Friday, March 17, 2006

Lincoln Square Mall

Urbana Illinois - 1960's

I'm going to look around for a better photo of this mall. Till then, this one will have to do.

Lincoln Square ("An Urban Village") is apparently still hanging on and trying to redevelop itself to stay afloat. The mall's been around since the early '60s and carries a lot of great retro retail history with it. You can read a great feature on it over at Dead Malls.

Here's hoping she can reinvent herself (in this case it's a must for its very survival!) and grow prosperous once more. If you live in the area, hey, go buy some shoes or a snowcone or pretzel or something there once in awhile, huh.

Lincoln Square's current website.


Blogger Cora said...

This one looks more like an airport waiting room than a mall. Where are the shops?

Fri Mar 17, 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Hmm, good question.

Maybe this is the waiting room before you get into the shopping mall?

Fri Mar 17, 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing.

Sat Mar 18, 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, it does look like an airport!

Sat Mar 18, 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger JeDre said...

This is odd. I've been in the Lincoln Center Mall, and this looks unfamiliar - old photo, sure, but the architecture even looks out of place. And no shops?

Sun Mar 19, 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

All joking aside, there indeed are shops back ther guys. And it is Lincoln Square.

From what I've read, it is a different kind of mall setup, as you can see, with a sprawling "outdoor", "street scene" feel to it--hence its name, Lincoln Square Village Mall.

Sun Mar 19, 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Parsons said...

I know, I know!
It's a community college!
With those orange doors, et al.

Mon Mar 20, 06:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty boring looking mall...too much concrete

Tue Mar 21, 05:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there many times when I lived in the area. Did have some nice shops back in the 70's. Really was a group of stores built around a Jummers hotel
and restaurant, well known for their quality German food and decor.
To the left of the picture was actually a Carson's Dept. store, the largest stone in this small mall.
- Jeff

Sat Apr 01, 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work across the street from Lincoln Square Village, and I've been in it countless times. Yes it is a bad picture because many of the storefronts are obscured by the columns, "trees", etc. At one time the place was hopping, though. At least from 1964, when it opened, till the mid-late 70's when a larger regional mall opened on the outskirts. It's just kind of survived ever since, though it's enjoyed a few renovations and temporary revivals with new anchor tenants (it had Carson Pirie Scott originally, then later a Herberger's and then Bergners). The Bergner's closed in 2002 so it was floundering for a while. The owners announced a plan in 2004 to turn the mall into an "Urban Village", i.e. a mix of retail, restaurants, office space, and residential uses. So far, a large health insurance firm moved into the most of the old dept. store space along with 450 employees, then a fitness center opened, then a body therapy shop, a candy shop, and a cafe and a coffee shop in the food court (which has space for 3 restaurants). So, it's doing better than it has in the past 4-5 years, though it's still got a long way to go to become vibrant again. BTW, the photo is of the Great Hall, which is used as space for lots of indoor events such as antique shows, concerts, etc.

Tue Jul 25, 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Nina Paley said...

I spent much of my childhood in Lincoln Square mall! Supposedly it was one of the first indoor malls anywhere. It is walking distance from the house I grew up in.

Tue Sep 11, 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

The mall is pretty dead except for a couple of stores; for the most part, it's empty, but clean.

There's a bar in the mall called 88 Broadway--it's new (only about two or three years old at most). It's peculiar in that you can go to Lincoln Square at night when the bar is getting full, and of course it's strange seeing a dead, vacant mall with a lively bar in its halls.

When I went to 88 Broadway, they had these large cloth screens somewhat "guiding" people into the entrance, or at least dividing the bar entrance from the rest of the mall. There's also, I remember, a Hallmark and some craft store (at that entrance at least).

Thankfully, this dead mall doesn't suffer from the structural decay and destruction that other malls experience.

Mon Jul 20, 06:02:00 PM  
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Sat Oct 02, 05:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents used to bring me here in the mid sixties as a child. I remember the huge hexagon shaped aquariums in the hall, that were full of fish of all kinds. I also remember that for the longest time, there was a glider plane on display in the hall on the floor. I don't know if it was advertisement for a local flying school or what, but was very cool to a 7 year old boy. They also used to have car shows and craft shows there as well. Walking up to the entrance of the Jumer's inside the mall was a little intimidating to this youngster, as it had this "Dark Shadows" vibe to it. The things you remember..............

Mon Sep 22, 01:43:00 PM  

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