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Independent Bookstores, Part VIII

Columbia Bookstore is a Follett College Bookstore that serves Columbia College Chicago. The 140-year-old Follett Higher Education Group operates 930 college bookstores and provides support services for 1,600 independently-managed college bookstores.

In addition to selling textbooks, novels, and non-fiction books, Columbia Bookstore sells personal computers (desktops, laptops, and tablets) and computers accessories, printers, ink, external drives, flash drives, storage media, school supplies (note paper, binders, pens, calculators, etc.), art materials, clothing, appliances, televisions, DVD-and-Blu-ray-players, DVDs and Blu-rays, headphones, MP3 players, digital cameras and memory cards, clocks, fans, bedding and bath supplies, vacuum cleaners, medical instruments, batteries, locks, clothing, athletic accessories, and diploma frames. It also sells Columbia College Chicago emblematic clothing, blankets, stuffed animals, umbrellas, and school supplies.

Columbia Bookstore is located across from Grant Park in a historic building Columbia College Chicago acquired in 1990 that also houses the college library. The address is 624 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605-1904.

DePaul University Bookstore is operated by Barnes & Noble College Group, of which I have written quite a bit lately. In addition to textbooks, it sells personal computers (laptops and tablets), computer accessories, external drives, flash drives, storage media, phone accessories, surge protectors, school supplies, clothing, bedding and bath supplies, plastic storage boxes, clothing hangers, diploma frames, electric fans, and batteries. It sells DePaul University emblematic cups, mugs, bottles, electric lamps, personal accessories, license plate frames.

Further, DePaul University Bookstore sells books about St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and the order he founded, the Vincentians, as well as books on St. Elizabeth Seton. They statues of St. Vincent de Paul; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), S.C.; St. John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1804), C.M.; and Louise de Marillac (1591-1660), D.C.; and a medallion of St. Vincent de Paul.[1] The address is DePaul University Bookstore, DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus, 2425 North Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614.

The Field Museum Stores sell books, posters, bags, clothing, jewelry, educational toys and games, coffee cups, food, and gifts. The phone number is (312) 665-7679.

Hudson Booksellers operates two hubs in Chicago. One of these is located in downtown Chicago.

Hudson Booksellers CITI, also known as Hudson Booksellers Chicago Citigroup Center Downtown and Hudson Booksellers Citigroup Center Downtown, operates one 2,500-square-foot bookshop on the first floor of and two 900-square-foot magazine stands on the second floor of Citigroup Center Downtown.[2] The address of this building is 500 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60661.

The bookstore in the first floor food court is called Hudson Booksellers. It was formerly called Hudson News & Café, but it no longer has a café component. Both newsstands on the second floor are called Hudson News.

There is a Hudson Booksellers at Chicago Midway International Airport, Concourse B, 5700 South Cicero Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60638. The phone number is (773) 767-2337. It is open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day of the week.

The Hudson Group operates Hudson News and Hudson Bookstores as separate divisions. There are sixty-six full-service Hudson Bookstores in the chain, most of them at airports. Sometimes the bookstores are stand-alone operations and sometimes they are paired with Hudson News or Euro Café.

Note that the Hudson Group, a Dufry Company, also owns Barbara’s Bookstore at O’Hare International Airport, located in Terminal 2, which carries 6,000 to 8,000 titles on site.[3] It also owns Vroman’s Bookstore at LAX.

Hudson Group states, “Barbara’s Bookstore at O’Hare caters to the airport’s employees, airline crews, service men and women, and children, with special order services, discount offers and other sales incentives. Barbara’s always stocks the most desirable titles and the widest selection of titles, while sponsoring frequent book signings. We encourage our staff to speak with customers about their book choices.”

Ike Cohen founded the Bayonne News Company in 1918 when he was awarded distributorship of the New York Evening Journal in Bayonne, New Jersey. The company incorporated as the Hudson County News Company in 1926. The Swiss-based international duty-free airport retailer Dufry, AG acquired the Hudson Group in 2008.

