Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ford City Shopping Center




Chicago, Illinois - 1960's

Just look at that second shot. What a beautiful, butterscotchy dream of a vintage interior! In my mind I am so there...here!



109 Comments:

Blogger -.---.. said...

The interior looks a lot like the mall The Blues Brothers drive through in the movie. Obviously the movie version is a set, but that picture is great. The fact that the mall is in Chicago is a bonus.

Thu Jun 23, 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous km said...

the mall in the blues brothers was an actual mall that recently closed. the film makers siezed the opportunity to film their prior to the destruction of the mall.

as for ford city, it is a far cry from those idyllic photos from the 60's now.

Thu Jun 23, 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous km said...

sorry.... insert "scenes there" between their & prior.

Thu Jun 23, 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

The one used in THE BLUES BROTHERS was actually the Dixie Square Mall, in Harvey, IL. Apparently, it had been closed for a year when they decided to use it for the movie.

I'll get some Dixie Square shots up here sometime.

Thu Jun 23, 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Rickjumps said...

I grew up within walking distance of Ford City. It got it's name from the fact it was built on the site of a Ford Motor plant from WWII. No food court then, as I recall, but there was an Orange Julius.

Fri Jun 24, 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous His Jedness said...

Dixie Square Mall, part of Blighted Harvey.


From Dead Malls

Fri Jun 24, 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Great link, His Jedness, thanks!

Btw, that site has long been a fave of mine. I plan to add it to the links here soon (still setting those up).

Sat Jun 25, 05:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Yeah, Ford City is a pretty dangerous place now. The pictures bring back memories though. I have an old pic of my brother and I with the Easter Bunny there.

Sat Aug 13, 12:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Jonas said...

I'd love to find a better shot of that fountain, too. See it on the left? It's a group of poles around that square column, of various heights, some joined with cross-pieces. Looks like each is topped by a little shallow dish the water bubbles into. Nice.

Wed Nov 09, 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up less than a mile from Ford City. I still live in the area near Midway Airport. I saw many changes over the years at Ford City Mall, not all good. I do not shop there any more, seems like the stores cater to customers who like their pants real baggy, more crime there than in the good old days. That outside picture I believe, is the bowling alley, not there anymore, it's an Old Navy store now. I believe the mall opened in 1965. Originally, the building was a Dodge aircraft engine plant during WWII. After the war the plant was used by Preston Tucker housing the Tucker Motor Mfg. Corp. He produced 50 vehicles and was forced out of business by the big 3 automakers, see the movie "Tucker, A Man and his Dreams". After Tucker vacated the building, Ford Motor Co. used the building during the Korean War to manufacture aircraft engines. After Ford vacated the premises, the building, which was the largest single story structure in the country, was seperated in two, the north building was slated for manufacturing and the south one became Ford City Shopping Center. That fountain,in the other picture, was in the middle of the mall, those poles were copper tubing with dish like objects on top, water came out from the tops of the tubes. I threw many coins in that fountain. There used to be a baseball field on Ford City Dr. and Pulaski Rd. Ford City Field. It was pretty high tech for us back then, we had a concession booth behind home plate and an announcers booth above it. We played there occasionally for Bogan Baseball League when in grade school. Daley College occupies that land now. Thanks, you brought back some good memories.

Sat Jan 21, 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ford city is kool as hell people i shop there all the time

Tue Jan 31, 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger nikki said...

If you really remember ford city you will remember that the downstairs of the mall used to be a great deal larger it was called peacock alley they had fasion shows and all kinds of shows and stuff that used to go on down there i actually have some old videos of it that my grandmother god rest her soul took of us as children when she took us there. there was a bowling alley and everything and if you go down the escalators and go to the left all the way down there is the ramp that goes up into one of the stores can't remember wich and there are remnants of a fountain there as well and behind all of the blank walls on the lower level are more storefronts and hallways the downstairs at one point was completely closed off for this renovation and when it re opened it was much my best friends mom worked there so we were there all of the time i remember places where you could make your own videos and the gerties that was directly down the escalator there used to be a branch of the downtown store The Alley downstairs for a while near the staircase leading to the parking lot and a store nest to that which was some form of dollar type store if you go beyond that to the other escalators there used to be a toy store there it was not toy's r us i do not think it was kaybee either i am not quite sure of what it was called ( this of course was all after what i call the peacock alley cover up i lived in an area known to it's dwellers as the village on the 63rd st side of midway airport and we used to walk there almost every day over the big hill on cicero......... those were the days i will never forget I LOVE ALL OF WHAT FORD CITY USED TO BE

Thu Mar 30, 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Great memories, Nikki! Thanks for sharing them with us, and welcome! :)

Any chance you'd consider also sharing that old footage with us? If I could get a copy of it I could easily digitize it and share it here on the site for all to enjoy! That would be really cool.

Please e-mail me if you're interested: keith@sirgravesghastly.com

Thu Mar 30, 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous HEIDI said...

Hey Nikki... I remember Peacock Alley as well. In fact, I was just thinking about it. My Grandma used to manage the art gallery there. Remember the ice cream shop with the big clown that deflates and then inflates again? I remember the Barina sewing machine shop and the bowling alley. It was the coolest place. It was a BIG mistake getting rid of it!

Thu May 04, 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi everyone I used to live less than a block to Ford City.I remember while during constuction riding my bike through the mall on a dare from my buddy. That backfired because all the constuction guys could care less.Thanks for the pics Kieth that really brings back big memories.There was no food court as there was the verada in Wiebolts (spell??)and the Harvest House cafateria (pictured)as well as their snackbar in the mall (pictured) also there was a good rest near Pennys called Tally- Ho. Lets not forget the killer deep fried chick just inside woolworths near the Harvest House enterance wings 25cents. Peacock Alley came after a few years. Correct me if im wrong but wasnt the ice cream shop Bresslers 37 flavors???It was in the front of the mall with two entrances one from the front and one from the mall, In that picture with the ups truck the ice cream shop was at the very let side of pic. Thanks for the memories

Mon Jul 17, 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous agarner06@comcast.net said...

remember the sign that was lit up with the arrow pointing toward the mall saying welcome to ford city mall? it had a bunch of light bulbs on it and went round and round.peacock alley had a gang killing which is why it closed and changed it's name.we can thank the american american gang bangers for ruining ford city just like they did olympia field,matteson,dolton,south holland,richton park and country club hills.i remember going to fc mall when i was younger and people were always nice no matter what color.what was the name of the little league who played where daley college is now?

Tue Jul 18, 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

I still have vivid memories of this childhood sanctuary. My mother would drag me to minnesota fabrics while i whined about how boring it was in there. We would later walk to turnstyle where i would pick out a tomy pocket car (similar to hotwheels)for my collection. We would then walk to the other side of the mall and get an orange julius, i was mesmerized by the old western motiff, with "Dr. I Yankum the Dentist" in the fake office windows above the orange julius. It seemed like an amusement park in there with all the lights,fountains and activity. I would often get a footlong hotdog from the woolworth grill, shown in center of picture and spin around on the rotating stools. Peacock Alley was a subteranean paradise,trickshops,headshops, the nickoldeon pizza place and many more interesting stores tucked away in that never ending tunnel. If i could go back in time, i would definitly stop there circa 1976. Thanks for the memories!

Tue Aug 15, 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hi, Keith.. I can imagine what Ford City was like in its heyday. Today, it's not a destination I would suggest to anyone. The same can be said for Ford City that can be said for any dying mall across the country. If people don't feel safe there, they aren't going to shop there, despite Anonymous' claim that "Ford city is kool as hell people i shop there all the time".. One look in the parking lot, the condition of the stores, and the storefronts will tell you that it's anything but "kool". The Carson Pirie Scott store there is a joke, and I'd like to see the Health Department visit the food court.

Sat Sep 02, 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the headshops, the hair school
it was hair performers, turn style, the bowling ally, movies, fava shoes, there was a candy store in the mall that looked like a red school house, just clothes, I went there all the time too bad its a mess now

Thu Sep 07, 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ford City is scary as hell! I hear about tons of crime that happens all the time there. Not just shoplifting, but stabbings, and shootings, STAY AWAY!!

Sat Sep 30, 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Oh man, I can't thank you enough for posting these vintage pics of Ford City. It's degenerated in to a crime-ridden rat hole these days, but the memories are fond!

Does anyone remember the restaurant that stood at the end of the mall near JCPenny? As you came out of JCPenny and into the mall, there was a restaurant off to the left, it was sorta like a cafeteria if I recall, and stood next to the organ/piano shop. Anyone remember the name? Then there was the pet shop (Pet Ranch) off to the left.

