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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rike's Christmas Windows

Downtown Dayton Christmas memories...Rike's windows.
A happy flashback to most of us who
grew up in the 1950s and 60s.
For most of us who grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area, going down to Rike's department store during the holidays was a must do! Their windows were just such fun! I can still remember standing in the bitter temperatures, nose pressed to the cold glass, drinking in every single detail each scene offered.
Now, I am sure that to our technology fed children, these scenes seem all too simple in nature and but to us, the children of the 50s and 60s, they were an integral part of our Christmas magic.
When Rike's was imploded to make way for the Schuster, these scenes were salvaged and reconditioned. Each holiday season they are, once again, brought to life in the very spots where they once delighted scores of children. Where once they were inside of Rike's, they now spend the holidays inside the Wintergarden section of the Schuster Center. They stand ready
to bring smiles to the young ones and fond memories to those of us who are a wee bit older! A WEE bit I said! Ahem...

10 comments:

Andi said...

How wonderful that these fabulous window displays from Rike's were preserved. I remember pressing my nose again the storefront windows as a little girl and taking in every detail of those lifelike dolls in the displays as well. Happy memories! I so enjoy your blog Sue. Thanks for sharing.

TK Angels said...

Of course if you lived around the Dayton area you DID go to Rike's to see the Christmas displayed windows. Mom always took Ronnie and me afterwards to the Arcade (to buy fresh fish) and to McCroys (spelling) to get a grilled cheese sandwich, fries and a "real" cherry coke. We sat at the stools at the diner. We were so cool at that time. My mom would NEVER drive towntown- so we always took the bus and was dropped right in front of Rikes.
Love ya,
Terri

Jolene George said...

Oh my goodness....those are fabulous! We certainly don't have anything like that here. I would love to see it in person.

jafabrit said...

I remember Rikes when we first moved to Ohio in 78.How lovely you have pictures of the Christmas displays. They still do window displays like this back home in Newcastle England and the kids still LOVE them.

Missy's Blog said...

Susie, I have been trying for DAYS to leave comments on your blog. I'm thinking it has something to do with the newer Beta versions of blogger and my dial up connection. They just aren't working well together. But, I am keeping my fingers crossed this comment will post. I have been reading your blog each day ... and I absolutely LOVE it!! The photos you posted today are beautiful! They remind me alot of "It's A Small World" at Disney World. You are so lucky to be able to see these wonderful displays each year.

Erin said...

Though I'm about a year behind on this conversation, I must say I am SO excited to see how the Rike's display windows have been such a great holiday tradition for all of you! I am the Public Relations Coordinator for Victoria Theatre Association, which currently coordinates the holiday display windows - now titled Wonderland Windows - in the Schuster Center. We've been hoping to feature a history of the windows through photos and anecdotes. I would appreciate a chance to speak with any of you about your memories of the windows. Also, Susie Q, I would greatly appreciate copies of these wonderful photos. Please respond as to whether any of you would be interested in pursuing this further. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My mother worked at Rikes from 1956 to 1968. I remember going to visit her in the bakery on the fifth floor behind the book department, those worderful smells of chocolate chip cookies and pecan rolls (those were the best!!!) I looked forward to seeing the windows. I remember one year when the windows were blue and silver with forest scenes. So dream like.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of a book documenting the Christmas windows at Rike's (or any other stores, for that matter) over the years?

bertwh@hotmail.com

Melodie S said...

Born & raised in Dayton and I can remember my dad getting us all in the car for a drive downtown for the big Rike's Christmas window unveiling every year! What wonderful memories! They were like magic.

Anonymous said...

My name is Emily von Stuckrad. I take care of all of the Rike's Figures at the Schuster Center. It makes me so happy to see everyone enjoying the boxes as much as I do. It is a sincere pleasure and honor to be in the position I am in. If anyone knows where I can find additional figures that were originially part of the Rike's Windows, please call me at (937)228-7591. Also, if you have old pictures, please copy them and send to: 138 North Main St. Dayton, OH 45402.