Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dixie Square Mall to be razed

Chicago Sun-Times

HARVEY, Ill. - Dixie Square Mall, best known for being one of the locations for filming of the 1979 film, "The Blues Brothers," will be sold and razed, Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg said in a news release Monday.

The "25-year-old eyesore" at 15300 Dixie Highway, closed down ever since its moment of fame in 1979, has seen numerous failed proposals, the mayor said in the release, but will now be the site of a new retail development to be run by Emerald Property Group.

The $70 million project will bring an estimated 1,000 jobs to the area, the mayor said. Emerald has been in communication with numerous retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, DSW and Borders, among others, according to the release said.

Anyone interested in obtaining a brick from the historic site can call (708) 210-5204.


  1. Dixie Square fascinates me. It may very well be the first "dead mall" in the country. It closed its doors before I was even born.

    I visited Chicago in 2004 but didn't know of Dixie Square's existence at that time. Having seen photos on the Web, I view Dixie Square as a "modern ruin" that exemplified the excess of American consumerism. Frankly, I'm sad to see it destroyed before I had a chance to see it.

    The fact that Dixie Square will be replaced by a new retail project after all these years speaks to the revival of Harvey, Illinois. I am amazed at how the "de-industrialization" of America has created such places, so prone to disinterest and disinvestment that such a property would be left to rot for 27 years. It's obvious that Harvey needs this project.

    The sale of bricks from the site reveals that there are many fans of "dead malls" out there. We're not freaks after all.

  2. It's kind of an old cliché to compare places like Dixie Square to a train wreck, but it was an apt description. It was so bad that it was good and its demise was so sad that it was fascinating.

    I’m glad to see the place fall for a good reason, but the retail geek in me hopes that they can do some sort of memorial to what was there.

  3. General question to all the mall-a-holics out there...what do you define as a "dead mall?" (I suppose it could be that obvious...just want to make sure)

    We used to have a mall in Oshkosh, WI called Park Plaza Mall. It had: Id, Maurices, Vanity, Paper Tiger, a Pranges, and a Klein's was across the street. Oh yeah, and there was an Aladdin's Castle where all the hoodlums used to roam. Other than those stores, and maybe a salon or two and an Orange Julius in the food court, the mall was crap. There were days my friends and I would go hang out there and literally be the only people in the mall. We used to loiter for hours by the one running fountain in the middle, and ride our bikes/skateboards through the mall and nobody seemed to care. I think I'd call that a dead mall....

    Now it's a headquarters for Eastbay catalog sales. It's sort of depressing seeing it now...ah memories!

  4. Park Plaza Mall sounds like a dead mall to me. At least it turned into something else.

    Big fan of Eastbay here :-)