Monday, December 6, 2010

It's (kind of) Beginning to Look A lot like Christmas

Christmas on Market East was once the site of Rockwellian images of rosy cheeked children walking hand in hand with their parents, cold noses pressed against display windows over flowing with toys. Macy's still does a fantastic job of outfitting its display windows with classic robotic scenes of Santa's workshop and lavish winter scenes.

A Christmas display window at Macy's

The rest of Market Street doesn't fare so well. The Gallery at Market East was once host to a number of large display windows at J.C. Penny and Gimbels, now occupied by Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, and K-Mart. If City Council hopes to push through a bill for a better and brighter Market East, they should perhaps be encouraging the retail already occupying much of the street's potential canvas to start doing what they can.

Old Navy uses its display windows for neon signage, leaving much of the space behind the windows blank. K-Mart doesn't do a bad job with the windows they decorate, but they sit behind a number of unused windows and entrances. Burlington Coat Factory has made improvements to its entrance and consistently updates its windows, but they also sit behind unused upper windows which are constantly hidden by a security wall.

Gimbels display window in 1910

These are free or nearly free improvements that can easily be made. Instead, The Gallery's management allows its vendors to operate as if they are going out of business. The city still manages to decorate the trees and lamp posts along Market East but the shops who hope to benefit from its consumers seem unenthusiastic about the season.

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