Saturday, December 09, 2006

Woodfield Mall

Schaumburg, Illinois - late '70s

Woodfield Mall interior during the late 1970s, looking similar to other Taubman malls like, Eastridge and Briarwood. Both of the snazzy photos in this post are courtesy of MOA regular, Steven Wilson's, super-groovy Great America Parks website (as you can see on the images). To round it all out, here's some mall history from Wikipedia:
Woodfield Shopping Center opened with just 28 specialty shops and three department stores. Now, it houses nearly 300 stores and restaurants and five anchors and is the core of the entire northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Woodfield is named for former Sears board chairman General Robert E. Wood and Marshall Field and Company founder Marshall Field. It debuted on September 9, 1971, on 191 acres of prairie land, previously occupied by farms, cows, and a village tavern. Singer Carol Lawrence, actor Vincent Price, and two marching bands entertained at the debut.

By the end of September 1971, another 28 stores and restaurants had opened and that first business year finished with 138 specialty retailers. Many of those retailers -- Casual Corner, Johnston & Murphy, Lane Bryant, The Limited, Stride Rite, Gingiss, Fredericks, Lerner, and Waldenbooks -- are still at Woodfield today.

Schaumburg, Illinois - late '70s

You can read more about Woodfield's past and recent retail history at the Wikipedia link below.

Mall history: 1971 - present
Developer: A. Alfred Taubman
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Info from Wikipedia
Previous entries: none


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man. Is this the mall that was seen in Wierd Science?

Sat Dec 09, 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

No, actually the mall seen in Weird Science was Northbrook Court.

Sat Dec 09, 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

Hey Keith, it looks like you got my email about Woodfield! Do you have any old pics of Stratford Square?

Sat Dec 09, 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Kangoon said...

Nice pictures! People sure liked the color brown back in the 70's!
That multi tier seating area in the middle reminds me of the Stamford Town Center Mall in Stamford Connecticut. Does anyone know if that mall was designed by the same person as this?

Sat Dec 09, 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a mall I frequently go to (at least once a week) despite it being a distance from home.

The stores at this mall are constantly changing and being remodeled. Woodfield has something for everyone and a nice mix of mid-end and high-end stores. Even though this mall was built in the 1970's and still looks the same architecturally. As far as stores they are definitely up to date. Some of my favorites are MAC, Sephora, CO Bigelow, Teavana, and The Body Shop

Current anchors at this mall are Macy's (although us Chicagoans can still say Field'!), Lord & Taylor, Sears, Nordstrom, and JCPenney. The area around the mall is full of other stuff. You have the Streets of Woodfield nearby (Carson Pirie Scott, Dick's) and then the Woodfield Square strip mall with Borders, Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, etc. The mall and its surrounding area is just a really fun place to go to!!

p.s. - I absolutely LOVE that picture of Marshall Fields with the
& Company" on the end.

Sat Dec 09, 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Bobby said...

Actually, didn't Casual Corner go under this year?

Sat Dec 09, 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous dean said...

I may be in the minority here, but I feel that the Taubman malls are actually quite timeless. Their modern character lends them to accommodating different store designs and they seem to have the ability to be kept fresh-looking with very few changes needed. In fact, it's some of the quirkier details of their original designs that appeal to me the most -- to numerous to explain here though that Information booth is a good example. One could definitely devote an entire blog to the design vocabulary that makes Taubman's earlier malls so distinct from the others.

Sat Dec 09, 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Stamford Town Center, it is a Taubman mall and is apparently going through a re-merchandising with the closing of Filenes...apparently it is being made into a lifestyle component in the same way that has been done at International Plaza (Tampa), Flatiron Crossing (CO) and soon to be at Freehold Raceway Mall.

Sat Dec 09, 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Bobby, I was thinking the same thing about Casual Corner. So it is definately no longer there. And while we are on the subject of the shops that have been open since the beginning isn't Gingiss now AfterHours?

I don't go to this mall very often. Maybe once every few years but I remember about ten years or so ago that gorgeous fountain in center court (i think). Is that still there? I don't remember seeing it last time I was there two years ago.

Sun Dec 10, 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ninja Murasaki said...

