Thread: On The Square
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:44 PM   #138
lightgiver
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Dixie Square Mall was an enclosed shopping mall located in Harvey, Illinois, United States, at the junction of 151st Street and the Dixie Highway. It stood vacant for over 30 years, more than twice as long as it was in business. It was famous for having been used, both inside and out, for the mall chase scene in the movie The Blues Brothers.. More recently, it achieved notoriety because of a growing Internet cult following (including local urban exploration groups) dedicated to covering the mall's deteriorating condition.. Like other "dead malls", it had been characterized by high vacancy rates and low patronage, which led to its closure. However, while other dead malls were redeveloped or demolished, Dixie Square stood out due to its extensive neglect, vandalism damage, and sordid history..The mall was then left to decay, due in no small part to a lack of funds (the blighted town of Harvey owned the property itself for the greater part of the last 25 years).. For some time, the only parts of the mall that had been fully demolished were the central energy plant, the former Woolworth anchor, and the former Montgomery Ward building..At the cost of US$25 million,Dixie Square opened in 1966 on the site of a former golf course. Construction had begun in late 1964, and Montgomery Ward was the first of the mall's stores to open, on October 21, 1965...


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A soft opening took place August 31, 1966, with 36 stores. Construction was completed nearly 3 months later, and the mall was dedicated on November 9, 1966, with grand opening celebrations from November 10–12, and 50 stores open. Grand opening celebrations featured Homer and Jethro, Art Hodes and Sid Sakowicz, the Art Van Damme Quintet, and Ned Locke of the Bozo's Circus show..However, by the early 1970s, crime was becoming an increasing problem in the mall's town of Harvey, a failing, poverty-stricken suburb 20 miles (32 km) south of Chicago, and several major incidents occurred at or near the mall. In November 1972, a young woman was fatally shot near the mall in a botched robbery attempt. On April 20, 1973, another person was shot in a robbery on the mall property itself. On July 17, 1973, a teenage girl was lured away from the mall by 3 other teenage girls, and strangled to death.. From 1973 to 1976, Dixie lost many stores, including the Montgomery Ward anchor, which closed on October 4, 1976 and Turn Style which closed in January 1978 (the entire chain would close). In a last-ditch effort to bring back shoppers and tenants, the mall underwent a renovation in 1976 and shortened its name to simply Dixie Mall.. These efforts failed, as by 1978, it was down to its final 20 stores, with JCPenney departing in January..On February 16, 2006, the entire mall property was sold to developer John Deneen of the Emerald Property Group. The remainder of the Montgomery Ward building was torn down March 1 in a widely publicized stunt, but no progress was made to demolish the rest of the mall afterwards. After the news crews left, so did the demolition companies.. Within several months of the Montgomery Ward demolition, liens were placed against the building by several invested companies. Deneen himself threatened the owner of one of these companies with brass knuckles and a firearm.. Attorney General Lisa Madigan also filed lawsuits against Deneen and several previous developers for failing to remove the asbestos in accordance with state law..By the late-2000s, the mall was subject to a total collapse..On September 23, 2010, Governor Pat Quinn announced that a $4 million federal grant would be used to demolish the mall..The final part of the mall (J.C. Penney) was demolished May 17, 2012. Following the demolition of the mall, the site was cleaned up and leveled in preparation for future Development...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixie_Square_Mall
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Last edited by lightgiver; 02-06-2014 at 09:47 PM.
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