I remember the knife shop in Peacock Alley and KC Sports at the end near Wards. There were also some restaurants in Peacock Alley I've forgotten the names of (anyone remember?) and an arcade. Further down there was a wide-open record store too.

If anyone can help me with names of these and other stores or better yet provide pictures, I'd be very happy, and actually willing to pay cash for pics of Ford City from the 70's.

Mon Oct 02, 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Nikki, I'd be willing to pay a nice bit of cash for copies of that video material you have. Seriously. Email me at junkbuster666@ev1.net.

I still live in the Midway Airport area and would love to hear from others in the area who'd like to talk about the old days.

Mon Oct 02, 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Weren't there clothing lockers along the side hall opposite the pet shop just outside JCPenny, going into the mall?

I'm trying to assemble a list of all the stores in the mall circa 1976, if anyone can help. Also, a list of stores in Peacock Alley at the time.

In Peacock Alley they had a knife shop/lock shop just to the right of the escalator, but I can't remember the name.

Tue Oct 10, 05:01:00 AM  
Anonymous maria said...

I remember going every friday to the mall with my mother, this was around 1975 until 1978, that´s when i moved so far away from chicago, nd reading the post....what happened?? I´ve read here that now it´s very Ford City is scary as hell! I hear about tons of crime that happens all the time there. Not just shoplifting, but stabbings, and shootings, STAY AWAY!! I know that 30 years have pass, BUT really, is it that Bad...........I have so many great memories of that mall...I was about 12 or 13 years old and boy did I loved that Peacock Alley , and does any one remembers Hallmark cards, in the middle of the mall?? Always bought something there....I´m 43 and still remember!!

Sat Oct 14, 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger burbankgooniejoe said...

ford city mall was my stomping grounds in the late 70's, what i can remeber is fantastic pizza at nicolodean, and the kung fu game in the pizza place, rxr crossing clothes, gorf in the woolworths by the back entrance, circus world toys, and outside was childs world with the castle, bowling with the red pin free game, the knife shop had all the chineese stars and ninja stuff,

Tue Nov 21, 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger burbankgooniejoe said...

also, wizard of games was the arcade and the games i remember in order from the door are, karate champ, tron, spy hunter, berzerk, ikari warriors, 1947, front line, satans hollow, punch out, jedi, joust, gauntlet, jungle hunt, track n field, basketball game, skateboard, did anyone open the elevator while it was moving and stop it ? by wards?

Tue Nov 21, 06:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Burbank just West and South of the mall (the area I lived in was originally unincorporated Stickney, and later Burbank) from 1969 to 1976. Ford City was a great place to go as a kid back then. Wandered from store to store, bowling alley and the theaters. Peacock Alley also held Ford City Karate, and a health food store (can't remember the name). Marshall Field anchored on end (I believe the West side) Sweatheart Cup was in a building off to the far East, near the Ford City police station, and later a Buger King. For the mall, there were two separate buildings. TurnStyle, Tally Ho and the theaters were in one, the main stores were in the other. Peacock Alley ran under the parking lot between the two. The fountain previously mentioned held quite a few of my coins too. Great memories. Across Cicero Ave and just slightly North at State Road was the Clark Equipment parts warehouse. Just North of there on Cicero was "the hill" (mentioned in another post. There was a small frontage road on the West side of the hill that led to one of those really large multi-lane slides, where you paid to rent a canvas sack, climbed the stairs to the top and slid down in about 5 seconds. At 79th and Cicero (Northwest corner) I believe was a "Henry's" Hamburger (at least I seem to remember it there).

Sat Dec 09, 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Wow! Thanks burbankgooniejoe and anonymous for sharing those memories.

Do either of you remember the name of the pizza place in Peacock Alley in the mid/late 70's? Or the name of that knife shop?

Also, there was a record shop with a very open design (ie no walls facing the alley, just a metal gate) near the far end of Peacock Alley where it turned. Anyone remember the name of that one?

Mon Dec 18, 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi vintage bob. I do remember the record shop, but unfortunately not the name - sorry. I also remember that later (late 1970's ?) one of the buildings to the west side of the mall - near Cicero Ave. - held a buffet restaurant.

Wed Dec 20, 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous UltraGary said...

Wow, great memories here folks! I too have a few Ford City memories to share. My Dad actually owned furniture store in Peacock Alley called the Shelf Shop, which was about the 3rd store down on the right after coming down the escalators by Woolworths and turning left. I also was lucky enough to have a friend of my Dad's named Sid working maintenance at the mall take me on a couple underground tours of the vacated industrial equipment & other old corridors underneath the north-side parking lots. As a kid of about 8 years old, this was all a pretty big deal. Thanks to all here for keeping this cool site full of memories of this place!

Wed Dec 27, 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Anonymous, might that buffet restaurant have been called "Red Balloon"? And wasn't there a Golden Bear Pancake house somewhere across the street?

Also, does anyone remember, north of Ford City on Cicero and over the Cicero bridge on the corner of 67th & Cicero a little white stone corner store (it would have been on the NE corner of the intersection) that had a bunch of stuffed toys displayed on the outside on chicken wire or something? It was a hamburger place also, and sold fireworks in the 70's and 80's. Can anyone tell me anything about that place?

Mon Feb 12, 01:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vintage bob, i remember that little white building one the corner of 69th and cicero, passed it all my life and have always been fascinated by it..i do remember it being a hamburger joint but mostly a fireworks place. last time i looked at google earth, it was still there..i don't know much about the history of the building, but it looks to me like it could have been a gas station at one time, dating to the 20's.

also, i would kill to have pictures of the old multi-lane slide/driving range on the west side of the bridge near the trains.

a few more items: do you remember there being woods across street from ford city, and the cool old blue tile post office there? also, inside ford city mall, i swear to god there was a children's shoe store that had a tiny carousel inside (like one of those playground roundabouts) but everyone thinks i'm nuts. then there was the section of Woolworths just inside the indoor entrance where they did t-shirts/iron-ons and..i think, spin art? it was kinda raised up from the rest of the store? also, do any of you remember a clothing store in the 70's called "Pipe Dream"? it was done in a 70's futuristic-space style with big fake ducts and pipes all over the ceiling; it was near the Ward's end of the mall if i recall correctly, and wasn't there long.

man i'd love just one day from th 70's to visit all these places again. ok, maybe a month.

-liz r

Mon Feb 19, 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh yeah, and the Red Balloon was the restaurant inside the Ford City Holiday Inn. my dad used to take us there for breakfast sometimes, haha what a class act.

-liz r

Mon Feb 19, 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of memories.

I spent my whole childhood at Ford City, having lived across the south parking lot.

Lots of questions to answer. First, I'll try to list as many of the stores in Peacock Alley. Starting at the escalator and going to the left. By the way there will be some gaps.

Pagoda House
The Shelf Shop
There was some kind of jean store
Nickolodeon (used to be KoKos)
(gap here)
Park Magnavox
Village Records and Tapes
(another gap)
Gingis Formalwear
The Karate Studio
House of Lewis
Ford City Beauty School
(Stairway to Turnstyle)
Allsport Sporting Goods
(A music dealer for a while
but can't remember name)
There may have been a health
food store)
Tricks and Toys
Ford City Catholic Center
was at the end.

Now going right from the escalator;

Tobie's Bridals
Ford City Key and Lock (knife store)
Village Stereo
The Stuffed Shirt (iron-ons)
KC Sports
The Loft (jeans)
Judy's Music (much later)

I'm sure I missed some.

As far as the resturant by Penny's it was called Tally Ho. Someone mentioned Tally Ho by the bowling alley but that was really called Tally's Pub. The Pet Ranch was down that end mall as well as an
the National Tea grocery store, back before they remodeled and the Radio Shack and the GNC were put in. There were also lockers there as well as on all three malls. The organ store by Tally Ho was called Wurlitzer Organ, and there was a small music store inside it called Judy's Music which moved to Peacock Alley later on.

I rememeber "The Hill" Spent lots of time there in the 70s. We used to jump off it on to the edge of Cicero Avenue when there was lots of snow. We used to slide down the grassy side with our K-tel mini-skis. In the summer we would get boxes from the dumpsters and slide down the grass.

The wooded area just West of Cicero
that was mentioned was a great place. Used to ride my mini-bike there. The Chicago kids called it "Lost Continent", but I'm told that the Burbank kids called it "Birds Paradise" Back in the beer can collecting days, it was was a great area to find vintage cans. That whole area West of Cicero was.

There was a Bressler's Ice Cream parlour exactly where another person mentioned. It was next to the Super-X. And the Hallmark Cards was in the center just across.

I'm sure I could answer more questions but I can't rememeber all the ones asked.