I live close to Woodfield Mall and go there once every month or two.

The fountain is gone. They took it out a few years ago to make room for the Comcast Connections Court.

Mon Dec 11, 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

This are quite simply my favorite pictures of any mall, period. I think we've beaten a dead horse with all our comments of Woodfield, but it's such a monumentally outstanding structure!I'm going to visit Chicagoland JUST to see this mall.

Mon Dec 11, 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

What the hell is a Comcast Connections Court?

Mon Dec 11, 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ninja Murasaki said...

It's just for trying out the features of Comcast Cable and talking to representatives about it. They have a few comfy chairs there also.

Mon Dec 11, 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a lot of memories of Woodfield Mall, mostly as a teenager. My friends and I would often take the bus from the northwest side of Chicago to the mall on Saturdays--this was a 55 minute ride each way (crazy the amount of time teenagers have on their hands). One time my brother and I went to a drugstore or grocery on one end of the mall (Woolworth's? I can't recall) and bought 4 bottles of dishwashing liquid to dump into that huge waterfall fountain in the center of the mall. Then we ran like hell and watched from an upper walkway as security guards came and questioned people and turned the water pump off. Ahh, those were the days...

Tue Dec 12, 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Steven Wilson said...

Thanks for the compliments on my photos! Scott, you are too kind. Woodfield was mesmerizing to me as a kid. It really started me on the enclosed mall photography kick. As an architectural purist, I frown on many of the modifications that they've made over the years. Still, it remains an exceptionally beautiful interior space.

Regarding the use of brown in the amphitheatre, previously the colors had been bright magenta and purple. Those were the colors in use when I first visited and I always liked them the best. To my knowledge, they never returned to that color scheme. So I've put up an older photo showing the magenta and purple in the grand court. It's at the bottom of this page: vintage Woodfield photos.

Speaking of Casual Corner, I have an mp3 of a Casual Corner jingle and some other assorted retail and other audio here: assorted 1970s audio. Dayton-Hudson had some awesome radio jingles back in the day. Listen to a few of them on that page.

Tue Dec 12, 01:33:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Screw the comfy chairs. i say bring back the fountain so we can all dump some dish soap into it.

Wed Dec 13, 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Steven Wilson said...

As far as I know, there was never a Woolworth store in Woodfield. There was an Osco Drug on the lower level next to JCPenney. There also used to be a Kresge store on the upper level next to Sears.

Thu Dec 14, 12:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Woodfield is a behemoth in retail around here. It's also a very popular hangout for teens, and for the most part it's very clean.

The parking is enormous but honestly, having lived in the area for years and having visited Woodfield hundreds of times, the parking lot is showing its age.

The summer recession has hit the area rather hard, and numerous Golf Road (route 58, a major road next to Woodfield) stores have closed or gone out-of-business. It's bizarre seeing such a prosperous area now lined with enormous empty big-box buildings. Moreover, some of these buildings (like the former "Great Indoor" store) are so ornate and expensive, it'll be hard re-filling them in due time!

Regarding Woodfield: there's several "death" spots in the store that simply generate NO traffic flow in front of the store, one being the middle section on Macy's side, where I have no idea who'd venture towards that balcony into the stores located there! Another spot, though hardly not-traveled, seems to have gone through hundreds of stores in its existence!

Mon Jul 20, 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long-defunct stores and restaurants:
Team Records and Tapes (crazy hip for a mall store)
Orange Bowl Restaurant
The Alley
The Skewer restaurant
Farrell's Ice Cream Shoppe
Wimpy's Hamburgers

Mon Aug 30, 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John's Garage!

Mon Dec 03, 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger potentcocktail said...

Anyone remember the name of that tobacco shop with the big statue of an Indian or soldier in front of it?

Wed Feb 12, 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Magic Pan
getting tshirts made at the Alley
the ice skating rink
the fish tank

I loved that purple and magenta color scheme too.

Wed Dec 03, 05:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the day someone dumped purple dye in the fountain? The whole thing was a deep purple color, about the same shade as the carpeting on the stairs.

Sat May 23, 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Cheri said...

Did Orange Bowl sell really large slices of pizza?

Thu Jan 14, 11:02:00 PM  

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