After nearly a week of counting ballots, Joe Biden was declared president-elect early Saturday morning.
Many storefronts along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, also known as the Magnificent Mile thanks in part to its grand architecture and designer brands, boarded up their windows days in advance, anticipating election unrest. Instead, crowds gathered to dance, sing and occasionally pop bottles of champagne.
In spite of this initial celebration, cities across the country remain in limbo as President Donald Trump resists a peaceful transfer of power.
The souvenir shop Bye Bye Chicago was one of several that prepared for Election Day by boarding up their windows. Although the plywood has since been taken down, employee William Askew said the shop’s owner is keeping it in a safe place.
“Over the summer, our windows were busted and merchandise was stolen,” Askew said. “It was certainly an interruption of business.”
First in June and then again in August, dozens of storefronts along Michigan Avenue were looted during weeks of widespread civil unrest in response to the murder of George Floyd. After the first wave, plywood was taken down as soon as the damage was repaired.
Now, the boards — often covered with colorful designs to match designer brands — are becoming a more long term measure.
Grace Rodgers and Marisa Sloan are health, environment and science reporters at Medill. You can follow them on Twitter at @gracelizrodgersand@sloan_marisa.