Put on Your Prorsum, Burberry Has a Date With a Wrecking Ball

The current Burberry store

The Burberry flagship store (don’t call it a “boutique”) at 633 North Michigan Avenue will be no more very soon.

Our Gold Coast spy told us Monday night that demolition will begin the first week of August.  Yesterday, a first-time tipster corroborated that somewhat, saying that crews will begin tearing down the building August 2nd or 3rd.  Whether that means putting up scaffolding, or actually knocking the thing down remains to be seen.

Burberry’s temporary new home, starting August, 2011

Before then, the shopgirls will have their hands full moving the merchandise across the street to the street-level space at the Shops at North Bridge formerly occupied by Kooky Kidstuff.  That store has been out of that space for a while, but for some reason Burberry hasn’t moved right in.  We heard rumblings of some kind of delay, but could never put our fingers on exactly what or why.  Regardless, look for Burberry to set up its temporary shop on the west side of Michigan Avenue the weekend before.


We covered the relocation, demolition, and construction of a new five-story (plus basement) Burberry store on Michigan Avenue back in February and May (Burberry to Move Across Michigan Avenue While a Chicago-Safe Flagship is Built, New Burberry Store Tartan Up Michigan Avenue).  Back then, we heard a lot of disappointment from Chicago’s architecture and design community that the London company was being forced to make its Chicago outpost a “lesser” flagship.  You’ll recall that the video screens that form an integral part of the skin of Burberry’s other flagships have been left out of the Chicago design.  Local officials thought it was too flashy for us Midwest cornfolk.  Cities in Europe and Asia have approved nearly identical designs.


Burberry’s Beijing, China flagship store. Photograph courtesy of Burberry

Back then, Burberry had to tone down the design to prevent the “Vegas-ization” of Chicago.  Today, the city is one Pat Quinn autograph away from getting a downtown casino.  Perhaps with Captain Emanuel now at the helm of this ship, it might be worth Burberry’s effort to take another run at city hall with the original plan, so that Chicago’s store won’t look like the school marm at the prom.


As a point of curiosity, technically Burberry is leaving the Gold Coast, since its temporary location is in the Near North neighborhood.  How’s that for a headline: “Burberry Leaving Gold Coast!”  Ha ha!  Hmm…..

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Author: Editor

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

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