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March 29, 2010 | Dead Malls, Illinois, Redevelopment | Posted by Prange Way More than 8 years ago I walked through Chicago’s troubled Brickyard Mall with my first digital camera, taking tons of pictures in anticipation they’d someday be the only surviving documentation of the mall – and then I promptly lost them.
Very recently, though, when consolidating some old photo CDs onto a larger hard drive, I rediscovered these great “vintage” shots of retail history that is now gone forever.
Brickyard Mall was built with two major goals in mind, neither of which would ultimately guarantee its permanency.
The first and main goal of Brickyard Mall was to give local residents a regional shopping center.
The overbuilding of these hulking behemoths was often done without extensive foresight and with little abandon.
I hope you enjoy seeing them and reading Brickyard’s story as much as I enjoyed finding the pictures and reliving the memories.
Brickyard Mall, which opened in March 1977 on Chicago’s northwest side, was one of two regional, suburban-style shopping malls constructed in the city – the other was Ford City Mall on Chicago’s south side, which opened in 1965.
The original phase of the mall, featuring Kmart and Jewel-Osco and facing Diversey Parkway, was rebranded the Convenience Level, and was connected to the rest of the mall by Wards.
Shoppers using the Convenience Level could access Wards by ascending an escalator, located in the middle of the Convenience Level, which went up to a first level entrance of Wards.
The sections labeled in yellow are a full level beneath the sections in blue.