Status Update: The New Barney’s New York Store

We haven’t heard anything new about an opening date for the new Barney’s New York Store at the intersection of Rush and Oak Streets in the Gold Coast in a while.  The last rumor we heard was “late April” and the only official word is “Spring,” which can mean anything in Chicago.

But from the outside, things are pretty much done.  The signature awnings went up last week, the sidewalk has been cleared for pedestrian traffic and the windows are papered over as workers frantically try to dress the inside of the store.

Even the old Barney’s location is getting into the anticipation with its main curved display window referencing events “across the street.”  That curved display window has been copied in the new building, and expanded to five stories, housing a showy staircase that we can’t wait to get in to catch views of the Gold Coast below.

The front of the glass cylinder has some Wrightian accents tacked on to it, as does a few other portions of the facade.  These are supposed to pay homage to Chicago’s architectural heritage.  Whether they achieve that goal or not is up to your imagination.  Still, the doors of the new store have been revealed and they’re quite nice.  Dark and classy, but large and inviting.

And Barney’s knows it’s not going to be the new kid on the block forever.  Remember that there’s multi-story retail planned for the other end of the block where Gino’s East used to be.  In anticipation, the Barney’s building casts a blank facade in that direction with the exception of a newly added “Barney’s New York” sign on the Rush Street edge that should remain visible as long as the Starbucks remains undisturbed.  And considering the time, money, and effort put into renovating that branch of the coffee chain just a couple of years ago, it’s unlikely anything taller will sprout on that lot for a while.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

Share This Post On