Thanks for the photos, and I would love to see others as well.

Paul

Mon Feb 26, 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger pwrubel said...

First off, sorry for any typos or grammarical errors in my earlier post.

Secondly, and this may have been cleared up already, but the exterior
picture is actually the south face of the south mall. Eventually that area became Montgomery Wards. (the carmel corn smell throughout that store was wonderful) My father worked on the construction there and nearly died when a foundation wall fell. Prior to Wards they had the models for the Ford City apartments there. When they no longer needed the models, one was used as the temporary home of the Ford City Catholic Center.

Paul

Mon Feb 26, 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Anonymous, that white hotdog stand on the corner of 67th & Cicero is still there, it's a restaurant of some sort last I looked. I'll have to stop in there and see if anyone remembers what it was called back then. Wow, this one is puzzling me to death!

I agree, I'd kill for a picture of that slide and the batting cages/driving range too! Was there a name for that area? Or were they just unrelated businesses?

I don't remember the woods or the blue tiled post office though.Hmm.

If you're nuts, then I'm crazy, because I also seem to remember a tiny carousel of some sort in one of the stores, but for the life of me cannot remember where.

I do remember an area in Woolworths' where they did those shirts and iron-ons. Wasn't it off to the right, just as you walked in? I seem to remember part of it being raised off the floor as well, with a coupld of video games on the floor at the base.

I also remember a comic book dispenser machine that was totally cool. It had those corkscrew style dispensers like you see in food cafeterias for sandwiches, and it would drop the comics out the bottom. I'd kill for one of those! It was inside either Walrgeen's or Woolworth's, just inside and off to the left. Hmmm...was there even a Walgreen's there, or am I imagining that? Must have been Woolworth's.

I belive there were a bunch of video games near the back exit for Woolworth, but I don't remember which stores were out back there. Can you recall any?

Don't remember Pipe Dreams at all.

I'd sell a year of my life to be able to go back for a month of the 70's! :-D

Do you recall an ice cream store on Cicero right before you turned into Ford City? It used to be a gas station (wish I knew the name), then they turned it into a Farrell's Ice Cream store/restaurant. Awesome place! You can find pictures of Farrel's online. Farrel's opened in the mid 70's and I don't recall when it closed, but eventually it became Rocky Rococco's Pizza in the mid 80's.

Wow, we're on a roll! Keep the memories coming, folks! And thanks! :-)

Wed Feb 28, 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Anonymous, what was Pagoda House? I recall the name, but not what it was. What did it look like? Was it perhaps a Chinese restaurant? I seem to remember one there.

Nickolodeon...was that the pizza place with the wooden benches? What year did it change to Nickolodeon from Koko's?

Was Park Magnavox a tv store?

The karate studio rings a bell, but I can't remember it. What was it called? Could you see into it and see people practicing? I almost remember seeing that.

What was House of Lewis?

Tricks and Toys...I don't remember that at all. What sort of stuff did they sell. Was it similar to Spencer's?

Was Tally Ho and Tally's Pub related? I remember the restaurant (I thought it was called Tally Ho...and wasn't it more like a cafeteria?), but I don't recall Tally's Pub. Was that inside the bowling alley?

Wow, National Tea. I don't remember that, though I do vaguely recall some sort of grocery store there, so that must be it. I do remember Pet Ranch clearly.

You guys are fantastic, thanks!

Wed Feb 28, 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Pwrubel, on that top pic, the orange area wasn't the bowling alley, was it? I think the bowling alley was off to the right of that picture? or was that on the south side of the north mall?

When you go inside that orange area on the pic, wasn't there a book store of some sort off to the right? I think it would have been the very first store as you came in. I remember buying books there in the early- to mid- 80's. What else was down that aisle?

In that picture, the store at the very far right end would be JCPenny's, wouldn't it?

Wed Feb 28, 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

UltraGary, you are lucky! Wow, I'd have loved to have toured those tunnels! Is there any chance you might have any pictures from the Shelf Shop? If so, I'd love to see them! :-)

Do you remember anything else about the mall? Any other stores further down Peacock Alley?

Wed Feb 28, 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Does anyone remember the stairway going up from Peacock Alley that exited by the north mall? I believe it was located just before the arcade (Wizards of Games?) in Peacock Alley, and the staircase was bordered by a sort of rock formation waterfall-type thing. Going up, it exited by the north mall.

I'd kill for a picture of that! Am I remembering it in the right place?

Wed Feb 28, 07:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One store I forgot about in Peacock Alley was called "Exact Time" which sold clock and watches, obviously. If you went left from the escalator it would be straight ahead and slightly right, just past the washrooms which were on the left just before the bend.

Paul

Wed Feb 28, 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also forgot to mention, to Ultragary, I bought an awesome Beatle's Rubber Soul Mirror at "The Shelf Shop". After that many friends and my ex-brother-in-law bought one too form there. We probably bought them all. I STILL have mine. I think your dad framed a mirror for me that I created myself which turned out great. I STILL have that too.

Paul/aka anonymous and pwrubel

Wed Feb 28, 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous GordyJamz said...

I grew up in the 80's and remember ford city before the remodel. Vintage Bob, I vaguely remember that fountain your talking about at the end of peacock alley. I would kill for a picture of that too. Also, Nickolodeon Pizza was the best! You could always smell it walking by, you just had to stop there. Also, I remember that they used to have shows and stuff by Wards, where the Food court is now. I always felt the mall was never the same after the remodel. It lost a lot of its charm and class.

Fri Mar 02, 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all! I grew up in Bridgeview we would go miles to get to this mall by car or bus.

My mother loved the Ford city mall and would frequent it on weekends during the early 80's. I remember the arcade it was in the peacock alley and on the end by the parking lot enterance located by Venture which had been a turnstyle used to get tomy or hot wheel cars their for $1.00. The arcade was also a trick shop before it was an arcade with all the usual trickshop props. Spent alot of quarters at that arcade! Remember all the games zoo keeper, satans hollow, tron, night drive or something like that it was a black and white game and crazy climber that was the best freakin game ever!
I remember the hair cuts given by the beauty shop and the shop students they had beauty school in the basement the also had a health store in the peacock alley my mom would stop for honey candies their all natural candy. Also their was a Italian U-boat restaurant ate their many times next to the Nickelodean which earlier in the 70's they had a blacklight smoke shop down in the peacock alley I remember the blacklights and invisble ink pens they sold. They had a timex repair shop across from the art gallery then the bathrooms and next their was an rxr crossing jean shop for women my sister always stopped their and the place with the faucets and huge piping upstairs then I remember the escillator to upstairs by the woolworths and the record shop at the far end. Also I remember the sears store selling popcorn and candies in the center of the store from a cart with a register.
And finally I remember a coinshop being in their for a few years and
Over by Osco drugs they also had some arcade games in that area played Zaxxon and Donkey Kong 2. Woolworths 5 and 10 was my Moms stop also she loved Wieboldt's and the basement at Wieboldt's they also had a eatery/bar in the Wieboldt's my sister would stop their and get a drink. Also anyone remember the cafe in the Woolworths all the old folks would hang around getting coffee. I also remember the grocery store over by JC Penneys being an A & P grocery store in the main building not by turnstyle im not a 100 percent about that name but I went in their more than once. I seen original Star wars at the main theaters across from the peacock alley. Also when the turnstyle was over to the north were venture later replaced it their was a big grocery store next to the turnstyle maybe a jewel bazzare or something like that. the mall also had a at&t phone repair shop on the outside of the mall when we all still had bell phones with the mechanical ringers :) and if you had service they allowed you to trade old non working phones for new phones. By the way I had nostalgic moments of this as the best mall.

I contacted the mall owners about 3 or 4 years ago and had asked for all the pictures they had before they remodeled in the 90's. I also told them that I would make copies at the new wolf camera in the mall that was there at that time and they said I could just let them know when I was coming by but I was busy and never went over :( To my knowledge they have a book of pictures from what the women told me at that time.

Tue Mar 27, 12:34:00 AM  
Anonymous ULTRA GARY said...

2 things: 1>Hey Bob, I definitely do not have any pics of the underground stuff. I wish I did, but I don't have to tell you how much cameras have changed since then. 2>Someone asked about Pagoda House. I remember them havng all kinds of what I'll call 'mystical-Asian-styled-nick-nacks'. You know...crystal dragons...marble candle holders....that type of stuff. All very dark & velvet-y for a tiny mall shop.

