Share This Page

Macy's window displays to feature 'The Magic of Christmas'

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Tribune-Review
Lisa Zwirn of Mt. Lebanon adjusts a window scene from the PPG Place ice skating rink in a Macy's window Downtown on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. The annual holiday windows are a seasonal tradition for the store, with this years theme being 'The Magic of Christmas' and highlighting several Pittsburgh landmarks. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
The wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions are displayed on a screen in one of Macy's animated holiday windows. The campaign is based on the New York Sun's famous 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus' editorial, and invites children to drop off letters to Santa Claus in letterboxes at the Macy's store. For each letter received, Macy's donates a dollar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (up to one million dollars), which goes to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
Macy's Downtown celebrates its fifth year of its 'Believe' campaign in its annual holiday windows. The campaign is based on the New York Sun's famous 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus' editorial, and invites children to drop off letters to Santa Claus in letterboxes at the Macy's store. For each letter received, Macy's donates a dollar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (up to one million dollars), which goes to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
An animated skater twirls in the Downtown Macy's window in a scene from the PPG Place ice skating rink. The animated holiday windows are a seasonal tradition for the Downtown Macy's, with this year's theme being 'The Magic of Christmas' and highlighting several Pittsburgh landmarks. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
The animated holiday windows are a seasonal tradition for the Downtown Macy's, with this years theme being 'The Magic of Christmas' and highlighting several Pittsburgh landmarks. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
People walk by the storefront windows of Macy's Downtown on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, which are covered in black before their unveiling on Light Up Night. The annual animated holiday windows are a seasonal tradition for the store, with this years theme being 'The Magic of Christmas'. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
A Christmas scene in a Macy's storefront window sits behind black paper for its unveiling on Light Up Night. The annual animated holiday windows are a seasonal tradition for the Downtown Macy's, with this year's theme being 'The Magic of Christmas'. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
'Meet Me By The Clock' is the theme for one of the animated holiday windows at Macy's, Downtown, showing a scene of people meeting under the landmark clock at Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue. The current clock was installed in 1913 when the Kaufmann's building was expanded. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

Macy's wants visitors to its Downtown store to have a storybook holiday.

The department store will mark the start of the shopping season Friday with window displays that designers dressed as pages in a book with the theme, “The Magic of Christmas.”

“We are happy to do the windows every year because generations of families have come to see the holiday windows,” said Lisa Zwirn, Macy's visual manager, who was putting on the finishing touches during a Wednesday preview. “And that is what the holidays are all about.”

The designs touch on seasonal traditions such as Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and an animated special about Virginia O'Hanlon, an 8-yearold who asked a newspaper editor in 1897 about Santa Claus, inspiring the famous, “Yes Virginia” editorial.

Two Pittsburgh-inspired windows feature a historic meeting place under a nearby clock and the PPG ice rink, which opened in 2001.

The Kaufmann's clock, which will celebrate 100 years in 2013, is part of a display that shows a woman dressed in a sparkly blue gown and fur wrap and a man in a black tuxedo. Both are checking their wrist watches.

“They have a very important date,” said Zwirn. The clock was a traditional meeting place for Pittsburghers in Downtown.

Visitors will notice displays have parts of the city's skyline and a bridge.

The displays are hand-painted in New York with additional embellishments added here.

The “Yes Virginia” and “Believe” window is based on the New York Sun's famous editorial and Macy's “Believe” campaign, which invites people to drop off letters to Santa. Macy's donates $1 for each letter to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This is the fifth year for the campaign, which has donated more than $4 million. Digital frames show the faces and wishes of the kids.

“Those photos give the display a personal touch because you see the faces of those children,” Zwirn said.

The little boy in the parade window is representative of Paul Olszewski, director of windows for Macy's who oversees them from New York City.

The windows have a retro, vintage feel while representing the tradition and magic of Christmas, said Kamal Bosamia, Macy's media relations manager for the North and Midwest regions.

“The Macy's holiday window unveiling is a tradition for more than 100 years and ushers in the holiday season for all of Pittsburgh,” says Joe Hladiuk, vice-president and manager of the Downtown store.

For more than 35 weeks, Zwirn and a small army of carpenters, machinists, artisans and animators have worked to bring each scene to life. The store will unveil them at 7 p.m. Friday during Light Up Night festivities, keeping them on display through Jan. 7.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.