About Us

Welcome to Classic Chicago, the  online magazine that celebrates the traditional qualities of a great world city. Chicago and its suburbs offer a wealth of historic residential design, pivotal commercial architecture, magnificent interiors and a rich social and cultural history rivaling any in the nation, yet until now there has been no local periodical devoted to these subjects. Classic Chicago strives to fill this niche in a lively and entertaining manner, while also documenting the people within the region and their style. Chicago area residents throughout roughly eighteen decades have included some of the most vivid personalities of their time. Although individuals from all eras—especially our own–may be chronicled in Classic Chicago, every effort is made to avoid undue focus on today’s usual media “suspects.”

Virtually every issue contains one or more Click/Clicks, typically photographs of people at a recent social event; these are usually large, traditional occasions, but some may be intimate and discreet. Alternatively, images may be drawn from private collections, such as photographs from personal scrapbooks or previously unpublished images from the albums of historic Chicago families.

A frequently scheduled segment is The Best Revenge, which celebrates the “revenge” of living well, so notably cited in the Spanish proverb that shaped the style of Mark Cross heir Gerald Murphy and his wife, Sara. Increasingly, a classic residential property will be showcased in this department through photographic layout and description, often tying the property to its heritage and the glamour of previous owners.

In addition to historic houses, The Best Revenge will be covering extraordinary interior design, either a designer’s own home or that of a client. Often the feature’s subject will be an exceptional house or apartment currently on the real estate market. Or in some cases the segment will present the residence of someone who is simply “living well” in a notably aesthetic situation. This department not only provides diverting reading and viewing material, but it also sets a powerful editorial climate for advertisers of fine real estate and furnishings.

A category long absent from the Chicago daily and weekly media is Style, genuine high-end style, a subject continuing to be effectively covered by such distinguished newspapers as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal in a manner that lifts the spirit from the mundane realities of current news. This department, inspired by the Coco Chanel comment “Fashion changes, but style endures” is not entirely about fashion trends; although such reportage by Style Editor Michelle Crowe, a seasoned fashion writer, will be featured when appropriate. The subjects covered in Michelle’s …Style Endures department span a variety of categories that might range from luxury material goods to matters of etiquette—occasionally featuring an individual of notably stylish bearing, through an interview, book review or obituary tribute.

Judy Carmack Bross’ Judy’s People, which appeared throughout four years in Avenue M magazine, has returned in Classic Chicago, with companion segments, Classic People, focusing on current individuals who bear traditional demeanor, and Guest Stars, which connects specific Chicagoans with national and international luminaries.

Because both Publisher Megan McKinney and Editor Judy Bross are veteran social historians, a frequent component of Classic Chicago is Vintage, a department featuring vibrant figures from Chicago’s colorful past, such as Lucy McCormick Blair or Sir Henry “Chips” Channon. And, often wrapping up an issue is the self-explanatory report What Everybody’s Talking About…

Further recurring features include Philip Vidal’s column About the Town; Milos Stehlik’s Facets of Film; The Ingredient by Margaret Block; Chicago Architecture, photography curated by KayWhitfield; Maria’s Garden Thoughts  from Maria Smithburg;The Perennial Biker by Brigitte Treumann; NOW! from Alice York and the interior design features of Stephanie McKean.

Both Stuart Mesires’ Vintage Vantage and Stanley Paul’s THIS AND THAT   frequently discuss vintage subjects. In addition to Wendy Wood-Prince’s travel articles in Wendy Worldwide and Bob Says… from Robert Glaze,  periodically a selected member of the Chicago community is invited to deliver a Dispatch from a desirable vacation destination; among these have been Antibes, France; Palm Beach, Florida; Palm Desert and Palm Springs, California and San Miguel, Mexico.


Publisher Megan McKinney is author of The Magnificent Medills, published by HarperCollins in 2011. The Chicago area best seller was featured on the cover of The New York Times Sunday Book Review and winner of the English Spear’s Book Award for Family History of the Year, 2012. Previously she spent two years as a feature writer in the New York bureau of TV Guide during the magazine’s phenomenal early years and was for six years a magazine specialist in the Press Department of the CBS Television Network. She was editor of Chicago’s Avenue M magazine for four years and has written for Town & Country, Opera News and Chicago, CS and Michigan Avenue magazines.

Editor Judy Carmack Bross was a reporter and entertainment writer for the Houston Chronicle, The Fort Worth Press and the Boston Record American, now the Herald American, and has written for the news offices of Harvard University and Harvard Business School. She contributed the popular column Judy’s People to Avenue M magazine for four years and, with Megan McKinney, was lead writer of the Chicago magazine cover story, What Ever Happened to the Great Chicago Families? She recently published the non-fiction book, Murray Bay: The Gilded Age Summer Resort of Tafts, Sedgwicks, Blakes, Minturns and Their Friends.

Style Editor Michelle Crowe is a writer best known in Chicago for her popular Instant Style column, which ran in the Chicago Tribune for more than five years. She also wrote weekly features for the Tribune and served as Fashionphile columnist, writer and stylist for CS during this busy and exciting time. In 2004 she joined PaperCity magazine, a multi-city luxury lifestyle publication. Next came a brief stint as design writer for the Houston Chronicle before heading to San Francisco to lead editorial for Banana Republic. Most recently she helmed Hinsdale Living as editor. Michelle has contributed to Michigan Avenue, Indianapolis Monthly, and Wine Country magazines.

Classic Chicago’s Advisory Committee is composed of a distinguished group of members of the Chicago and suburban community, who have been selected because of their active participation in the area’s social, charitable and civic affairs. They are Laurie Bay, Sarah Begel, Suzette Bulley, Peggy Carr, Gabriela Cleveland, John Fornengo, Annie Hambleton, Katherine Harvey, Collis Hillebrand, Cindy Hoyt, Stephanie McKean, Stuart Mesires, Joan Moore, Courtney Pitt, Biba Roesch, Gigi Stender Schwertfeger, Liz Sharp, Matthew Smith, Ellen Stirling, Margaret Mary Stoetzel, Alby Van Alyea, Phillip Vidal, Brian White, Meredith Wood Prince and Alice York.


We welcome suggestions for editorial coverage in Classic Chicago.

General Editorial Content: To propose an individual, property, interior, historical topic or other subject matter for consideration, a proposal may be sent to the attention of Classic Chicago Editorial Board at editors@classicchicagomagazine.net.

Click/Click: A charitable benefit or other event may be submitted for inclusion in this section through an email with details of the proposed occasion, including telephone contact information, to the attention of Click/Click at editors@classicchicagomagazine.net. Requests should be made well in advance of the date. Space is limited and, because of the publication’s editorial thrust, well established Chicago events or smaller gatherings with a traditional sponsorship and participation will be given preference.

In addition to candid photography of the city’s premier social events and semi-private gatherings, Click/Click gives consideration to the publication of classic photographic layouts from private collections, personal scrapbooks or previously unpublished images from the albums of historic families.

Those wishing to be added to the permanent list of free subscribers may register an email address, along with their first and last names, at editors@classicchicagomagazine.net.

Advertising inquiries kaywhitfield@classicchicmag.com.