Thu Apr 12, 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember FORD CITY RESTAURANT, a coffee shop,which was located in the middle of the mall? Near Mailing Shoes. Do you remember a fantastic waitress at FORD CITY RESTAURANT named Dee Jones?? The year is 1971,my boyfriend and I would spend hours sitting in the restaurant, talking to Dee, smoking cigarettes and eating cheeseburgers...and drinking the delicious coffee shop coffee! Yeah, I wish I could go back in time...

Fri Apr 20, 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone made a commett about the FordCity police ....

Here is a BLAST FROM THE PAST....

The Ford city Police watched over the mall mostley the parking lot on HORSE BACK .

Sun Jun 03, 01:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe that I don't remember the Ford City Restaurant. At least in that part of the mall.

Wow, the Ford City Police. I don't remember the horses but I rememebr that they had Ford Mavericks. There was one cool cop there that gave me an old Harmony electric guitar, but the rest of the force was pretty lame. My sister and a girlfriend gave "the finger" to two older boys, for whatever reason, and you'd think she brought a gun and opened fire (kind of like it is ther now)on a crowd of innocent shoppers. They called my dad up there to bring her home.

pwrubel

Tue Jun 05, 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gator said...

Great memories all.

The food stores were: National Foods near Pet Ranch, Jewel next to Turnstyle in the north building and does anyone remember that Wieboldts had a grocery store called Hellman's at the west end of the store in the early days? I remember The Veranda restaurant that was raised up about 6 steps in the men's department at Wieboldts and the dark Prarie House restaurant at the mall entrance to Wieboldts. What about those wonderful old cash registers in Wieboldts that had real bells that would ring. At Christmas time they rang non stop throughout the store.

What about the Millionare's restaurant and Ford City Bank along Cicero Ave.? They used to give away Tee shirts with a characture of bank president Jack Wheeler.

Well, that's all for now.

Wed Jun 20, 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gator said...

The Ford City Restaurant was next to Polk Brothers. Fannie May Candies used to have a kiosk in the center of the mall right in front of these two stores. The book store that someone earlier was mentioning was called Printer's Ink. Next to that was Shaack Electronics (bought some of my first stereo components there) and Herman's World of Sporting Goods was across from both of them. The store with the tiny little Merry-Go-Round, I believe was Buster Brown Shoes.
Other stores that I can remember from East to West were:

South side

Tally Ho
Wurlitzer
?
Franks Shoes
Harvest House Cafeteria
Woolworths
Flagg Bros. Shoes
Musicland
Tobacco Teepee
Hallmark cards
a small Dunkin Donuts (don't think they baked there)
Super X Drugs
St. Anne shop
Bresslers 33 Flavors
Gift Studio
Lerners
Tom McCan Shoes
Pam's Young Folks
?
? jewelery store where you could watch the repairman work through a window
Wieboldts

North side - order may not be correct

Knot shop (center in front of Penney's)
Bonds
?
Marc Allen Shoes (same owner as Franks)
Singer
So-Fro Fabrics
Buster Brown Shoes
Karolls (red hanger shop)
?
Western Town wing
?
The Gap
?
Ford City Restaurant
Polk Brothers
Mailing Shoes
?
O'Connor & Goldberg
Wieboldt's

The restaurant in the center was the Woolworth's Grill

The north building was:

General Cinema Theatre (3)
Talley's Pub
Ford City Bowling Center
Print King
Fayva Shoes
John M. Smythe Furniture
Jewel
Tunstyle

Can anyone fill in any of the blanks or one's I've forgotten?

Wed Jun 20, 02:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know which little stone building your talking about Vintage Bob. Use to pass it on the way from our house in Oak Lawn to my grandma's house. Was across the street from Cracker Jack. Might that have originally been a Prince Castle Hamburger joint? That building has been empty, or as you described it for as long as I can remember.Use to be one on 95th St and 54th Ave a couple blocks from my house. Long gone now though. "Prince Castle: similar to Royal Castle in selling White Castle style burgers. Prince Castle was largely in the Rockford, IL area, where it also sold (square) hand-scooped ice cream cones, and its buildings where sheathed in a stone facade and made to look like a miniature castle." Thanks all for the Ford City memories. A lot of time spent hanging out there in the '70s

Sat Jul 28, 07:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ITS ASHAME OF WHAT HAS BECOME OF FORD CITY MALL ITS NEAR A MAJOR CHICAGO AIRPORT, MANY MAJOR HOTELS, A BRAND NEW STATE OF THE ART SOCCER STADIUM AND AROUND SOME PRETTY NICE SUBURBS BUT YET FOR SOME REASON THE MALL LOVES TO CATER TO SCUM BAGS..... IT SHOULD BE RENOVATED AND REPRESENT THE AREA WHICH IT STANDS IN.

Tue Aug 21, 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up a block away from Ford City and I went to the mall with my friends to pick up chicks (okay, pretend that we could pick up chicks) and burn time with my friends. A number of my childhood friends actually married a number of "chicks" from Burbank who they met by following around the mall on a Saturday. I believe that this activity is now called stalking.

Ford City was great back in the 70's and early 80's. I remember going to get shoes at a shoe store during the end of the shopping day on Saturday and feeling really sorry for the suckers who had to put all of those shoes back in the boxes.

I remember going to Ford City Catholic Center with my Catholic friends as it was a very progressive church experience ("they actually used acoustic guitars") for their music liturgy. A far cry from St. Bede's music liturgy in those days.

I remember the awesome baseball fields that Sweetheart Cup built. I played baseball at Rainey and Durkin Park and I was in awe to see a baseball field with infield grass and a homerun fence and warning track, scoreboard, and advertisements on the outfield fence. It was like being at Thillen's statdium. My friends and I would ride our bikes over there and play baseball, even if there were only three of us (back in the day where your bike took you everywhere and you did have to rely on your parents to drive you everywhere).

Does anyone remember "Taste of Ford City"? This was a three day food/music festival in the parking lot of Murphy Motors. I remember it because I worked at Farrell's Ice Cream during that time in HS. I remember us selling ice cream and hot dogs. Can you believe that people actually stopped by our table to buy hot dogs at that event? They weren't even Farrell's hotdogs, they were Ballpark franks that our manager bought at the Jewel and cooked in boiling water. I remember a couple of good bands playing there (local talent). I remember a big band group who performed with a cheesy looking band leader who sang Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennet music. I also remember "The Bear", an overweight bearded DJ who sat behind a turnstyle that was the front end of a '57 chevy. He played 50's music during his performance.

Does anyone remember the Ford City Police station that built in one of the parking lots. It had dark glass and had about a dozen Ford City Police cars around it. I fortunately never saw the inside of it, because I stayed away from trouble back then....still do.

Good times back then...fortunately we still have our memories.




I worked at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

Sat Sep 15, 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Was across the street from Cracker Jack. Might that have originally been a Prince Castle Hamburger joint?"

Yep, right across the street from Cracker Jack. I'd kill for a picture of that Cracker Jack factory too!

Not sure if it was called Prince Caste. It doesn't ring a bell, but then again I can't seem to remember any sign, just the stuffed toys all over the place.

So far, nothing coming up on Google either.

These two links don't mention one there by Cracker Jack:

http://tinyurl.com/2pzrfa

http://tinyurl.com/2wsz7a

So I'm just not sure. Wish someone had a picture of it!

Fri Sep 28, 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Maybe this will fill in some blanks...there was a hosiery shop (Park Lane?) that also sold Danskin stuff. Downstairs in Peacock alley, there was a cool waterbed store and everything was so off limits to kids - but it was mystical to walk through. In earlier days, there was a cool hippy kind of shop on the upper level and I remember being amazed at all the little clear plastic see-through flower arrangements and stuff. In later 70's and early 80's there was chocolate chip cookie place that used to decorate the giant ones.

I remember the smells of Woolworths - the plastic-y smell from the T-shirt transfers and the smell of those pine incense burners at Christmas. My Mom used to buy us Ben-Hur and Violet candies at Wieboldt's (and Goldblatts). Just down the road from Ford City, there was a hot dog place called Franksville and across from that there was Korvette's.

Please, please, please, whoever has pics/video of these places please share them with us.

Thu Oct 18, 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Ford City Mall played a really big part in my childhood and young teenage years. I remember the mall from before we even lived in the Chicago Suburbs. I remember going there when visiting my relatives. I remember going to what I would swear was a Big Boy or some kind of Hamburger Joint with my parents and grandma and aunts. Of course, it might have been John’s Garage...if that was there in the early 70's. Or it might have been a restaurant off of Evergreen Plaza.

I remember one or two times, my parents staying at the Holidy Inn by the mall and the Tootsie Roll factory. I don’t remember much, because, I stayed with my Aunt while my parents got a little rest from me! Not much of a rest, because our family on trips, spent a good amount of time together. But, I remember the smell of the hotel room–that antiseptic clean hotel room smell–while looking out the window at the Tootsie Roll factory standing on the bed.

