Forgotten malls: Evergreen Plaza

From the southeast side of Chicago, my best friend and I were allowed to ride the bus at the age of 12 in 1967 down 95th street west, passing Beverly, crossing Western into Evergreen Park where we exited at the CTA bus stop right in front of the Evergreen Plaza Shopping Mall  which is still there.  I can remember visiting Chandlers Shoes, Lyttons, one of my Mom’s favorite stores as well as Chas A Stevens. Before Montgomery Ward on the North end and, it was The Fair. Of course, Carson Pirie Scott which was located on the far south end from 95th street. My aunt worked there in jewelry for awhile. If we had money, we headed to Walgreens for candy after our lunch. There was a Wimpy’s where we had lunch.

The Evergreen Plaza operated from 1952 to 2013 and the first regional mall in the nation; the second indoor mall. It was originally designed as an open-air shopping center developed by Arthur Rubloff, one of, if not, the first of its magnitude in all of Chicago land. Actually the mall was enclosed in 1966. The center also contained a Jewel supermarket, which featured a conveyor belt that carried groceries from the store to a parking lot kiosk.The mall’s Walgreens was the second self-service Walgreen pharmacy in the chain; it was also the chain’s first location in a shopping center.

Two theaters were added in 1964; fairly new for us growing up, located on the south end by Carson’s and they were huge. I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid at one of them but those were closed in 1999.

Today, Evergreen Market Place is a contemporary outdoor mall replacing the former Evergreen Plaza anchoring the corner 95th Street and Western Avenue in Evergreen Park. It offers approximately 22 stores such as Planet Fitness, TJ Max, Whole Foods Starbucks and Petco.

8 thoughts on “Forgotten malls: Evergreen Plaza”

  1. I saw The Red Shoes at the Beverly Theater. I didn’t often venture that far south of 76th street, but as I got older, that was a nice journey–and a beautiful theater.
    But let me tell you: The street cars on Ashland went as far south as 95th, then switched over to the other track (northbound); the conductor moved all the straw-woven seats facing the other way. The motorman jumped out and changed the electrical pole to the new line, then assumed his position at the now “front” of the car. We were ready to go, after we paid another fare (depending on the conductor).
    I would ride from 67th to 95th… That was entertainment. No computers. And we rode in winter, too. For a cheap nickle or dime.
    What great memories of a time. The car barn was at 69th and Ashland. That’s another story.

    Liked by 2 people

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