Historic Marshall Pierce and Company moves to new Mag Mile location

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Marshall Pierce and Company has been around since the early 20th century in the same historic Loop office building; it's the longest continuous tenant there.

But now the family-owned custom jeweler is moving, hoping to bring some history up to the Magnificent Mile.

"I have been coming here all my life and it certainly was a beautiful showroom, very elegant," said Jerry Bern, gemologist, Marshall Pierce and Company.

"We are surrounded by big, big corporations and big multinational companies," said Evan Bern, vice president, Marshall Pierce and Company.

The Loop's Jewelers Row, where for decades Chicago's bustling gem district did a solid business propelled by Mom and Pop operations in these skyscrapers, there were few more dynamic than Marshall Pierce and Company.

"We probably knew 90 percent of the clients that came through the door, and they were really Chicago's who's who," Jerry said.

Jerry's father bought it from the namesake jeweler in 1928. Jerry learned gemology here from his dad and uncle. Times changed though.

"Not a lot of the younger generation got into the jewelry business, so a lot of the Mom and Pops disappeared," Jerry said.

Add in what many think is the area's never-ending construction and a window in their lease, the family decided to move on too. And in their new space, at the top of the Magnificent Mile, the son - a seventh generation Bern-family jeweler - says the Loop's character will carry on here.

"It's bittersweet, our location treated us well for a really long time, we made a lot of relationships down there," Evan said. "For us, it is still a family-run business, my father and I, and we are here all the time and we are going to bring a bit of that family touch to Michigan Avenue."

The city says construction of a new $75 million CTA station at Washington and Wabash, which started in March, should be complete by the end of next year.

The new Marshall Pierce and Company opens Friday.

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