2009年夏天，在睽違了近 20 年後重訪 Chicago ─ 這個本以為會是自己安身立命的城市。人生真的很奇妙，自己沒達成的願望，竟落在從未想到要到湖區的兒子身上。從此，每年或長、或短，理直氣壯的在 Chicago 住將起來，Bloomingdale’s Home & Furniture Store 也就當然成為必逛的商店。試問那個在地人，一年不會進來幾次：買買床單、添個盤子？就算什麼都不缺，光是看建築，也值得跑一趟，何況住處就在鄰近。
Located in the historic Medinah Temple, wandering here is a bit of an ethereal experience–particularly on the top floor where dramatic stained glass windows set a modern-meets-historic tone. Four floors offer high-end home gadgets, and gorgeous furniture. Plus, the Bloomingdale’s staff is helpful and always ready with a smile. http://www.bloomingdales.com/
The Medinah Temple once occupied this space, and 2003 Bloomingdales kept the historically significant exterior intact but gutted the inside to create its first stand-alone Home Store in Chicago.
Built in 1912 by architects Huehl & Schmid, Medinah Temple is considered one of the nation’s finest examples of Islamic Middle Eastern-style architecture. Horseshoe-shaped arches, onion domes, stained-glass windows, and intricate geometric patterns around windows and doors plus a 4,200-seat auditorium made it one of the city’s most unique buildings.
Bordering the front entrance are the repeated words “There is no God but Allah” written in traditional Arabic script.
p.s. After vacant for many years, the 2003 renovation of Medinah Temple into Bloomingdales was designed by architects Dan Coffey and James Harb. The City of Chicago supported the project, giving the developer $14 million in financing (total cost for the project is undisclosed). By demolishing only the interior and keeping the brick and terra cotta structure intact, designers lowered the entrance to street level, created an atrium surrounded by open display space and replicated the Temple’s original copper, onion-shaped domes. 一個成功、值得稱讚的政府與企業界聯手老屋新生的案例。