The Biography of Chicago’s Marina City

“Things to see and do at Marina City”

Marina City uniforms. Marina City Management (1964). By the end of 1964, the complex housed a bank, grocery store, pharmacy, florist, gift shop, travel agency, skating rink, restaurants, and a cocktail lounge. A health club would soon be added, including a swimming pool at street level on the east side of the office building.

The pharmacy, owned by Leonard Solomon, also sold liquor and perfume. The gift shop sold cigars, cigarettes, newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, stamps, film, postcards, and souvenirs.

(Left) Marina City Management staff members Terry Paul (left) and Ann Miller (right) model new Marina City uniforms in mid-1964. Worn by tour guides at Marina City, the uniforms were marine blue with gold insignia.

Things to see and do? A page from a visitors guide, circa 1964, offers suggestions...

Visitors Guide. Marina City Management (1964).

(“Toilet water” is more commonly referred to today as eau de toilette.)

Kitchen in model apartment. Chicago Believe It or Not (mid 1960s). (Left) A kitchen – most likely in the model apartment (note stanchion in hallway at right) – from a mid-1960s travel film, Chicago Believe it or Not. (Click on image to view larger version.)

MyFootage, LLC, an agency that was marketing a two-minute excerpt for $1,800, declined to reveal any further details about the film.

Model apartments

Four furnished model apartments on the 48th floor of the West Tower are open to the public weekdays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Tickets for the tour can be purchased at the information desk in the residential lobby.

Observation deck

The observation deck on the 61st floor of the East Tower at Marina City offers a 360 [degree] panorama view of Chicago in the open-air. It is a perfect place for photographing the city. Weather permitting, the observation deck is open May thru September from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Skating rink

A 110 x 50 foot ice skating rink at the State Street entrance of the residential towers is open to the public from October through April every day except Monday from noon to 10:00 p.m. The ice rink is complete with skate shop, warming room and professional skaters for private or class instruction.

Sculpture pavilion

During the summer months, the ice skating rink features an outdoor art and sculpture exhibition. Some of the Midwest’s most outstanding sculptors have exhibited at Marina City. The hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

Bowling lanes

On the fourth floor of the office building is a 38-lane bowling arena with a cocktail lounge. Spencer’s Marina City bowling offers the only open bowling in the Loop area.

National Design Center

The newest in products for the home may be viewed at the National Design Center. It’s Chicago’s showcase of displays on textiles, furniture, accessories, art, building materials. Enter on the Dearborn Street side of the commercial building and gather armfuls of literature between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday or from 10:30 to 5:30 p.m. weekends. Free admission.


Within the drug and liquor store is a perfume boutique with an extensive collection of perfumes, colognes and toilet waters from the world’s finest houses. Experts are on hand to let you sample and choose the perfect scene for you or for gifts. The boutique is open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. holidays.

Gourmet shop

The gourmet shop in the lobby of the residential towers has everything from mussels to macadamia nuts. Here you can see a most unusual sampling of food items gathered from all over the world. Visit the gourmet shop to add an unusual touch to your next party menu. Shopping hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturdays and 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sundays.

Pier Too

For something different, try the deep sea atmosphere of PIER TOO. Hearty food and spirits are served Monday thru Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Closed Sunday. The most vigorous captain will enjoy the Rathskeller buffet luncheon or a full steak dinner.

Last updated 07-Dec-14

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