Without Tourists

the dusabo bridge links the southern

portion of michigan avenue

with the northern portion it's a

double-deck chicago-style bascule bridge

built in 1920 before there was a

magnificent mile but the idea for this

world famous attraction

was born much earlier

what's good youtube it's louis gusto

welcome back to my channel

in this video we're talking all about

chicago's magnificent mile

from its inception all the way to how

it's doing in 2020 but first let's

rewind a bit

back to when chicago was inhabited by

native americans but after the time when

french explorers came along the chicago

river sometime in the 1780s

jean-baptiste juan du sable settled

right here in what is now known as

pioneer court he was the first

non-native settler of chicago not only

did he live here with his wife and kids

but he also

sold and traded goods marking the birth

if you will of magnificent mile now the

sales of pastries and smoked meats

weren't quite the volume of what

magnificent mild does today

but it was definitely a start

from chicago's incorporation as a city

all the way to the early 1900s

this road was referred to as pine street

and in this area where we now have an

apple store and the wrigley building

it was all factories and warehouses and

as you moved up pine street

toward the water tower that's where you

had row houses small homes

and of course mansions there was even a

neighborhood there called mccormickville

in 1909 daniel burnham and edward

bennett collaborated on the plan of


an amazing vision of what this city

would look like in the coming years one

particular part of this plan

was to take michigan from a small street

and turn it into a grand avenue with


and parks very similar to the grand

boulevards of paris

one major piece of architecture was

needed for this to come to fruition

the michigan avenue bridge later renamed

the dusable bridge

when it was completed it linked both

sides of the river the pine street name

was ditched and michigan avenue as we

know it today

was born

the 1920s saw a major boom in

construction which led

to magma's early prominence buildings

like the wrigley building

which was the first chicago office

building to have air conditioning

the palm olive aka the playboy building

the first skyscraper built

outside of the loop and the tribune

tower built as the headquarters for the

chicago tribune

its architecture was determined by an

international design contest

the original idea was to have michigan

avenue closely resemble chanzelli

in paris as far as uniform building

architecture and height you can see

evidence of this aspiration in buildings


the women's athletic club and the far

whale building two rare surviving relics

from the early days

of magnificent mile the 1920s were a

great time as far as business was


in this area then the great depression

hit and growth and expansion came to a

grinding halt

we now interrupt the chicago history

episode with a special message from the


at northbridge on magnificent mile we

stopped at tamil bulba bar

to grab some boba i got myself a matcha

latte with plenty of boba

and we're waiting for some food from lao

se schwan

now there aren't a whole lot of options

to eat when you get on mag nile

of the options that are available this

is definitely one of my favorites

all right so we got our order from la

cheswan we got some dried chili chicken

this is a really good dish it's kind of

lower on the menu gotta look under

chicken and frogs

section of the menu you know how it is

and we got of course some white rice on

the side

go with the boba tea i'm ready to get


arthur rubloff was a chicago real estate

developer who played a significant role

in the development of this stretch of

michigan avenue and in 1947

he coined the name magnificent mile also

that year more than 200 million dollars

were invested

to revitalize this entire area once


business was good and the progress

continued over the next couple of


punctuated by the construction of the

john hancock center built in 1969 the

second tallest building in the world

upon completion then again in 1975 with

construction of the water tower place

one of the first urban vertical malls

the boom continued into the 80s and 90s

with buildings like 900 north michigan

and one magnificent mile


coming back to today how is magnificent

mile doing in late summer

early autumn of 2020 well we went on a

friday and we're still in early


normally magnificent mile will be

completely full of tourists

of shoppers people from all around the

city just coming to hang out

and it wasn't like that on friday we

obviously know why that's the case

we're still dealing with a global

pandemic and magnificent mile has been

the target of looting

protesting and a lot of social unrest

has really centered itself

on this portion of the city for various


the history of it the affluence there


the fact that it is a major touristy

spot that's going to get attention

if anything happens in the area in

response to this

we saw a very heavy police presence

pretty much

everywhere you looked along michigan

avenue above the river

there were police there were also a lot

of stores boarded up but from what i

could tell

most if not all the damage done from

looting was repaired

this was preventative boarding up so

when everyone's gone for the night

there was some protection on the windows

and on the doors

most stores were open on magnificent


but a good amount were also closed for

an indeterminate amount of time they had

signs up in the window

saying we're just closed temporarily you

know keep up with us on our website or

whatever but believe it or not there are

some new things on magma

depending on how long it's been since

you've been there the chick-fil-a has

opened up now i know that's a national

chain but

i can't lie i love me a chick-fil-a

sandwich every now and again

and purple pig which is kind of like a

staple on magma

reopened in its new location so those

are a couple of things to check out

which brings me to my next point

if you are a chicagoan this is the

perfect time to go down to mag mile

especially because it's not going to be

full of tourists like it normally is

this is an area of the city

that's full of history there are so many

chicago landmarks

there are national landmarks the

architecture is beautiful

you're right along the river i mean

there's just so much to do there it's

such a chill spot to be in

so this is the perfect time to go and

also keep in mind that

these touristy areas of chicago employ

many of our fellow citizens so that

might be a reason to go down

and support as well so what about the

future with magnificent mile not

currently in the best shape

how's it looking going forward well

don't forget that this area of the city

has undergone

many hardships in its time in 1871 the

great fire burned

every single building along this road

when it was called pine street

except for the water tower the great

depression hit in the 20s

in the midst of magnificent mile rising

to prominence then the 2008 financial

crisis hit

magnificent mile bounced back from that

as well with many new stores

buildings going up and tourists coming

back to visit even though times are

tough right now i know that magnificent

mile and by extension the entire city of


is gonna bounce back strong once we get

through this rough patch

of course you're gonna see a lot of

negativity online and in the news

i just can't even imagine what instagram

would have been like during the great

depression can you imagine

the amount of negativity that would be

coming out in the comments and in the


and in the news articles back then i

don't think that this is something

that's just gonna happen automatically

obviously magnificent mile is gonna have

to adapt for the times

just like they did back in the day not

only are all these challenging events

taking place right now

but more and more shoppers continue to

move to online shopping

so magma can't just be a place to go and

shop it's also going to have to be a

great destination for restaurants

for events and for all sorts of things

to do outside of the realm of shopping

one thing that i'd personally love to

see for magnificent mile moving into the


is for it to go car free so many cities

in europe are going car free in their

downtown areas

why can't chicago do that magnificent

mile has adapted

from quiet residential street to world

famous shopping destination

why can't it do another adaptation to

move into the future

i hope you guys enjoyed this look at the

history as well as the current state of

magnificent mile in chicago

if you did go ahead and finesse that

like button and subscribe if you're new

to the channel

i really appreciate you guys watching i

will see you next time but for now i'm

out of here