Jony Ive Says Apple's New Flagship Chicago Store is About 'Reviving Important Urban Connections'

Apple today previewed its new Michigan Avenue store along the Chicago River ahead of its grand opening on Friday.

chicago michigan ave front entrance
Apple shared new pictures that provide a look at the store's 32-foot glass facades and 111-by-98 foot carbon-fiber roof. Two staircases lead to the store's lower level, featuring indoor trees and a seating area for Today at Apple sessions.

The flagship store is designed to create a new connection between North Michigan Avenue, Pioneer Court, and the Chicago River.

"Apple Michigan Avenue is about removing boundaries between inside and outside, reviving important urban connections within the city," said Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer. "It unites a historic city plaza that had been cut off from the water, giving Chicago a dynamic new arena that flows effortlessly down to the river."

chicago michigan ave interior layout
The store was designed by Apple's longtime architectural partner Foster + Partners, and pays homage to architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style homes in Chicago. Based on plans from 2015, the building spans 20,000 square feet and replaces a vacant food court. The store took over one year to construct.

A lengthy staircase leads from street level to a walkway in front of the store. The building will also be accessible via elevator.

chicago michigan ave front entrance glass detail
On Monday, the store will also launch "The Chicago Series," a set of five programs, each with a different area of focus at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, hosted over the course of four weeks. Apple said each program is co-created with local non-profits and creative organizations.

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts is in Chicago today and tweeted a picture of herself alongside some of the store's employees.

"Apple Michigan Avenue exemplifies our new vision where everyone is welcome to experience all of our incredible products, services and inspiring educational programs in the heart of their city," said Ahrendts.

Apple Michigan Avenue opens Friday, October 20 at 5:00 p.m. local time. The store is located in Pioneer Court at 401 North Michigan Avenue, next to the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Downtown Chicago.

Apple said its original North Michigan Avenue store, which was its first flagship location, welcomed more than 23 million visitors since opening in 2003. The store, just down the street from the new one, permanently closed today.

Apple has nearly 500 retail stores around the world that collectively welcome over 500 million visitors per year.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

Top Rated Comments

jasnw Avatar
46 months ago
How about reviving important computer products?
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blacktape242 Avatar
46 months ago
reviving urban connections? what does that even mean??? how about reviving products like the mac mini
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMi Avatar
46 months ago
They need to stop with these ********, hyperbolic, self inflating statements. Reviving urban connection. Please, Chicago is a world-class city. What are you reviving over here?

Here's an idea. Let's revive the battery life under iOS 11.
[doublepost=1508431722][/doublepost]
ah more Ive shenaniganry. it's a store. it's got nothing to do with culturally bringing anyone together. Johnny Ive is notorious for saying a lot of pretentious sounding words that have absolutely no meaning behind them. it's just who he is.
Hey... watch it, buddy. This is not a store. It's a town square... or is it town center... or maybe town centre? Either way... it's more than a store, for sure. You don't go there to buy stuff. You go there to be amazed and delighted. Jeez... get it right already.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordVic Avatar
46 months ago
ah more Ive shenaniganry. it's a store. it's got nothing to do with culturally bringing anyone together. Johnny Ive is notorious for saying a lot of pretentious sounding words that have absolutely no meaning behind them. it's just who he is.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMi Avatar
46 months ago
Apple stores are a beautiful variant on the city (and mall) landscapes.

As a stockholder, I fully support the money and time spent to create these edifices, as they soothe the mind, and make people feel happy to come in.

At least that's what I observe when seeing the Apple Stores in person.

This store has done nothing but confirm my bias towards them.
I think you're confusing the store with a church. It's a store. Nice store, but a store. Nothing more.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordVic Avatar
46 months ago
They need to stop with these ********, hyperbolic, self inflating statements. Reviving urban connection. Please, Chicago is a world-class city. What are you reviving over here?

Here's an idea. Let's revive the battery life under iOS 11.
[doublepost=1508431722][/doublepost]

Hey... watch it, buddy. This is not a store. It's a town square... or is it town center... or maybe town centre? Either way... it's more than a store, for sure. You don't go there to buy stuff. You go there to be amazed and delighted. Jeez... get it right already.
it reminds me of an interview he did (which has gone burried, can only find the reports of the interview now) where he went on a minute rant about how amazing the new technology in the Watch display is, and how it's unique and a bunch of other superfluous words.

yet at no point did he mention that it's a standard OLED display which Apple has purchased off an oled manufacturer. A technology that has been around for a while


Ive is a (pardon the vulgarity), Verbal Masturbator. He likes to talk in circles to hear how awesome he sounds. It's done intentionally to provide elevated feelings for Apple products, as somehow above and beyond anything anyone can ever muster, while not actually claiming or stating something that could be legally misleading.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...