The Plaza (mall)


The Plaza (mall)

Infobox shopping mall
shopping_mall_name = The Plaza (formerly Evergreen Plaza)


image_width =
caption =
location = Evergreen Park, Illinois, United States
opening_date = 1952
developer = Arthur Rubloff, [http://www.theplazamall.org/plaza.php?page=history History info from The Plaza's official website] ] Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. [ [http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/VNU-0016-15456385.htm CNNMoney.com: Former Walgreens Chairman Dies at 100] ]
manager =
owner =
number_of_stores = 120+
number_of_anchors = 3
floor_area = 1.2 million ft.² [http://www.theplazamall.org/plaza.php?page=leasing#more Leasing info from The Plaza's official website] ]
floors = 2
parking =
website = [http://www.theplazamall.org/ The Plaza]

The Plaza, formerly known as Evergreen Plaza, is an enclosed shopping mall located in Evergreen Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The mall's anchor stores are Carson Pirie Scott and Office Depot; it also features over 120 stores, as well as a food court. Having opened in 1952, The Plaza is considered the first major regional shopping center in the country. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-fri_evergreenjan11,1,3319596.story]

History

In 1936, Developer Arthur Rubloff first conceived a shopping mall in the Evergreen Park area located between the corners of W 95th Street and Western Ave, 98th Street and Western Ave, 98th Street Slightly west of Campbell Ave, 96th Street and Campbell Ave and 95th and Campbell Ave. [http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1068.html Retail Geography] ] Opened to the public in 1952, the mall was originally a 500,000 square foot open-air shopping center anchored by The Fair Store, Lytton's and Walgreens. The center also contained a supermarket, which featured a conveyor belt that carried groceries from the store to a parking lot kiosk. The mall's Walgreens was the second self-service Walgreen pharmacy in the chain; [ [http://www.irma.org/retailersoftheyear/contentview.asp?c=5348 Irma.org] ] it was also the chain's first location in a shopping center.

Chas. A. Stevens added a store to the mall in 1962. Carson Pirie Scott was added as another anchor, and the mall was later enclosed. Also, The Fair Store was converted to Montgomery Ward in the 1970s. Circuit City came in the early 1990s, replacing a Silo electronics store that was formerly in this space. Other additions over time included a food court. Montgomery Ward closed its four-story store in 2001 as the chain declared bankruptcy. Shortly aferward, Village of Evergreen Park officials submitted proposals for Target Corporation to open in the former Wards; however, these deals fell through. [ [http://www.icsc.org/srch/sct/sct0504/page138.php ICSC.org: Shopping Centers Today] ]

Discount chain National Wholesale Liquidators opened in 2005, occupying two levels of the four-level anchor slot once occupied by Montgomery Ward. Walgreens closed in 2005, and has been replaced with Office Depot. Also, Circuit City closed in mid 2005 as well. [ [http://newsroom.circuitcity.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=155982 Circuit City Announces 19 Superstore Closings as Part of Its Ongoing Initiatives to Improve Financial Performance] ]

2007 Christmas Tree Fire

In December 2007, A large Christmas tree at the southern end of the mall suddenly caught on fire. The mall was closed for three consecutive days. That section of the mall was closed off until February 2008. This fire caused a number of stores to close such as National Wholesale Liquidators, recently opened Lot Stores and Champs Sports (which re-opened March 24, 2008). NWL planned to return but never did. Lot Stores remains closed as well.

Evergreen Theater

On June 26, 1964, Evergreen Theater was added in a separate building, located on the south end of the mall. It first opened with two screens and sat upon the parking lot by 98th street and Western Ave., later, two more screens were added. In 1973, the manager was shot and killed during a robbery, many other incidents occurred which lead to its closure in July 1999. In 2003 the venue was torn down, along with the parking garage, on the west corner of the mall for landscaped parking, and parking entrances were widened. That same year, an Applebee's opened on an outparcel.

References

External links

* [http://www.theplazamall.org/ Official website]
* [http://www.digitalpast.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/lakecoun004&CISOPTR=4440&REC=4 Digital Past: Item Viewer - 1950s postcard illustrating Lytton's store at Evergreen Plaza]


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