We moved to the ‘burbs of Chicago in 1978. At that time Chicago Ridge Mall hadn’t been built, so if you wanted to go shopping where I was from you had 3 choices. Head into Chicago to Ford City. Go out to Orland Square or Evergreen Plaza. Orland was a bit of a drive, so we maybe did that once every couple of months. Usually opting to go to Ford City. It was a really fun mall for a small kid. I remember there was the Tally-Ho where you could get pizza, and look at the shoppers go by. There was the Veranda in Weibolt’s and there was the snack counter in the middle of the mall.

Then there was Peacock Alley. As a small kid, that was the neatest thing, to go to the shopping mall underground. I don’t think there was a lot of shopping my parents did down there. Most of the shopping I remember took place a Weibolt’s, or one time my dad arguing with some salesman about a coat and my aunt talking him into buying a hat that he’d never wear (or I saw him never wear.) And when you’d emerge from Peacock Alley by the North Side of the Mall there was a Child World.

While my mom would shop, occasionally my father would be given the job of entertaining me. So that usually meant going to the Organ Store and hearing the kid play the Organ, and then either going to the Tally-Ho, or the Nickelodeon for a slice of pizza. I remember at the Nickelodeon my father, who really wasn’t into music at the time, would always play a song or two on the jukebox–It was always “Copacabanna” or “In the Ghetto.”

I remember going with my folks to see lots of films at Ford City, and even going with my friends to see Pepsi Shows there as a kid. I remember one of those shows was “Hugo The Hippo”–the film broke in the middle and they cancelled the rest of the movie. (Do a google search, that is one wild film!) I think I also remember seeing the trailer for “The Blues Brothers” before that film–kind of odd, since it was a kiddie show. I remember seeing Ghostbusters there one summer, Crimes of the Heart with my mom, Airplane II with my dad at the Ford City East Theaters and later as a young teen Spies Like Us in a nearly empty theater.

One of the traditions my Mom and I had that started in 1979 or 1980, was she’d take me on a Bus Ride to the mall on Christmas Eve. We’d go other times, occasionally, but I think we’d do this five or six times–until 1984 or 1985. We’d go, and she’d maybe do some last minute shopping, we’d watch the people and maybe get a coke from the snack stand in the middle of the mall. Those days, if you were a last minute Christmas Shopper, you’d have to get your shopping done by 2PM Christmas Eve because the mall closed early.

That tradition lasted until one Christmas Eve my mom tried to buy some last minute Christmas gift at Weibolt’s and put it on her Master Card. Well, for whatever reason, the card came up stolen. Although, clearly, it was her card. She had ID to prove it, too. Well no one at Weibolt’s would listen to her. They took her card, cut it up in front of her. And at some point got either Weibolt’s Security or Ford City Police involved. She was really angry at everyone. The credit card company, Weibolt’s, and eventually the cop, who was less than helpful or actually interested in helping her out.

As time went on, and I got older–I would occasionally ride the bus to Ford City myself. I didn’t go as much as before. I could hop on my bicycle and go to the new Chicago Ridge Mall anytime I wanted, and I usually went there with my firends. It was a little nicer too, because of the food court etc. It was the social place I went with most of my friends. However, I liked to people watch, and it was at Ford City I could let my slightly more rebel side show.

As a young teen, I was real cool and had gotten into smoking cigarettes. (I say that sarcastically! I don’t think I could really even inhale...but that’s another story.) Anyway, since most of my friends didn’t know at this point. I would venture to Ford City occasionally to publicly indulge in my habit, instead of hiding in the bushes or out in the garage. Most of my friends wouldn’t go to Ford City, and at this point I knew I wouldn’t run into my family, friends of my parents or the oddball teacher or someone that might bust me.

Plus, I knew I could buy cigarettes from the machine in the Nickelodeon. It wasn’t that hard to get smokes in the 80's as a kid, but it was just around the time clerks actually started checking ID’s and such, so you couldn’t just walk into 7-11 or some store and buy a pack. The guys who ran the counter at the Nickelodeon would regularly give me change for the cigarette machine. I’d by my pack, grab a booth in front of the TV, order a slice or two for lunch or dinner, and pretty much people watch in the restuarunt, pump the jukebox full of change, or just watch whatever re-run was on the TV. I remember Love American Style and Happy Days–during XMAS vacations, when I’d roll in there about 11 to spend the day wandering the mall, smoking.

I wouldn’t say I was a regular in there, but one of the waitresses knew me enough to occasionally sit in the other side of the booth and have a smoke or two while chit chatting with me and watching the re-runs on the tube. (She was cute as I remember, probably college age!)

I did do more as teen there, than sit in the Nickelodeon or the sub shop down the way smoking and drinking a coke. I remember a couple of times, when I actually started buying my own clothes, buying some stuff at Chess King. Like a couple of really skinny ties, or a white pull over shirt with some netting–cause I had to look cool for the teen bowling league I was in, or the occasional high school mixer I went to.

The sports store in Peacock Alley was also one of the only places I ever found soccer shirts from the Major Indoor Soccer League, and not just Chicago Sting Stuff. But stuff from the teams in St. Louis, San Diego, Kansas City, New York etc. It was interesting, and since I was mildly interested in Indoor Soccer I bought a couple of the shirts. They also had a hobby store I spent some time in, and I managed to score a vintage Chicago Poster from the band’s disco era in the record (I think) store in Peacock Alley.

I’ll admit, as I got older, and other friends picked up my bad habit, or knew about my bad habit and didn’t really care–the need to go to Ford City sort of dwindled. Or maybe as I got older, I got bolder. But as an older teen we tended to hang out more at Chicago Ridge Mall, the Harlem Corners Theaters or we’d cruise out to Breman Mall to the cheapie theaters.

I do have a few memories of Ford City from my late teens, college years. As an older teen, I was part of a theater group that performed at Daley College. So as a tech member I got to spend a lot of time getting to know the theater and the backstage of that building as we did our shows there. I remember a couple of times having cast parties at “John’s Garage” in the mall after shows or rehearsals.

I think the last couple of times I went to the Mall was to see movies at the Ford City 14 Mega Plex they built. At the time it was interesting and one of the biggest theaters in Chicago.(Interestingly enough General Cinema did an infomercial for the theaters–and one of the ladies who worked with me in the theater group–played an usher in the infomercial!)

I remember once, going to see Truth or Dare with one of my friends there. I remember having a conversation with him about one of the girls we had hung out with for years. (In high school, we hung out with girls a couple of years older than us, so in my high school years they had 0 interest in us as dates, and we really ran in a different circle for girlfriends. But that’s another story...) Anyway, we were college age now and I remember he said he thought it would be cool if I dated this girl we both knew and how he thought we’d make a good couple.

Finally, college age again, I remember going to see the Doors there. We snuck in a six pack of beer in a couple of trench coasts. Bought a big pop, dumped the pop, and poured the beer in these cups and passed it back and forth. There were like 4 of us. I learned that night that you can get a nice beer buzz when drinking through a straw. Got lots of laughs too when one of the beer bottles rolled down the slanted floor in the middle of the film.

Those are my memories of Ford City. It was a great mall when I was kid. I have fond memories of being there with with my folks, and sewing a few wild oats there too.

Mon Oct 22, 03:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What was House of Lewis?"

It was a hippie clothing
store that originated
in Old Town.

Wed Nov 21, 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Tommy T said...

Hey, I just stumbled on this blog and don't know how old it is or if any of you who have posted will read this but I want to thank you for the fond memories. I gew up going to FC and am overwhelmed with the memories.

I was just at Bluebird Lanes 3900 and Columbus, SW Highwy, east of Pulaski, this week, which used to be Laredo Lanes, for a bowling party and am in flashback heaven. My first official job at age 16 was a sales clerk at JCPenneys, christmas 1988. Also worked at Woolworth, Express the next year. Would walk there from 63rd and Massasoit, over the Cicero hill, As a little kid, I remember seeing Star Wars and Superman, the Movie first time at the Ford City Cinema. Also saw my first movie with a friend and without parental supervision, Moving Violations, (a Police Academy-type film)

Would walk there from St. Laurence after school let out, and cruise for girls. This was late 80's when the big rennovation took place. Eat at John's Garage, shop at the head shop in Peacock Alley.

Gosh, thanks for the memories. Anyone with pics or vids from the old days there, please foreward.

Thu Dec 13, 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

I lost a lot of info I gained from this blog due to a total hard drive crash. Paul Wrubel, if you're reading this, can you email me? Thanks!

