Monday, April 4, 2011

Wanamaker's Department Store - Flower show

 Wanamaker's department store, located in Philadelphia, PA is one of the oldest department stores in the United States. The department store was started around the 1870s by John Wanamaker. The current building was built in 1910 to replace Wanamaker's original Grand Depot store (1877). It is now owned by Macy's.

Every year they have a flower show. I'm not sure when this tradition started but it is brilliant. After a long cold snowy winter what better way to lift Philidelphian's spirits than to fill the department store with flowers? 

 It's the smell that gets you first.
You walk in the second set of doors and the smell of earth, flowers and trees hits you in the face. 
It is fantastic!
You look back outside to reassure yourself that you hadn't walked into an alternative universe. Nope, still cold rainy/snowy outside.

Let's take a quick tour through the middle of the store.
Stay in a group.
Okay, ready, set, go...

 In the middle section of the store is this large open area that must reach 3 stories. They placed a half dozen or so flowering cherry trees surrounded by flowers of varying types within this courtyard. If you look at the top of the photograph you will see some of the pipes from the giant pipe organ.  It is one of the largest pipe organs in the world and graced the St. Louis World's fair in 1904. I almost questioned myself on the date of the St. Louis World's fair but knew in my heart I was right. Knowing stupid facts and minutiae is my burden to bear.

Let's continue our tour 
We're walking
We're walking...

We stop

 Nestled among the cosmetic counters are more groups of flowers surrounding the famous Wanamaker's eagle. I didn't get a picture of it because I'm an idiot but imagine if you will that there is a huge (huge as in, if I were to lie down stretch my arms over my head and point my toes that is about how long it is. Of course, I'd be in mortal danger of being stomped to death by the shoppers or escorted from the building by security if I were to do this so let's use our imaginations) eagle statue in the middle of this grand courtyard. The eagle became the symbol of Wanamaker's and after sometime it became a well known meeting place for residents. Meet me at the eagle only meant one thing in Philly, the Wanamaker's eagle statue.

We're still walking

Let's stop

Isn't it pretty the way the spikiness of the lavender looks against the puffy cloud-likeness of the hydrangea?
And, the cascading English ivy?
Check it out.
All lazily falling down amongst the hydrangea. Like it knew that that would show it off to the best affect.
The flower designer was good.
Very very good.

Let's continue on.
We're walking...
We're dodging shoppers...

The cosmetics counters run in a square shape around a center display island. Perched on the center of the island are these wonderful fountains of flowers. Everywhere you look there are flowers. If you are not into the flowers, check out the fantastic architecture. Columns, arches, and flourishes wherever the eye lands.

Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for taking our abbreviated tour of the Wanamaker's/Macy's department store. It has been our pleasure to introduce spring back into your lives even if it is not yet in your neighborhood. 
Any questions?


P.S.: Go play Dungeon Blitz. Becky's husband and his business partner wrote it. They are all geeky like that.


  1. That was fun. These flowers even look like they smell wonderful. You know it's been a long winter when you can almost smell through your computer.

    You should visit Pseudo and link this up for Travel Tips Thursday (and maybe win a book!)

  2. Absolutely gorgeous!
    I remember seeing an HGTV special on this a few years ago and wondered if they were still doing it. So glad to see they are.

  3. Wow that's a really beautiful display.

  4. OMG, that cherry tree is luminous! Honestly, is there anything more lovely and good for the soul than lots of beautifully arranged flowering plants? I think not :-)

  5. Julie - I would agree. Blooming flowers, especially when the weather is gray, are very good for the soul.

  6. Mama - I saw that. I'm definitely going to submit it.

    SK - I missed something like this on HGTV? I didn't think they got anything past me. I was told about it from another librarian at the conference I was attending. I would have ended up there because it is a short cut to the Borders Books.

    Jay - It was very cool.

  7. Oh my gosh, I've never heard of this. What a treat for the senses!

    I have a vase of lilies in my office which smells heavenly, so I can only imagine how wonderful it smelled in there with all of that flora!

  8. Wow, those cherry blossoms are FANTASTIC.

  9. How lucky are you to enjoy that flowery wonderland!! Thanks for the tour. Great to see so much color!! So tired of the drab winter colors. Come on spring!

  10. I can hardly wait for spring...real spring to get here. I want the outside to really look just like this!


  11. I think it's one of the Ajuga Sp with the acid hydrangea.
    And they must replace the cherry each evening for the heat would cause the blossom to fall.
    If ever you get a chance you should see the Hampton Court flower show in early July. It's far better than the Chelsea show. Less up it's own arse.
    That building looks like something out of JK Rowling's head.

  12. That was nice, thanks. We don't have much poppin' here in Ohio yet. Cheers Michele!!

  13. Thanks for the tour - the flowers are all amazing! :)

  14. Now that looks like a store I wouldn't mind visiting. The cherry trees - gorgeous.

  15. Amazing. Thank-you for such a wonderful tour. I would love to go there.

  16. Thanks for your share! very impressive!

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