Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bellevue Park Plaza Shopping Center

Belleville, Illinois - circa early '60s

Shop & park free, at Bellevue Park Plaza! A little strip center that opened in 1970 (current aerial), and is still there today. Below is the plaza as it looks today (via LoopNet), from almost the same angle as the one above...

Plaza today

As you can see, the current stores include the typical generic type of modern lineup (i.e. boring): CVS, Rent-A-Center, Blockbuster Video, Dollar General, Fantastic Nails, First Payday Loans, Verizon Wireless, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and Dollar Tree. Yuck!

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Blogger DaydreamSupercollider said...

With some minor facade changes...it really hasn't changed much.

Tue Jun 05, 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

How sad that the way cool Drug Store with a soda fountain (indicated by the Coca-Cola sign) was replaced by a Blockbuster. I remember my mother plunking me down at the drug store soda fountain to have a chocolate malt while she did some shopping. When the malt was gone, I used to pass the time by spinning around on those round stools until I got good and dizzy. The counter ladies would keep an eye on me and nobody batted an eye. Today, they'd have Child Protective Services all over the place.

Wed Jun 06, 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

"As you can see, the current stores include the typical generic type of modern lineup (i.e. boring)"

Had to laugh at that comment.

Everything does still look the same except the cool Bellvue Park Plaza Shop and Park Free sign has been replaced and is now generic (ie: boring as Keith pointed out)

Wed Jun 06, 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Yeah, the new sign is no where near as cool. And while the structure itself is surprisingly unchanged, the facade, the skin, if you will, looks quite different now. I like the original simpler earthy design better myself (surprised?).

Heck, they even made skies better in those days. Look at the one in the recent photo; all slick, fancy and modern looking! But look at the one in the vintage shot; simple, understated, and very classy. (lol)

DaydreamSupercollider: Thanks for linking to me recently on your blog (you've got some great links there!), I really appreciate it. And I dig the pic on your profile page ("one eye").

Paul: Sigh... you're SO right.

Wed Jun 06, 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

You're telling me Keith, I've seen places go to hell like that in my town!

Wed Jun 06, 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

"And while the structure itself is surprisingly unchanged, the facade, the skin, if you will, looks quite different now."

That shade of green that it is now is so much like other strip centers I have seen. It doesn't set it apart and neither does the updated sign.


Thu Jun 07, 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Heres how I see this buildings future:

1. One of the big chain stores will close due to "under performance" or "going out of business"

2. the rest or most of the stores will follow leaving this plaza half to almost dead

3. It will be declared an eyesore by the city,meaning it's ripe for redevelopment.

4. few decades or years later a "knight in shining armor" developer will submit a plan that would "revitalize" the plaza (AKA demolish it).

5. Plans proceed as soon as possible, and the plaza is demolished,and is replaced by a big box center.

6. Few decades down the road and repeat steps 1-5.

Hey, thats how it goes under the control of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) AKA "this place needs to make a quick buck in a few months or years quickly or we close it" type of scheme.

Anyway I can see the plazas halfway through to "dumpiness", sigh.

Tue Jun 12, 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

REITs, are they like TIFs?

Thu Jun 14, 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Whos stupid idea was it to put those unsightly overhead wires right in front of the plaza? sheesh anyplace with overhead wires connecting to metal, steel poles looks poor.


Sun Jun 17, 11:00:00 AM  

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