Back When Downtowns REALLY Decorated for Christmas (15 Photos)

 

We have such fond memories of spending the weekends walking around downtown around Christmas time.  We'd drive in to town just to look at the decorations in the day, and then again at night.  It was always so beautiful and made the town feel alive!  Here are some of our favorite vintage photos of downtowns all decorated up for Christmas.  

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

A beautiful photo of downtown Des Moines, Iowa during Christmas, 1931

There's something so special about the city of Minneapolis!  They certainly decorated up 7th street with proper care in this street scene from the early 1920s.  We'd love to see what it looked like at night!

Back when most department stores were downtown, there were often competitions among them to out-do each other.  Here's a view of the amazing Houghton & Dutton department store display in downtown Boston, 1915.

Detroit REALLY went all-in, as you see in this 1930's photo from Wayne State University.  Absolutely beautiful.

Did your town have a big tree?  Well the town of Orange, CA had palm trees, but no pine or cedar, but that didn't stop them from building a massive tree in the Plaza in 1937!

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

Even cities with warmer weather would turn their downtowns in to vibrant havens of Christmas cheer!  Here's a photo from downtown Phoenix in the 1940s

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

Los Angeles is one of the most unique cities in the world, and we've always been intrigued by its downtown.  This image captures the quiet streets in December, 1928

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

We absolutely love this photo from downtown Pasadena in the early 1940s.  Certain department stores would always go above-and-beyond, and the displays became a great thing that would bring the town together. 

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

The decorations also bring shoppers and traffic, however, as is evident in this 1958 photo of downtown Johnson City, Tennessee

Christmas decorations over 3rd Avenue in downtown Rock Island, 1940.  

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

There was always something magical about a decorated downtown at night, especially in the snow.  This photo is from downtown Louisville, KY in 1960. 

christmas decorations downtown, downtown christmas 1950

Who remembers Lazarus?!  We love this photo of the beautiful display in downtown 1955 in Columbus, Ohio

Downtown Houston in the late 1930's.

A big crowd in downtown Chicago in the early 1940's.  Lots of smiles!

Denver is no stranger to snow, so we wanted to find a great image of how they decorated in the 1930's.  Here's a very beautiful one.  It looks cold, but so beautiful. 

And the lights always looked beautiful right at dusk.  This photo is from 1959 of downtown Walla Walla, WA

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