New Shine For the Apple Store?

When Apple released its long-awaited white version of the iPhone 4, it wasn’t to the screams of thousands of faithful in line at the world’s malls and shopping streets. In fact, it was something of a whimper.

Here in Chicago, the first intrepid soul in line showed up at 4:00am, and was largely alone until the store opened early at 8:45am. But while there wasn’t much going on outside, inside there was lots of activity.

A group of about seven men spent the better part of an hour touring the store before it opened. They took pictures and videos, and repeatedly consulted multiple sets of blueprints they carried around with them; gesturing here, pointing there, and generally making plans.

Ordinarily this could be written off as an inspection from the Visual department of Apple’s retail arm. Except, that almost always happens during store hours. Further, our Gold Coast spy states that these were not the usual type of “visual” staffers we see in Chicago’s retail circles. These were hard-boiled construction types.

Maybe what’s happening at the Apple Store (679 North Michigan Avenue) is nothing more than the installation of a new bathroom. Maybe the ugly ceiling is being replaced. Or maybe the world’s largest computer company wants to update one of its flagship stores — a store that was pioneering when it opened, but is now three versions behind the current Apple Store design standard.

Time will tell.

Author: Editor

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

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