The Hudson Group now operates 580 retail stores in airports and other transportation centers. It is also a wholesale distributor of books and periodicals. The A.B.A. lists a third Hudson Booksellers location in Chicago, on Archer Avenue, but as this is called the Midway Distribution Center, I believe it is part of the company’s wholesale operation and not a retail store.

[1] St. Louise de Marillac was a French aristocrat, though an illegitimate one. A widow and mother, she joined St. Vincent’s Confraternities of Charity, a group of rich women who helped him tend to the needs of the poor in 1629. She co-founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent de Paul in 1633. A widow and mother, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was an adult convert to Catholicism who founded the Sisters of Charity. They adopted the rule St. Vincent De Paul had written for the Daughters of Charity. She was the first native-born American citizen whom the Holy See canonized (recognized as a saint). St. John Gabriel Perboyre was a French priest and martyr. A member of the Congregation of the Mission, a religious institute within the federation of Vincentian religious orders. He was martyred by order of the Mandarin of Hubei. His death sentence was confirmed by an imperial edict of the Daoguang Emperor. He was strangled to death on a cross at the city of Wuchang (now the district of Wuchang in the city of Wuhan) in Hubei province.

[2] Huge numbers of people walk through this building every day in addition to those who work in it because it stands in front of the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center, one of two Metra terminal train stations in downtown Chicago. This was formerly called Northwestern Station, and many people continue to call it by that name. Over 40,000 passengers use Ogilvie Transportation Center every weekday. In 1997, it was renamed for Richard B. Ogilvie, the governor of Illinois who created the Regional Transportation Authority, the umbrella organization with oversight and financial responsibility for Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority (C.T.A.) and Pace. Designed by Murphy/Jahn, this forty-two-story skyrscraper, finished in 1987, was built on the air rights over the head house of Northwestern Station, demolished in 1984. Metra renovated Northwestern Station in 1992 after it purchased the train station from the Chicago & North Western Railway. On the second floor, the north side of Citigroup Downtown Center is connected to the train platforms of Northwestern Station. Except for people who exit via Ogilvie’s side entrance on Canal Street to board C.T.A. buses (or arrive at Ogilvie via C.T.A. buses and enter the station that way), the train passengers enter and exit the train station via Citigroup Center Downtown. Thousands of people descend down escalators from the second floor to the main entrance on Madison Street every weekday morning and make the reverse trip in the evening. Even on weekends, smaller numbers of people pour through the building because they are traveling for pleasure or work on the weekends. Citigroup Center Downtown has a convenient food court on the first floor as well as other restaurants as well as stores on both the first and second floors. Further, during the workweek, every morning thousands of train passengers, instead of descending to the first floor of Citigroup Center Downtown, take a second-floor skybridge to cross over Canal Street to Riverside Plaza. They walk down a long ramped concourse, also lined with stores and restaurants, which gradually descends to the first floor on the east side of the building, where they walk out onto the riverside plaza in front of that building. This Art Deco-style skyscraper, now known as Riverside Plaza, was known as the Chicago Daily News Building until the Chicago Daily News, a daily evening newspaper, closed in 1978. The address is 2 North Riverside Plaza. Then they cross the Madison Street Bridge over the Chicago River to enter the Loop, where they work, or take C.T.A. buses or C.T.A. electric trains – either at elevated “L” train stations or subway stations – bound for other parts of the city. Those passengers make the reverse trip in the evenings, with the result that the restaurants and shops in Citigroup Center Downtown and 2 North Riverside Plaza dependably have a good deal of foot traffic during rush hour.

[3] I previously mentioned the Barbara’s Bestsellers in O’Hare International Airport in a profile of Barbara’s Bookstore locations in Chicago in “Chicago Independent Bookstore Day” and in “Independent Bookstores, Part VII.” Barbara’s Bookstore operates five locations at O’Hare. Hudson is Barbara’s partner at O’Hare.

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