Also, I am hoping to put up a Remembering Ford City website by spring, so stay tuned. I'll announce it here so you can all find it when I get it ready.

Mon Dec 31, 04:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah. Tons of comments. I always went to FC w/ my mom and worked there when I was a teen. I remember my mom's 67' Chevy Impalla was "stolen" and she freaked. I must have been 7? It wasnt' stolen, she forgot where she parked it and the FC cops took us around the parking lot until we found it.

I worked at Foxmoore, Musicland, and 5,7,9 (where I got my leather jacket stolen out of the back room!).

I remember Peacock Alley very well. I was always afraid to go down there because of all of the stoners. My mom took me to that t-shirt shop where they would do iron-ons. I got two unicorn tee shirts from there. I also remember that they sold gold fake fingernails and I wanted one (stupid). Not sure why I did. Looking back what a mistake that would have been.

I remember seeing Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure at FC East theaters and tons of movies at the other theater that is now Marshalls.

I remember sledding down the hill on Pulaski where one would go by FC East.

I also remember walking from Pulaski under the main bridge by the tracks to cut through the back way of FC and it was a huge mistake. I got chigger bites up and down my legs so bad that when I started Q of P high school, my legs were all oozing with sores. It was gross.

It's a shame that the entire FC neighborhood (and Marquette Park where I grew up and my parents still live!) changed for the worse. They are the only remaining people from my childhood/teen years. And it's not because they like it there. It's nothing but gang-bang city and the importation from Evergreen Mall and whatnot made it worse.

Jerks ruined our neighborhood/mall.

Fri Jan 04, 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Here are some links for Ford City Mall that I found the other day. It's mixed in there with other stuff. It has the 1965 floor plan and some other cool info.

Link #1

Link #2

Link #3

Enjoy!

Wed Jan 23, 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the blues brothers mall was dixie
square on dixie hiway,it's long
gone.

Wed Mar 26, 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Tommy T said...

Hey all you nostalgia freaks out there, if you grew up in the Chicago area and want to trip back to childhood memories spent in front of the TV in the 60's 70's and 80's check out this fantastic website...

Fuzzymemories.tv

Old commercials, broadcasts, bumpers from local stations, Svengoolie, Harry Caray, Fahee Flynn, Bozo the Clown, it's a goldmine.

I've already spent 12 hours on it and I just discovered it three days ago.

Thu Apr 10, 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gator said...

Does anyone remember Mama's Cookies? In the summer you could peer in through open doors covered with screens and watch thousands of cookies go by on the conveyor belts. Pwrubel, I recall that you were the safety patrol lieutenant at the local grammer school. I became the lieutenant the following year there.

Gator

Wed May 21, 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy T, thanks for that link for fuzzymemories. That was a Godsend.

Gator, you are 100% correct, I was Lt. of the safety patrol. During the winter, the Capt. and I used to go to the Murphy Motors and get hot chocolate for the two guys at 77th Pl. and at the Ford City Appts. crossings. Sorry, but I can't remember who took over the following year.

Pwrubel

Mon Jun 09, 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul,

I too remember going to Murphy Motors for the hot chocolate or sometimes the chicken broth while hanging out at that post. When I was in high school and was looking for a job, I went to see Mr. Murphy and asked him if he had any jobs available for me. He did not and about a year later, Murphy Motors closed. I remember that the Ford City police used to drive around in Ford Mavericks that Murphy Motors supplied. I eventually got my job, at the Ford City Bowling Center.
I had a good friend who lived over near 78th and Cicero and sometimes we would grab some of the old tires from the back of Firestone and roll them down the Ford City bridge or sometimes slide down the grass embankment on sheets of cardboard. I recall going over to Henry's Drive Inn and Talley Ho once each for lunch with a friend while in sixth grade. By the time we got there we had about 10 minutes to order and eat before having to start back to school. This was a big deal for a 12 year old kid.

Gator

Tue Jun 10, 11:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Henry's was great. I remember they had a special, three hamburgers for 99 cents and the fourth for a penny. It was easy to eat four of them, they were pretty much the same as a regular McDonald's burger.

As of the late 90s, there was still a Henry's near Sister Lakes in Michigan. Not sure if it's still there.

Gator, is your first name Glen?

Pwrubel

Thu Jun 12, 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PWrubel,

You are correct. It seems that our paths have crossed again. I stumbled on to this website about a year ago when I was looking up things pertaining to Ford City. I have a lot of good memories of Ford City and the surrounding area. Did you know that about 75% of Scottsdale shopping center was recently torn down? I haven't heard what is to go in there. I used to spend a lot of time looking at all the neat stuff at the hobby shop. That's where we would go if we wanted an unusual model or something. The stuff in that store looked like it had been there for 20 years or more. They had an old vending machine in the back of the hobby shop where you could by a soda in a glass bottle. They were stacked horizontally in the machine and I think there was a glass door that you opened to reach in and make your selection. I think you had to turn them back in there because they were a smaller vending size.

Gator

Thu Jun 12, 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous UltraGary said...

Sorry to bring up bad stuff on this great thread (you'll see I shared a bunch of great memories above), but.....I was just reading on one of the pages someone linked above, and when talking about Peacock Alley, it mentions a "gangland murder in it's environs prompted the mall owners to change the name of the underground concourse to The Connection"
WHAT?!....I've never heard of this, and I'm not finding anything on Google. Can anyone explain?.....

Sat Jul 12, 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger Vintage Bob said...

Some gang scum shot at someone in the parking lot, then a bunch of black gang bangers got the entire mall shut down when they rioted. Someone got raped in the parking lot, I seem to recall. All in the 90's and beyond. Can't recall where it's listed, but it was in the news for sure. It's hellish there now, really bad.

Sat Jul 12, 03:59:00 AM  
Anonymous UltraGary said...

Too bad, though I really don't understand the name-change happening as a result.
OK...I'll cheer this up since I brought it down:
I showed this thread to my Mom back home in Chicago, and she really enjoyed all of the great memories & info. She actually worked on the property with her sister when it was being run by the phone company, which you don't often see mentioned on the historic info sites. I told her to post here and share that, since I'm fuzzy on the facts......so I'm going to call her and nudge her again to chime in. (I just can't believe the history of this property....Wow!)

Sat Jul 12, 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous UltraGary said...

CORRECTION! (un-important...but I need to correct the previous post for historical integrity)

My mom's job on the property was with the Ford division's tenure here, NOT the phone company. (no wonder I never see that mentioned!)

Sat Jul 12, 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The weirdest thing was the gas explosion two or three years ago.

It was in the parking lot southwest of the mall, fortunately. I don't think anyone was killed.

Sun Jul 13, 10:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all for taking me down memory lane. Being "UltraGary"s Mom, he tuned me in to this site and my husband and I really enjoyed your postings.
Yes, I worked in that building when it was "Ford Motor Co., Aircraft Engine Division". That was from 1952 - 1955. Then went back in 1956 & 1957 after going to Tokyo to be with husband in the Army.
I worked in the lower level in one of the factory offices. My sister worked in the main office which was near the front entrance on Cicero Ave. I used to take 2 buses to get there and I remember on the 79th street bus once we passed Western it was mostly prairie. Really felt like we were out in the "sticks". And look at it now. No Scottsdale, no shopping center on southeast or southwest corner of 79th & Cicero.
It was a good place to work . Since they had government contracts, we were paid more that the average person at that time.
How ironic that after being married and having 4 children we would end up with a store at that location in Peacock Alley. Those were wonderful years for us too.
UltraGary's Mom

Sun Jul 13, 02:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a blast from the past! I would love to see more interior pictures, especially of those rectangular lights. If my fuzzy memory is correct, they were in different colors.

My strongest memory is of Orange Julius, which I think was down by that red candy store place. Back then it wasn't owned by DQ and it had that creepy little devil logo sitting on an orange. They used big silver industrial blenders that scared a little kid like me. I always thought they seemed like they would start a fire, and sure enough they did have a kitchen fire once (dunno what started it tho', just remember my mother taking me for my hot dog and Orange Julius drink and it was closed). The restaurant was decorated with wonderful groovy 70s astrological sign posters.

Tue Aug 05, 08:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad what has happened to Ford City and the Southwest Side. I graduated from St. Denis and I can remember riding my dirt bike with my friends about 5 miles to Ford City or further yet to Scottsdale to buy baseball cards at Family Coins. Or to play Little League baseball at the ballpark at Ford City. Can kids ride their bikes through multiple neighborhoods like that anymore? For just about $2 in quarters we could play and beat the Double Dragon machine in Peacock Alley's Aladdin's Castle/Wizard of Games. I remember when they were renovating it and they opened up the walls - that area is hollow underground for a long way, and I convinced the small army base at Ford City uses that area for something.

