Today is a great day!
I’m writing to you from inside the grand, achingly beautiful Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. Have you ever been to the Merchandise Mart? Do you know about it?
“The ‘Mart,” as it’s affectionately known in Chicago, is truly a marvel of architecture and city history. When this art deco masterpiece was built in 1930, it was the largest building in the world. The whole world! Because it comprises 4 million square feet. Four million! (When I lived in New York, Yuri and I had something like 840 in total, fyi.) The Mart had its own zip code until 2008 when some lame thing changed. This building had its own zip code!
Wanna know who built it? Why, Marshall Field & Co.! Yes, the department store guy.
(Hey, did I ever tell you that my grandparents on my father’s side met in Chicago and they would rendezvous under the Marshall Field’s clock when they had a date? They’d set a time and meet under one of the clocks at good ol’ Marshall Field’s. That’s pretty cute.)
And guess who owned the building for like half a century? The Kennedys! Yes, the Kennedys! Isn’t that interesting?? I love learning things.
The Merchandise Mart has been a place for commerce since it was built; it’s mostly wholesale showrooms for interior decorating and design and lots of offices and there’s a bunch of other stuff in here that I would love to know about but what is most exciting — perhaps the most exciting thing that has ever happened to/at the Merchandise Mart ever, in 85 historic years — is that there is now a post office box in this place that will take your PaperGirl mail!
I got a post box in the Merchandise Mart! For you! For us! For mail!
It’s high time this happened. I get requests for my address frequently because someone found a wonderful pencil they need to send me, for example, or because someone wants to donate to the blog (or maybe buy Pendennis lunch) but doesn’t use PayPal. Totally understandable. Also, this holiday has brought several gifts via my mother or the Iowa Quilt Museum (hi, Tammy!) and while it’s interesting to think about the journey of such things, let’s make this easier on everyone!
There is a post office much closer to my home than the one here inside the Mart and this branch has limited hours. But there is no other place worthy to receive your correspondence. I mean it. I wish you could see this place. It’s magnificent. Even the sign for the post office on the first floor is beautiful, set in an art deco frame with sconces around it, throwing this golden light upon it, saying, “Welcome, Mail!” The wide, marble floors in the gilded halls (currently draped with holiday garlands and bunting) are polished to a shine. The squeaky clean picture windows look out onto the city that I love so much, that I shall never take for granted.
So please, send me mail! Of course, yes, you may send donations if you like. The box cost $166 for the whole year if I paid it all at once, so I did. If everyone sent in a penny — wait, wait. That’s not funny. Please do not send me pennies. You don’t have to send money. Send me letters or drawings or stories or chocolate or other items of interest. I would like to start sharing your mail on the blog. (If you don’t want me to, of course I won’t — just let me know.)
The address is shown up there in the photo, but just in case you can’t see it, ahem: Mary Fons — PaperGirl, P.O. Box 3957, Chicago, IL 60654-8777.
The photo also shows the third page of the application. I actually listed Pendennis as someone authorized to pick up the mail. Pendennis does not have fingers, nor can he take the train. But just in case, he’s official.
I’m so excited. I love mail so much. Let’s have fun with this. Let’s put the “paper” in PaperGirl.
I love mail and packages also, especially if it’s quilting goodies. No BILLS please, lol.
I’m so old school, hey its fun. Maybe we can be pen pals. I’ve been quilting for 16 years. Love seeing the show. You crack me up at times. We sort of have the same sense of humor. You’re an awesome lady.
You were in my brain today Mary! My exact thoughts were this. ” I wonder if Mary has made a journal” ya know one to be sold, and if so why don’t I know about it. 😉 Then thinking more on that idea of a PaperGirl journal. It could be fabricated with fabric, or paper and fabric ;).
And so here am I writing in a comment box. Something of which I’ve never done.
New things happen everyday!
Mary, Mary…..you took a picture of the form, but did not take a picture of the Welcome Mail sign or the gilded hall? For another time, please?
Whoo Hoo! Congrats on picking the location for its beauty. No, regular, standard issue PO Box for Mary and Pendennis!
Is Pendennis the sock monkey?
Thank you for the address. I’ll send you the linen sheet.
Yes! Monkey! 😀
Mary this news is so EXCITING! Great to have fun news.
Carol-the pencil lady
Gina, i had the same thought…after the description of the mail room i was waiting for the picture!
One question Mary- will a pencil fit in the po box? a toaster? at giant screen tv? a spinning wheel?
I have been wanting to show you a QOV that I made with your Small Wonders collection. So, now I can mail you a picture! I love you blog and you!
Will Pendennis have to show his ID to pick up mail? 🙂
I’d love to see a sketch of Pendennis’ IL ID card (cute as Spooly!), since I assume he wouldn’t qualify for a driver’s licence.
Growing up in Chicago area I always loved the Merchandise Mart from the outside. And we always arranged to meet family coming from other directions under the clock at Marshall Fields. So fun to have all this interesting history Mary. I shall have to think of something fun to send you!
Back in the 60’s my grandmother worked in Chicago and when she would come to visit, she would bring me chocolate cigarettes from Marshall Fields. (Could that have been the start of my chocolate addiction?!) Yes, we want to see pictures!
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