Does this building really exist?
June 19, 2006 10:25 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to determine if a building I saw once was real or a dream.

I was with my family in another city, possibly Chicago, and we saw something I have always sort of remembered. It was night time and, on the side of a building, possible a department store, a story or two up, there was what I remember as being like a large cuckoo clock. At certain times, doors opened up and there was music along with animatronic characters, sort of Disney-esque.

Does that ring any bells? My family claims no memory of it and it's possible I dreamed it, but I would really like it to be true.
posted by beetsuits to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
 
There are life-size cuckoo clocks in various locations. Here's one in Munich, Germany.
posted by beagle at 10:35 AM on June 19, 2006


The clock outside the State Street Marshall Field's in Chicago is rather iconic, is ornate sort of in the way a cuckoo clock is, and is positioned a story or two up the building from the street. Does it look at all familiar? While it doesn't open up or play music, perhaps that part was owing to your imagination?
posted by penchant at 10:36 AM on June 19, 2006


There's an ENORMOUS one in Prague.
posted by luriete at 10:37 AM on June 19, 2006


The clock at the Swiss Centre, near Leicester Square in London?
posted by athenian at 10:37 AM on June 19, 2006


This was in the US, I am almost positive. I looked into Marshall Fields in Chicago as a possibility, but it does not look right. I am "remembering" a blank wall in which doors opened up and a little, animatronic show appeared.
posted by beetsuits at 10:40 AM on June 19, 2006


FAO Schwarz?
posted by lemuria at 10:46 AM on June 19, 2006


Do you remember how long ago it was? There used to be an FAO Schwartz toy store on Michigan Avenue (where H&M is now) that, if I recall correctly, had a multi-story foyer with lots of animatronic things. Throughout the store was an ever-present song that went "welcome to our world, welcome to our world, welcome to our world of toys!"

That, or perhaps one of Marshall Field's famous Christmas window displays? That's about all I've got.
posted by penchant at 10:48 AM on June 19, 2006


World's Largest Cuckoo Clock in Ohio?
posted by MsMolly at 10:50 AM on June 19, 2006


This would have been the early 80's. The FAO Schwartz looks familiar, but not quite right. Possibly it was a combination of that and an over-active imagination. Perhaps, when I've made my fortune, I will build this myself.
posted by beetsuits at 10:59 AM on June 19, 2006


FAO Schwartz didn't open in Chicago until the 90's. Any possibility it may have been in Frankenmuth, Michigan? There's a building/cuckoo clock as well as the Glockenspiel Tower that does the Pied Piper story.
posted by jonzino at 11:13 AM on June 19, 2006


I was just going to say Frankenmuth!
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:41 AM on June 19, 2006


It's a Small World at Disneyland?
posted by hilker at 11:49 AM on June 19, 2006


It was definitely not Michigan, but I spent an enjoyable bit of time looking at the links. I'm not ruling out Disney World, as we were there at one point during those years, so I will try to find pictures.
posted by beetsuits at 12:15 PM on June 19, 2006


your description reminds me of the christmas window displays at saks fith avenue in new york city. but i don't know how long they've been around, or if they built them in other cities. it was hard to find any better pictures or more information.
posted by amethysts at 3:27 PM on June 19, 2006


Were you visiting Chicago around Christmas time? Maybe you commingled the Marshall Fields clock and their animatronic Christmas window displays.
posted by hydrophonic at 3:42 PM on June 19, 2006


Clocks like this are all over. My mind is a jumble of such things, so I can't remember where any are, except Frankenmuth (thanks for the fond memories, jonzino, of chicken dinners and cute waiters in lederhosen!) and one in Duesseldorf, Germany. Maybe there was one in Milwaukee?
posted by Goofyy at 4:28 AM on June 20, 2006


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