Thu Aug 07, 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger PATRIC said...

i grew up down across the street from ford city mall, i spent alot of my childhood going to the mall...peacock alley was like going to another world for a kid...nickelodean pizza was awesome, i can still taste it! they also a had a great jukebox too. the bowling alley had a cool pinball arcade...turnstyle was a great store...rileys trickshop...do you remember church on the weekends in peacock alley?!?!...tally-ho had great food...dirty dragon shows...bottle cap shows(6 caps got you in free)....village records...lockers...woolworths had everything...the loft...the t-shirt shop...johns garage(the best hamburgers) and of course across the street-"lost continent"- we used to jump our bikes, catch snakes, ride the billboards across the pond. which was later turned into f.c. west. is ford city drive still open?
thank you everyone for your memories, i really miss ford city,

if anyone has pictures or video of fc mall, please let me know. also i have a dvd-r with a video hard drive and scanner, so i can edit together vhs or disc or pictures to dvd.

Tue Aug 19, 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger PATRIC said...

...or was it izzy rizzys trick shop? and i too used to roll tires down the hill overpass on cicero ave.

does anyone remeber ford city bank t-shirts??

Tue Aug 19, 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patric,

Where did you live? I probably know you. I think I've seen you on another message board, possibly the "Beautiful Downtown Burbank" one.

The trick shop in Peacock Alley was called "Tricks & Toys".

I remember the "Ford City Catholic Center". It was part of our Saturday ritual. We'd hit Woolworth's for candy, then the Woolworth Grill for Slurpee's, then to 4:30 Mass. We'd have to run down Peacock Alley afterwards before they closed the gates cause the mall closed at 5:30 in those days, otherwise we'd have to walk all the way around the mall on the outside.

Used to go to "Lost Continent" as well. I rode my mini bike there, and we'd also look for old beer cans. I think the Burbank kids called it "Birds Paradise".

Also spent a lot of time at the Cicero Avenue overpass. As I think I mentioned in another message, after the big snow of '79, we would jump off the overpass onto the edge of Cicero into the deep snow. Crazy! We played softball and base ball there in the summer, in the grass center of the clover leaf.

Yeah, the Ford City Bank t-shirts. I had a ton of them. Not any more though, but I think I have some friends that still do.

P. Wrubel

Tue Aug 26, 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger pw said...

Lots of memories here. I went there with my mom in the late 70's before Chicago Ridge Mall opened. I remember those yellow light bars on the posts in the middle. My sister called them french fry lights. We would stop at that restaurant right outside JC Penney and get pizza. I remember walking past organ shop next to the restaurant and a guy was often playing the organ in there. I definately liked the old Peacock Alley than the new decor. We would go across under there and I remember we would sit by the fountain by the stairs that went up to the parking lot. We would go to into Minnesota Fabrics (The road in front of the North mall had a lot of cars and I always thought they drove fast but then again I was little) and my sister and I would run around in there while my mom shopped. We always got told no when we asked to go to the bowling alley. We saw a couple of movies at the theater. The last one I think I saw there was Good Morning Vietnam. My aunt took us christmas shopping in the venture. I remember seeing the Ford City bank and being impressed that a mall has its own bank. Now that I drive, I wish they left the overpass at cicero so you arent sitting at that light to make a left hand turn. Why did they knock that down? I went back there a couple of years ago when I heard the drivers License office was an easy one to get in and out of(So of course they close it) and was dissappointed in what it has become.

Fri Sep 19, 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ford City Catholic Center was set up each weekend in the North Room behind Tricks and Toys. In those days the mall opened at noon on Sundays (and closed at 5PM). We would enter Peacock Alley down the staircase with the water fall and walk in the dark past all the closed stores to 10AM mass. It was sort of surreal.On Christmas or Easter when the mall was closed there would be a Ford City Police officer at the bottom of the stairs making sure that we were there for church and not trying to get into the closed mall. The church rectory was one of the homes in my neighborhood. Oftentimes after church, our whole family would go grocery shopping at Jewel which was right next to Turnstyle. The two stores actually opened up into each other and had an accordian style security gate betwen them. The Jewel opened at 11AM and Turnstyle at noon. By the time we got to the checkout they were opening the gate between the two stores. Turnstyle was similar to Venture which eventually replaced it. The school district #15 (southwest side) science fair used to be held in the North Room. The top projects from each local grammer school and high school would compete there for a chance to go to the city wide science fair held at the Museum of Science & Industry. I competed there in sixth grade and advanced to the city wide fair.

Gator

Sat Sep 20, 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ford City Gal said...

PWrubel, I know you. You were good friends with one of my good friends.

I worked at Tally Ho! fo 6 years beginning in the late 70s. Ford City was my hangout!

The candy store by Orange Julius was called "The Lemon Drop" and they sold penny candy. I think that's where I first discovered watermelon Jolly Ranchers!

That funky clothing store outside of Wards was called "Dream One" - very cutting edge!

I still go to Ford City from time to time but only early in the day.

Mon Sep 22, 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Ford City Gal, that's two people I know on here. Turns out I know Gator too. Didn't I see you on the Beautiful Burbank site as well?

Speaking of the Lemon Drop, my oldest sister got a job there back in the mid 70s. I think she only lasted about a week.

P. Wrubel

Mon Sep 22, 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm....I remember the Orange Julius as well...I remember a luggage store down that way, along with a clothing store...I bought a peasant dress and a bikini there. I also remember a clothing store for juniors near Wiebolts...I think the name was "Ups and Downs"...it had a platform built in the middle of the store you climbed a few steps up to view more merchandise. Definitely remember all the lockers...my friend and I would stash our Christmas buys in them, and do more shopping.

Fri Oct 17, 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the book entitled "The Book of Ralph"? The book is by John McNally who grew up in Burbank in the late 1970's. The setting of the book is 1970's Burbank and there is a chapter on Ford City / Peacock Alley and other Burbank and Southwest side places. This book really reminded me of what it was like to grow up in this area, at that time.

Gator

Wed Nov 26, 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

RE FORD CITY: In the 1950s, around 1954 through 1959, 7601 S. Cicero was my dad's work address. It was not Ford City at that time, it was Ford Aircraft Engine Division.(AED) They built jet engines for the Air Force, as other commentators have mentioned. I remember visiting a lot, and it was incredibly HUGE. The best part for me was a desk drawer in my dad's office, where he kept... Read More a CASE of Wrigley's chewing gum. My dad worked there for a previous employer in the 40s as well, when it was a Dodge plant they called Dodge Chicago. I have a couple of historic albums on the AED, showing Albert (then a prince; now the King) of Belgium touring the plant with my dad and Henry Ford II. The bodyguard for the king told my father to go around to the "uzzer side" as royalty is not supposed to scoot over for anyone in a car. :^) I never saw Ford City after it became a mall.

Mon Mar 23, 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous bob G said...

Wow! all this talk of "The Lost Continent"(I used to catch snakes there),Scottsdale Plaza(my grandmother worked at the Walgreens diner for years),Peacock Alley(KC sports),the tee shirt shop next to the grill on the main floor.WOW!

Tue Aug 11, 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I played baseball for the Bogan Little League at Ford City Field in 1965 and 66.
Later worked at Thom McCann in 1969.

Ford City was a fantastic place for kids to go, to get their first job, buy their first record album, shop for clothing and shoes and to spend a hot summer day in air conditioning (a lot of homes in the area did not have central A.C in those days).

I saw the Byrds and the Buckinghams visit there for autograph sessions. The former turned a bit chaotic.

Back in those days the Evergreen Plaza had more of a classy feel with more upscale stores but they were both great Malls in the late 60's and early 70's.

Mon Sep 14, 03:28:00 AM  
Blogger ddurk said...

about the so called "gangland killing" at ford city which prompted to change name. the name change actually happened years (in the 80's) before that gang activity occured. the mall was sold approximately 3 times in about a 4 year period so the final owners and management company put alot of money in it to compete with other new mall concepts, remodeled and just wanted to rename peacock alley to the connection because it connected one side of mall to the other. they wanted tenants in peacock alley to sign huge multi year leases but all or most of these business were independents so they either couldnt afford it or didnt want to committ, especially after alot of the business dried up when the mall started changing. a very small few decided to stay but for the most part the modern "connection" was a far cry from the old peacock alley days as we knew it. ford city police officers used to carry guns prior to the remodeling but after an altercation the chicago police over ruled that and that was when the more dangerous element started to come into the mall. by then it was too late. ford city finally lost its true original identity when they changed everything with the remodeling and relocating of regular small business's as the local people (regulars) that frequented the great mall of the past were very disappointed in the new digs.

