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Monday, October 31, 2016

Oak Mill Mall: Stepped Back In Time

          Oak Mill Mall, now Oak Mill Plaza, originally Candlelight Court, is an enclosed mini mall in Niles, Illinois at the corner of Oakton Street and Milwaukee Avenue, hence the name "Oak-Mill". I have driven past this place for years with my family, and finally got to go inside earlier this month.

          Oak Mill has such an old feeling to it while walking around inside, between the flooring, many live plants, the choice of color and texture used throughout, is something that is disappearing in the modern age of retail design.

Here is my original post of this mini mall from December 2014, featuring photos from June 2013.

The photo below inspired the title of this post, a "step back in time" as I consult the map upon the socle, coddled by palms and ferns with the parquet beneath my feet.

Not very many people are here for a Saturday afternoon, but much of Niles shopping is done at Golf Mill Mall a few blocks North on Milwaukee.

I did witness something I will never forget from my visit here, as a group of older, stereo-typically Chicago men were socializing around a table outside the Minelli deli, a scene straight from Saturday Night Lives Bill Swerski's Super Fans skits!

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Happy Halloween 2016 from Trip To The Mall!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Deerbrook Mall: 10/16 Update

          I have not been to Deerbrook in a while, thought I would stop by to see the hidden back entrance never featured here before, I also found out the Jewel-Osco has been demolished as well as some of the former mall.

Here is my FLASHBACK: post of the Deerbrook featuring photos from Labelscar.

Here are photos I took in October 2016:

The former mall entrance, next to Hobby Lobby.

Sports Authority has since closed.

Nothing really remained of the former Jewel-Osco, just a small portion stayed open near Lake Cook Road, reminded me of a stand alone Osco Pharmacy.

Some of the Jewel was still open.

The old back entrance to the mall, movie poster frames are still there. Really dig that retro sign, something straight out of the 80's for sure!

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DEAD: The Great Mall of the Great Plains- Olathe, Kansas

          Never getting to visit a mall before it closes sure is a bummer, never going to a mall before it is demolished is an even bigger blow. In the case of The Great Mall of the Great Plains outside Kansas City, I made it just in the nick of time. I took a trip out to Kansas City in late August to finally see The Great Mall, not getting to the mall the first time around July 2014, never getting to see the inside of the mall, or the outside as a whole.

          I made it to the mall just in time, as the demolition had started weeks earlier, I think about 15% of the mall may have been gone already, I know for sure is not much was gone.

          The Great Mall opened with great fanfare in August 1997, becoming the largest mall in the state of Kansas. Planning to open in March, the mall officially opened in August because of leasing issues, not finding enough stores to open in time (already tempting the fate of the mall).

          Some of the original anchor stores included Linens 'N Things, Burlington Coat Factory, Oshaman's SuperSports USA, Marshalls, Group USA Clothing, Foozle's Books, and even a Dillard's clearance outlet and about 150 inline tenants. A Jeeper's family fun center opened, later becoming a Zonkers. A movie theater and food court were added later in the malls development.

          Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue opened in 1999, and not long after that, the mall saw its first round of closures with Dillard's leaving in 2001, replaced by a VF Outlet. Oshman's and Linens 'N Things, as well as Off 5th all closed in 2002. Marshalls left in 2005, and Steve & Barry's opened that same year. Although you can guess it closed in 2009. A famous Labels store opened around 2007, but closed in early 2009.

          In February 2015, the malls owners announced that the mall would close in the summer or fall of 2015, and in September, the day came the malls doors closed to the public. Burlington Coat Factory was the last remaining anchor, and Toys R Us and an out parcel.

          The mall officially began demolition in July 2016, and will reed during the next several months. The Burlington Coat Factory will remain open, but will have to relocate as there anchor will be coming down by the end of the year.

Here are the photos of the mall I took in August 2016:

Burlington Coat Factory is still open.

Most of the mall in fenced in, hindering me from getting closer to the former anchors.

Toys R Us adjacent to the mall.

So far away...

Blocked off entrance, reminds of Jamestown Mall outside St. Louis.

Where the demolition begins...

It was so nice of Steve & Barry to leave there sign up for me to enjoy, so cool to see one still up, I don't have too many pictures of that.

From the looks of the sign, you think the mall is thriving, at least until you enter.

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