Touted as a landmark Apple Store (complete with a rooftop garden), Apple’s brand new retail store in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago opened up for business this weekend. Despite less than stellar weather conditions, crowds lined up overnight so they could experience the grand opening the next morning. Oddly enough, Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel even decided to stop by for the grand opening.
ifoAppleStore provides some interesting details on the design of Apple’s latest retail store.
The unique element of this project is that Apple paid millions to renovate the poorly-maintained subway station at the triangle of Clybourn and North, taking it mostly back to its original 1940s appearance, with red brick outside and white mosaic tile inside. Besides the upgrade, Apple’s architects also refocused the station’s traffic pattern: instead of moving through doors set along the outer sidewalks, riders now use doors that lead to the new plaza that was previously part of a bus turn-around driveway.
Arriving subway riders spill right out of the station doors onto the plaza. Departing passengers can dawdle on the plaza chairs before their train, and check their e-mail with the “Apple Plaza” open Wi-Fi network. Some day, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) might allow corporate naming of transit stations, and the entire parcel might officially become “Apple-ville.” Now, Apple has advertising rights for the interior of the station, including at platform level, and is exercising them. Several buildings in the area also have new Apple billboards (the side of one large building was painted black so it didn’t detract from the ad).
Video of the store’s exterior can be viewed below.