Chicago Store wins downtown decorating contest

Instrument display judged best; Hydra's 'steampunk' is 2nd
2012-12-22T00:00:00Z 2012-12-22T15:34:45Z Chicago Store wins downtown decorating contestNorma Coile Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 22, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The historic Chicago Store took first place in a downtown holiday window decorating contest with living room scenes showcasing pianos, organs, violins, upright basses, cellos and other instruments.

The windows were decorated by Betty Rizzo, a designer and the mom of a Chicago Store employee, who said she included horns "because the angels are called by horns, and the angels sing blessings for everyone."

She added old luggage from her collection as a symbol for carrying "all your wishes, everything you've been wanting and hoping for. Christmas is a new beginning."

The Chicago Store, at 130 E. Congress St., opened in 1919.

Winning second place in the contest, held by Second Saturdays, was Hydra Leather and More, with window displays inspired by "steam punk" fashion, which the designer, Joe Susco, described as "Western late 1800s meets Queen Elizabeth meets Mad Max, basically." Included were men in top hats and goggles and women in bustled skirts.

Susco has already changed out the windows, however, to a late 1940s-early 1950s theme, shown here, for which his inspiration was trendy rockabilly style. "Finally, people are dressing up again. Even the goth girls are dressing up," marveled Susco, whose sister, Margo Susco, founded Hydra, at 145 E. Congress St., more than 17 years ago.

The Chicago Store's prize was two airline tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S., while Hydra won $1,000 in free advertising on KXCI Radio.

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