Mon Dec 07, 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous mickey said...

This has nothing to do with Ford City but if I can remember about 79th and Western wasn't there minature golf and batting cages during the 60's??

Tue Sep 07, 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During high-school in the 70's, I worked at Woolworth's store which was right next door to the Harvest House Cafeteria. The cafeteria and lunch counter shown in the picture were actually operated by Woolworth's. Sometimes my boss would have me do a task for the cafeteria or lunch counter while I worked for the store. A few doors down was the Wurlitzer organ store where they would have some young virtuoso kid play the organ. Everyone walking by would see this kid making some amazing music, so they would want to buy an organ too. The mall was a good place for a teenager to get a job and employed many of my family and friends. The baseball fields were started by two of my friends in the neighborhood. They were college age kids who coached our little league baseball in nearby Rainy Park. They were upset with the condition of the park's baseball fields. Also, they were aware of nearby Polk field, a little league baseball field that was on land owned by Polk Bros. who sold appliances. My friends went to Sweethart Cup Company that was located next to Ford City, and asked them if they could use some of their vacant land for new baseball fields. The kind-hearted people at Sweethart (The Shapiro family, I think) liked the idea and made the new fields for the kids. We spent a lot of time at the mall seeing movies, bowling, shopping, eating and just hanging out. A restaurant on site was called The Millionaire's Club. You got bragging rights to say "I ate at the Millionaire's Club" if you ate there. President Gerald Ford came to the mall to speak, and my high-school band played for the occasion. My band teacher got to shake his hand and everyone could see by his face how honored he felt to shake the president's hand. It was a good old time at Ford City Mall.

Fri Mar 04, 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Here's a small article with a link to a decent pic of the batting cages that sat just under the Cicero bridge by Ford City, next to that giant slide.

Ford City Batting Cages

Scroll down to the Nov. 24th 2010 post.

Mon Mar 07, 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at three places at Ford City Mall. I worked at Burger King my first job made 1.90hr.(min wage). The Buffeteria restaurant in Montgomery Ward's. An finally, the Venture store which prior to that was a Turn-Style. Thanks for the memories all

Mon Apr 18, 08:13:00 PM  
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Thu Dec 29, 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger PhilZ said...

I worked at Wieboldt's in '78 and '79, then for the mall office until early 1984, and knew the whole mall inside and out.

Filling in some blanks, in Peacock Alley at the bottom of the escalator was Ron's Jewelers, next to it was R&R Crossing (jeans store), then Just Pants (jeans also) was just down from that. There was also a maternity clothing store there, don't recall the name.

Upstairs I haven't seen Franks Shoes, Mary Dell Corseteriers, Casual Corner, Chess King, or Hickory Farms mentioned. They had shows in the mall by magicians (one really flambouyant one that was much like Liberace), Irene Hughes the psychic, LOTS of local choruses, and of course the annual Dahlia show. The annual food festival was called "Feast at Ford City", often hosted by Jimmy Damon. I recall they stopped doing that after the one year when several tents blew down during a strong wind storm and injured a couple of people.

Tally Ho had the best pizza and the friendliest workers, including the large lady with the moustache. The Italian U-Boat sub shop in PA made a really good italian. Ford City Restaurant was famous for not carding people when you wanted a pitcher of beer with your lunch.

I need to think some more about what else is missing, will add more later.

Tue Jan 17, 12:30:00 AM  
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Thu Jun 07, 12:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The jewelry store near Weibolt's was Kopp's Jewelers I believe. And was Karroll's (splg?) mentioned near the JCP?
There was also a Flower Island, and later John's Garage, Jean Nicole and Naturalizer Shoes.

Fri Oct 12, 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

19

Fri Oct 12, 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one none of you may recall,Carsons warehouse.
It was next to the golf range where Home Depot is now.
They sold returned merchandise from their stores and closed a few years after Ford City opened.
Historicaerials.com has aerial images of chicago going back to 1938 and shows Ford City Mall in 1962 as a single structure.

Thu Jan 17, 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Circus world was the toy store

Sun Feb 17, 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Ashburn in 60's.
I remember Ford City when it was brand new!
The restaurant someone mentioned was called 'Tally Ho'. It had sparkly red seats in the restaurant.
I also remember a little shop just like a walk in kiosk,that my Mom bought her first 2 piece bathing suit there. A very modest bathing suit. Later, when I was 15. I won a modeling contest at that mall and attended a modeling school which was down in Peacock Alley on Saturdays. It was called 'Models Workshop'. I also was on a store board of models for 'Wiebolts' there. Does anyone have a memory of this. This would be 1973-1974.
I had some very happy memories because of that mall.
It is sad that the area has decayed to this. Not the same area of Chicago at all, anymore.

Wed May 29, 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ford City Bank T-shirts... my favorite was "Mixed greens are good for you, especially tens, twenties and fifties!" I had never seen a fifty then and rarely see one now!

Grandma used to get her hair set at the FC Beauty School before going to play cards (poker!) with the ladies. Got my first store bought haircut there myself.

A Wendy's was built in the parking lot iirc, probably late 70's, still no match for Henry's though.

It was said that a tunnel stretched from Peacock Alley all the way to Midway. I don't really care if it is a fact or not, for me it is a truth.

Bottlecap movies... saw too many of those and I don't even think Grampa ever bought Pepsi! Must have scrounged up the caps from somewhere... probably the neighbors.

Saw Jaws there. Missed the first ten minutes and my bro and sis made me stay to watch it a second go round... I was freaked! Didn't want to go swimming at the lake anymore. Also saw Star Wars for the first time there- that's what brought me to this page in the first place.

While Star Wars was epic enough, I have a memory of one of the 'Coming Attractions' which made no sense to me at the time but made a connection later in life. The preview was for a science fiction movie with several characters wearing outrageous outfits. After watching Star Wars, I totally blanked it out until years later some friends suggested we go to a movie... "At midnight?"

While we passed around the pint of whatever schnapps we had (miscreants that we were) and settled into this "movie", I realized I had seen the previews for this midnight picture show at Ford City Theater years ago. Yes, Star Wars, the sci-fi blockbuster that launched a thousand clones was previewed by "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"! I guess the sci-fi genre was a bit more wide open back then.

And lastly...

Silly next door neighbor used to always keep us up late at night in the summertime... playing guitar along to Beatles songs with the balance cranked to the left so he could fill in the lead. Good thing Grampa was a sound sleeper!

mjk

Wed Jun 26, 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Ashburn as a teen and remember Ford City from when it was built until about 1975. I worked at Goldberg's Fashion Forum in 1969, as a member of its "College Board." The FC Police originally drove Volkswagon's, much to the amusement of the neighborhood kids. I remember when Peacock Alley was opened -- very cool. My family often ate Sunday dinner at Harvest House. Thanks for the memories.

Fri Aug 15, 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i lived in ford city apartments from 1974 to 1975 i swam at the pool played tennis hung out at the mall.im trying to remember the restuarant connected to the pool and tennis courts. can anyone remember the name of it?

Fri Jan 09, 11:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To vintage Bob
I worked at Midway Auto Service
at 65th & Cicero in the early 60s.
Steven Mitchell Chrysler-Plymouth was
across the street. The owner of Midway
auto service talked about an clearing area landowner named LaBrizzi. people mentioned
Crackerjack, working atv 65th & cicero
you could smell the candy being made at about 3:00 in the afternoon. Does any one remember the farm house acxross the street from Ford City
at the north west corner of State Road & Cicero. I helped a school
friend
sell newspapers at the south gate at
the Ford plant in the late 1950s.
People were asking what was on the
corner of 67th st, Marquette Rd, I
remember Kellog Switchboard. I worked at Murphy Motors in 1967-68. Thats what I can remember as of now, I will add to the list as I remember.

Sun Feb 22, 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Does anyone remember the name of the store that had a bunch of giant things in it like a 20' high heel shoe, giant lipstick, etc? I think it was near an elevator and had mainly clothes and accessories for teenage girls. This would have been around 1978. I was in High School and my girlfriends and I used to hang out there. Dream One seems to ring a bell, but I don't know for sure.

Sun Mar 01, 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Charles Jedlicka said...

I am looking for some info on the Dodge plant before it became Ford City. Throughout my life I have always heard about a direct tunnel to Midway airport. Nothing has been found here on the internet. Was the tunnel classified? So no public info about it?

Wed Sep 02, 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger The Goddess said...

No they actually used an abandoned mall in the south suburbs... Not a set at all - the real thing!

Mon Aug 22, 11:03:00 PM  

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