the higbee co. building
Gawking at the elaborate holiday displays filling the windows of Higbee Co.'s downtown department store — like Ralphie Parker did in A Christmas Story — was a seasonal rite for Cleveland kids from the 1950s to the 1990s. In an effort to compete with other downtown stores such as Halle Bros. Co. and May Co., Higbee's went all out lavishing scenes of Christmas majesty to entice kids and their parents to come in. The department store became a Dillard's in 1992, and closed for good on Public Square Dec. 31, 2001. But when the Horseshoe Casino rolled into the historic Higbee Co. building in 2012, part of its goal of returning some of the department store grandeur has included new holiday displays in its 15 ground-floor windows the last three years. The new displays have included animatronic dolls ice skating, caroling, shopping or re-enacting The Nutcracker, and have kept kids and nostalgic adults from feeling like they've been left out in the cold.