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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Westfield Old Orchard- (Skokie, IL)

Westfield Old Orchard, formerly Old Orchard Shopping Center, is a super-regional shopping center in Metro Chicago. It is located in the northern suburb of Skokie, IL, less than half an hour from downtown Chicago and is also the fourth largest mall in Illinois.

Current anchor stores at Old Orchard include:

Former Marshall Field's

Old Orchard Shopping Center first opened in 1956, with Marshall Field's and a The Fair Department Store. 

The original design treated the center as more of a community than an actual mall, creating a series of walkways that turned storefronts inward rather than facing them to the parking areas. The irregular mall plan encouraged shoppers to stroll along a path of new discovery with each turn, reflecting the perception of shopping as a social event. 

Circa. October 1957

Since many prospective merchants wanted to be near Marshall Field's, the anchor was placed in the center of the site. The Fair was bought by Montgomery Ward in 1957. Saks Fifth Avenue opened a store in 1959. Under Montgomery Ward, The Fair was renamed in 1964. Under this ownership, Montgomery Ward opened a store at the center as an anchor.

Saks Fifth Avenue expanded its store in 1978 and Lord and Taylor Opened a store at Old Orchard in 1979.

The Montgomery Ward closed in 1988. 

In 1991 Nordstrom announced plans to open its second Chicago area location, particularly at Old Orchard.

In addition to the 200,000 square foot Nordstrom, Old Orchard also expanded the mall by 100,000 square feet as part of a $200 million expansion, this allowed for an additional 62 stores to open. 

Old Orchard announced plans to bring in a fifth tenant to the mall, Bloomingdale's.A number of other tenants also underwent renovations, including Crate & Barrel and The Limited.

Lord & Taylor relocated and expanded its store in 1993.

The mall went through its first major renovation since 1956, which completely transformed the center, A major portion of the redevelopment was the addition of the Nordstrom Department Store in 1994 and Bloomingdale's in September 1995. 

A four story parking ramp was opened and so was a movie theatre. The shopping center remained open-air and did not enclose to form a traditional shopping mall as so many others malls have.

Westfield acquired the property in 2002.

In June 2005, Saks Fifth Avenue closed.

In July 2006, the former Saks store was demolished in an effort to scale the mall down and more renovations began in the process. Marshall Field's was officially renamed Macy's on September 9, 2006 and the latest renovations were complete in late 2007.

Here are some pictures of the center from October 2012:

Closed summer 2014

Closed spring or summer 2013.


This is a very interesting, upscale and respected shopping center in one of the most prominent areas of the suburbs of Chicago.

Have any questions, comments or photos of the mall, feel free to post below.

Thanks for reading.

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