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The Boston Globe

Ideas

What is Christmas without the department store?

In cities like Boston, these downtown temples of commerce defined the holidays—and vice versa

It’s looking like Christmas in Boston’s Downtown Crossing, thanks to the wreaths, the colored lights, and the 60-foot tree at Macy’s, but the holiday decorations can’t hide a ghost at the center of it all: the cheerless facade and huge hole in the ground that used to be Filene’s.

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