Friday, April 14, 2006

Oakbrook Center

Oak Brook, Illinois - 1966

The peaceful, well-manicured landscape surrounding Oakbrook Center. This looks like a good spot to sit and contemplate the meaning of consumerism and our place in this great big shopping mall we call life. And our navels.

I was going to comment on how much this mall always reminds me of Old Orchard, in Skokie, IL, when I discovered the reason; same architect (Richard Bennett)! I had never consciously connected the two places together before, but always thought the malls reminded me of one another. Now I know why.

To the left you'll find of shot of this same fountain area as it looks today. Apparently, it's still very well taken care of, and still a sight to behold--especially in the Spring and Summer, when the flowers are all in bloom.

History: 1962 - present
Architect: Richard Marsh Bennett (1907-1996)
Current website: Here.
Previous entries: 1.


Anonymous Matt said...

They have yet to put a roof over this mall. Aside from some minor cosmetic changes and an addition of new mall shops and a Nordstrom in the past decade, the mall's remained mostly unchanged from what I can see in these shots, compared to what I saw in person. This was one of several I visited in a 2004 trip down to the Chicago region. Golf Mill (posted about previously in the blog somewhere) was another one I took in while down there that year.

Took in other malls down there as well last year. One of them was Harlem-Irving Plaza, which started as a large strip mall type complex and was eventually enclosed over the years.

Sat Apr 15, 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

All the fake stucco in the world couldn't give today's lifestyle centers charcater like that.

Sun Apr 16, 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Amen, Steven!

And, Matt, thanks so much for the update notes! Appreciate it.

Mon Apr 17, 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger todd said...

...maybe I have a "logo fetish" since I always mention it ...freeze that great Marshall Field and Company cursive in your mind as it will soon disappear into the graveyard. Replaced with the blandest of the bland macy*s signs.

Tue Apr 18, 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Don't think I've seen a shopping center/mall in my area with this sort of thing at all.

Still not too bugged at the Marshall Field's name getting erased forever persoanlly (having had Macy's once in Toledo as a kid).

Worst I've heard of in recent months is of the new "Fallen Timbers Lifestyle Center" opening up in Maumee next year and the stores they'll have. Here's some info about that from my local NBC affiliate...

Not sure if "Lifestyle Centers" count much as malls other than just another excuse for more outdoor development.

Fri Apr 28, 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I always wondered if Oakbrook and Old O were designed by the same architect. It's interesting that despite their open-air designs (which make for VERY cold shopping in our Chicago winters), both are still among Chicago's top malls today. Of course, picking up "luxury" department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales never hurts...

Interestingly, the Saks Fifth Avenue at Old O closed last year. Should be interesting to see what they do with the space.

Wed May 31, 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I.Magnin had a store here in the 1980's.

Fri Sep 14, 02:20:00 AM  
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