Sunday, June 04, 2006

Old Orchard Shopping Center

Skokie, Illinois - 1960's

Nice shady view of the outdoor courtyard and fountain at the Old Orchard Shopping Center. Looks cozy and inviting in the summer, but I need to find a shot of it in the dead of winter! Do any intrepid shoppers sit out there then? I'm guessing it's a pretty lonely place through the winter months. I think I do have a photo like that now that mention it...

Mall history: 1954 - present
Architect: Richard Marsh Bennett (1907-1996)
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just watching this 80's flick on cable today called Ordinary People. Ever heard of it? Well one of the characters offs herself and she's from Skokie. Weird! Maybe she shopped here. Later.

Sun Jun 04, 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Anonymous, I read that book and watched the movie in high school for a Psych class and I think that film was actually filmed in and around Chicago.

Anyway, to answer Keith's question I wouldn't call Old Orchard a lonely place during winter. It is anything but. I have come here plenty of times during winter (Shopped here once when it snowed!) and trust me it is no where near lonely. You might not see people sitting outside but they are sitting in packs at the restuarants, the movie theatre and the Barnes and Noble and the coffee bar at Nordstrom's. A guy I went to college with worked at the coffee place inside Nordstrom's and he used to write a blog about the many weirdos and yuppie snobs he would encounter during winter as well as during the warm months.

Mon Jun 05, 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Wow, that place is big!
Poor thing is mostly Federated now. Lord and Taylor, Marshall Fields, Bloomingdale's. One or two of them probably will be closing.
It's funny to see Steve and Barry's there... they traditionally are associated with lesser malls that are desperate for tenants.
And yes... open-air malls in snow areas just don't make sense.

Mon Jun 05, 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger pJ said...

Finally, a mall on this site that I've been to! Growing up on the north side of Chicago, this was THE shopping center. Even on the snowiest of nights, from the Edens Expressway, you could see the sign atop the office plaza I remember when they renovated the place and it's quite lovely now. I took my wife recently during the snowy holidays and it was packed.

Back in the 70's, my brother and his girlfriend got busted for making out at the mall! He had parked his car on the roof of the mall parking garage late at night which didn't have a security gate. Sure enough, some Skokie cop saw them, came up there, tapped on the window and ended his night of romance.

One last thing, for those who remember. Currently, the mall has a movie theater which was added during the current renovation, but the Old Orchard theaters used to be just around the corner (next to Eduardo's pizza) and had a big 70mm screen there. Later they became Sony Theaters and then they closed. I saw some great stuff there when I was a kid.


Mon Jun 05, 06:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Chicago in the 1990's when Old Orchard was thriving. I remember Nordstrom's going in at the shopping center and have many pleasant memories of Old Orchard. For living in Grayslake, it was a trip to get there, but worth the trip.

I visited it this April and everything seems to be doing well. I'm very sad that Saks is gone and am surprised what they put in its place (how could they possibly fill that whole store up with college junk?).

Mon Jun 05, 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Swain said...

It seems very nice and cozy in its own way, but slightly lonely.

Tue Jun 06, 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Steve & Barry's replaced Saks? That's a switch.
I thought it was more like Old Navy, no?

Wed Jun 07, 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Field's at Old Orchard. Great clearance jewelry and easy access with the indoor parking ramp. Love the brick on the outside of the store...

Wed Jun 07, 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like this shot it reminds me of my younger days

Sat Jun 10, 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...


Re-read my entry. I meant that this outdoor courtyard is probably a lonely place in the dead of winter, not the mall itself. Just the courtyard. I know the mall proper still stays busy.

Mon Jul 10, 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Raymond said...

I worked across the street from Old Orchard, and I can assure you, it can get packed towards Christmas. Midwesterners are made of hardy stuff, after all; especially when they realize they only have a day left to buy their spouse a gift...

Sat Nov 15, 02:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeans said...

Buy Jeans and Fashion Jeans, Accessories, Shoes online only at our clothing store!
JeansPilot blogspot

Jeans Clothing Store

Sat Oct 02, 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger MIKE said...

Some of you are just silly.

It's not like it's cold and snowy all year round and I'm sure there are plenty of outdoor malls in the northern USA and it's nice in th warmer weather.

Anyway Most of my experience was going to see a nurologist Dr. Irving Rosenfeld at the professional building there.

Funny looking building I must say.

Seeing older pictures I wonder why they didn't have the store logo on the south side of the building till later on?

Just see a blank spot facing Golf RD.

It's also the only building I ever saw a mail chute in.

Last: for some reason if you wanted to use the bathrooms there, you had to get a key from the doctors.

Was that always the case and if not, why and when did they begin that?

Tue Apr 12, 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old Orchard is a thriving mall in 2013! In the 70's we used to shop there and at Northbrook Court for all our school clothes. Today it is a beautiful upscale mall and doing extremely well. "Ordinary People" was an Academy Award winning film and was shot mostly in Lake Forest. They did shoot some scenes in Wilmette at Walker Bros. and Highland Park. Field's is now Macy's. As far as it being a lonely place outside in the winter? I'm not sure about that, but it is beautifully decorated during the holidays.

Sun Jul 21, 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Rockford and Woodfield mall is right down I-90, it’s the largest enclosed mall in Illinois but Old Orchard is much more upscale. I once read that Old Orchard and Oakbrook Center (the largest outdoor mall in the continental US, just west of Chicago) have higher sales per square foot on cold, rainy, snowy days than the neighboring enclosed malls, and when you compare the store lineups it’s easy to see why (Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Tesla, etc.). Also I’ve been Christmas shopping at Old Orchard a few times and the place is packed during the holiday season- they have carolers singing on rooftops, beautiful decorations, and everyone is out and about with their hats, gloves and piping hot drinks from Starbucks.

Wed Mar 13, 11:11:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

To see more posts, click on the monthly links
in the "Archives" section of the sidebar.