Friday, December 19, 2014

River Oaks Center- (Calumet City, IL)

River Oaks Center Mall is the latest struggling mall in the Chicago suburbs, as in the last two years, the mall lost two major anchor stores, and many inlets and filler stores follow as business declines. Rivers Oaks is located in Calumet City, IL, twenty minutes from Downtown Chicago and is minutes from the Indiana state line via Interstate 80.

The malls anchor stores are:
Originally Marshall Field's

Recently closing anchors were:
Closed January 2013

Closed June 2013

River Oaks Mall is the largest enclosed mall in Chicago's south suburbs.

River Oaks Mall originally opened as an open air center in October 1966 with Marshall Field's, Sears, and a small Hammond, Indiana chain, Edward C. Minas opening a store. Other stores included was Jewel Foods and Osco Drug Store and S.S. Kresge next to Sears.

Kresge closed in 1987 and the discount store became a movie theater, later Jewel closed which made space available for a McDonald's and a second theater.

In 1985, the mall expanded when JCPenney moved from Downtown Hammond to the northwest side of the mall and a food court was added when the new JCPenney wind was construction.

Carson's closed in January 2013

Sears closed shortly after in June.

The Theater of the mall is closed and the former Sears building along with the auto center and the Carson's building remain vacant.

Here are various pictures of the mall in late 2012, right before Carson's closed, and June 2013, days before Sears closed, and some of the inside later in 2014 and store count begins to decline drastically.

Former Carson Pirie Scott

Famous "Smiley Water Tower"

Former Carson Pirie Scott wing

Closed an relocated

Former Sears Store

Foot Locker closed and relocated

Former Sears Store

The mall is beginning to die, maybe not yet, but as many malls in the exact same shape around the country begin to close and are re-purposed, not much else can be thought about River Oaks than that.

Feel free to post pictures and comments below.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Carson Pirie Scott was oroginally Edward C. Minas Co. based in Hammond, IN. Carson's took over in October 1982.

  2. Interesting, I'm thinking the tall arches in front of Marshall Field's were added when they enclosed the mall... Does anyone know for sure? They look similar to the arches they used in several of the 2 story malls that were built in the 70's which gave the store an appearance of being the largest in the mall, even when it wasn't. I've never been to that store but I know it is one of their bigger stores, however because of location and demographic changes the store doesn't have the same cache as it did when it opened. Is the whole store still open and funct or are parts of it closed off now?

  3. The tall arches were in place when Marshall Fields was located on the outside of the mall. I remember the visual from when I was a little boy. I thought it looked odd once they inclosed the stores inside of the mall, and capped everything off.

    1. So the entire mall was outdoors when if was first built, but was enclosed over time, or was just Field's outside,then added on?

  4. The mall went to hell when they enclosed it. I remember it being in the same league as Oak Brook and Old Orchard.

    1. Agreed, it also went south because of other malls close by closed down, like Woodmar and Dixie Square and Lincoln Mall. Bringing all then up, isn't each one killed by another? Now Orland Square is left for the Southland to shop.