"Christmas at the Cathedral"

The University Club (at 76 E. Monroe) holds many surprises for both the occasional visitor and every day members.  Upon entering the lobby of this historical building, we were greeted by friendly hostesses at the front desk, an entertaining Christmas choir, and tables of exquisite desserts, including coffee and hot chocolate.  At the top of a short staircase (leading to the 2nd floor) stood a proud, decorated seven foot Christmas tree worthy of everyone's attention ....

Indeed, Christmas time at the University Club is a special time of year- with holiday festivities and fun surprises on almost every floor (for adults as well as children) almost every day leading up to Christmas.

Capturing the spirit of the season at its best is the Cathedral Hall (on the 9th floor) with its 14 breathtaking stained glass windows.

This Cathedral Dining Hall is a monument unlike any other.  Designed by Frederic C. Bartlett in 1909, the 14 windows are a lifetime accomplishment; described by innovator Louis Tiffany Comfort as "... the most beautiful, most fitting, most remarkable stained glass done in modern times, as designed by your fellow member Frederic C. Bartlett."

These glass window masterpieces are very symbolic and represent a variety of images: a sign of the zodiac is positioned at the top of 12 windows, while seven windows symbolize college studies such as Literature, Law, Science, Music, and Commerce.  65 universities and their seals are depicted on five other windows, and two windows in the alcove uphold the tradition of the U.S. Army and Navy.

When walking into this magnificent dining hall, one almost feels like he or she is entering an 18th century church, surrounded by very significant, dignified architecture accentuated by a grand, lofty ceiling.  Dozens of holiday visitors and regular members were seated at round tables strategically positioned around this spacious hall, with extravagant buffet tables set up to accommodate everyone with everything ranging from ham, prime rib, sea food, salads, etc.  A special desserts display generated a lot of attention with a genuine gingerbread house, gourmet pies, cakes, and chocolate delights that even Martha Stewart would be envious of.

Inspiring was a terrific Christmas tree: standing 30 feet tall, as if to reach up and touch one of the many shiny, gold angel ornaments (suspended from the ceiling) highlighting the spirit of the season.

As Christmas guest, we left this amazing 9th floor feeling revitalized with the true spirit of Christmas flowing through us ....

Merry Christmas !

Happy New Year !!




Filed under: Chicago

Leave a comment